Our Minister and Staff
We are a community of people with different beliefs and diverse backgrounds who embrace basic principles which include the freedom to engage in our own personal search for truth and meaning. We come together in the spirit of mutual caring and respect to celebrate life, offer service, and work for a better world.
This church seeks to minister to the spiritual, intellectual, and social needs of its members and their families and friends. At the center of the church’s program is the Sunday worship service, coordinated by a lay-led Worship Committee. Morning worship is followed by a period of coffee and conversation.
The Church is financed by pledges from its members and friends. It is governed by a board of trustees elected by the membership. Committees administer many facets of church life. Special events are scheduled throughout the year. There are special festive services at Thanksgiving and Easter, and a candlelight Christmas Eve service is celebrated.
Adult classes and discussions, carry-in lunches, circle suppers, and fund-raising events, including a much-anticipated plant sale in the spring, are also scheduled. Our annual plant sale is both an expression of ecological concern and a service to the community. A monthly newsletter keeps members and friends informed of activities.
Mr. Charley Earp, Minister
Mr. Charles Duane Earp, of Evanston, IL, is a graduate of Meadville-Lombard Divinity School and has completed his internship for the ministry. He is newly fellowshipped as a Minister with the Unitarian Universalist Association.
Dr. Carol Fisher Mathieson, Minister of Music
With its historically significant pipe organ and reputation for support of fine music in the community, Quincy Unitarian Church has also benefited from a long tradition of dedicated music directors. Following in the footsteps of internationally known organist and composer William Spencer Johnson and regionally known teacher and collaborative pianist Frances Eldred Morrison, Carol Fisher Mathieson has served as QUC organist since 1977. As the congregation moved from weekly minister-led services to an alternate Sunday format in the late 1970’s, Mathieson and her late husband Robert developed and provided the liturgical wrap-around for guest speakers for many years. She also accommodated special musical offerings and frequently provided historical context to hymns and service music. Because of this wider participation in the life of the church, the Board of Directors appointed Dr. Mathieson Minister of Music in 1995, a designation recognized by the Unitarian-Universalist Musicians Association. She also holds the credential of Certified Church Musician from the United Presbyterian Church.
A 1970 graduate of Maryville College (TN) in music, Mathieson’s work-study scholarship included serving as teaching assistant for freshman religion-philosophy courses for 2 years. She developed those skills further when, after teaching music in Tennessee public schools for 2 years, she joined the music faculty of Damavand College in Iran, and studied philosophy at the Tehran branch of the Near East School of Theology, also for 2 years. While in Tehran, she served as organist to the English and Farsi congregations of the Presbyterian mission church.
Returning to Tennessee, Mathieson received the Master of Music degree in vocal performance from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville in 1975. Later that year, she joined the music faculty of Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Missouri, where she still teaches as Professor, Emerita. She received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in vocal performance and pedagogy in 1981. During her tenure at C-SC, she has taught courses in church music and hymnology as well as musicology, pedagogy, and studio voice. For 15 years in the 1980’s and ‘90’s, she chaired the C-SC Religious Life Committee, which oversaw weekly chapel services and special convocations for Thanksgiving, Advent, and Lent. She continues to direct the C-SC Opera Workshop, which frequently tours on its own or in collaboration with Quincy’s Muddy River Opera Company Educational Outreach. She also serves on the Board and writes Opera Insight talks for MROC performances.
As a performer, Carol Mathieson has frequently appeared in MROC operas and other regional musical productions, and she has overseen Sunday Music Series recitals at QUC as soprano soloist as well as supervising Minister of Music. She performs in American Guild of Organists recitals and offers performance lectures on folk and traditional music through the C-SC Speakers Bureau. She serves on Boards of many charitable organizations in Quincy and Canton, Missouri.
Kenna Armstrong, Religious Education Teacher
In Kenna’s words:
I am a history education major at Culver-Stockton College, and my goal is to work at the middle school level. I joined the Quincy Unitarian staff in September of 2019 as the Religious Education Teacher. I create lessons and activities for any children in attendance to participate in during the sermon. With this, I will also occasionally read the wisdom stories during the service. A lover of philosophy and history, it is my goal to help anyone I work with to become well-rounded and appreciative of the world around them.
Taylor Wood, Tech Support Assistant
Taylor Wood is a graduate of Moberly Area Community College and is a current student at Culver-Stockton College, studying Business and Marketing. She came on as the Tech Support Assistant in 2020 as the church responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. She works to maintain the website, run church over Zoom every Sunday morning, and to handle the other occasional problems that pop up.
Taylor enjoys filling her time with numerous hobbies and activities. She is the current Vice President of the Young Democrats of Adams County, and she also works as the social media manager for Homeward Bound Waggin, an animal shelter located in Quincy, Illinois. She has a passion for learning new things and for pushing herself well out of her comfort zone.
Love is the spirit of this church, and service is its law.
United in the free quest of high values in religion and life,
We covenant with one another:
To dwell together in peace, to seek the truth in love, and to help one another.
—James Vila Blake (adapted)
our minister from 1877 to 1884.