A Chronological List of the Ministers who have served
Quincy's Unitarian Church
William G. Eliot, pastor of Messiah
Unitarian Church in St. Louis, Missouri from 1834 to
1872, preached the organizing sermon for the Congregation
which is known as the Quincy Unitarian Church in April of
- December 1840 to January 1847 --
His diaries include his accounts of conversations and
observations of Joseph Smith and the Moormans in nearby
Nauvoo, during his years in Quincy.
- Mordecai D'Lange
- November 21, 1848 to April 1, 1850
(Other records say January 1848 to March 1850) -- He had
converted from Judiasm.
- William A. Fuller
- November 1850 to April (or July) 1854
- July 1854 to January 1856 (or May 1861)
Liberty Billings is mentioned in the books,
Firebrand of Liberty by Stephen V. Ash and (more
briefly in) Laborers in the Vineyard of the Lord: The
Beginnings of the AME Church in Florida (1865-1895)
by Larry E. Rivers and Canter E. Brown, Jr.
- June 1862 to 1865 - He had been minister at Nashua,
New Hampshire, prior to serving as a chaplain in the
- S. S.
- October 1865 to January 1871 - He served during a
creative period when all church activities were growing.
He left the Quincy Unitarian church to become secretary
of the Western Unitarian Conference.
- July 1871 to 1871 (or October 1872)
- Frederick Lucien
- October 1872 to April 1877 - Active not only as an
organizer and director of the activities of our young
people but as a power in liberalizing the thought of the
community. A hymn
writer most favored by the Unitarian Church. His
beautiful poems were set to music. The new hymnal
includes his: Forward Through the Ages, I Walk the
Unfrequented Road, From Age to Age, and O Day of Light
and Gladness. Hosmer finished his Unitarian Ministerial
career in Berkley,
California where he served as "interim"
minister from 1900 to 1904. He was the Minister Emeritus
of the Berkley Church until his death in 1929.
- 1877 to 1884 - A man of varied talents and of unusual
energy and activity. He was a hymn lyricist and a
poet with several volumes of poetry to his credit and
several volumes of sermons. in 1896, he was mentioned
briefly in this article from the
New York Times. While he was minister at Evanston,
Illinois, he penned the affirmation that we say during
every service, and which has been adapted by many other
Unitarian Congregations. "Love is the
spirit of this church . . ."
- Francis S. Thatcher
- January 20, 1884 to 1887 (or July 1, 1884)
- September 17, 1884 (or 1885) to May 1896
- Charles F. Bradley
- 1887 to 1896 - He carried his sincerity into his
pulpit. There was no gap between his matured private
judgement and thought and his public work. He was one of
the kindest of men -- broad, liberal, and tolerant of
- Thomas J. Horner
- May 1897 to November 1899
- Samuel L. Elberfeld
- January 1900 to November 1902 - His
Farewell Sermon as he moved away from his
congregation at Charlestown, New Hampshire in 1912, have
been preserved by his family. An obituary tells us that,
He was married to (Isobel) Holton (a Quincy native), in
Quincy, Illinois July 12, 1901.
- Charles W. Pearson
- January 1903 to July 1905 - One of the finest and
most scholarly of the men of our faith. Previously
professor of English literature,
Northwestern University. Author of "The
Carpenter Prophet" and a volume of poems.
- Charles F. Elliott
- January 1906 to 1912
- Richard F. Tischer
- 1913 to 1913 - And was in Salem, Oregon in 1915.
- Lyman M. Greenman
- December 14, 1913 to 1918 - Installed as our Minister
in the same ceremony in which our new church building at
16th and Hampshire Streets was dedicated. A graduate of
Phillips Exeter Academy and of Harvard Divinity School,
he studied Dante at Oxford. His prior pastorates included
Grafton and Gloucester in Massachusets, and Westchester
and Yonkers in New York. In Yonkers, his church was
associated with the settlement house called,
- 1919 to 1923
- Henry S.
- 1923 (died) August 1923
- September 1923 to 1926
- 1926 to 1928
- September 1928 to August 1933 - Daniel Sands was
regarded as a man of education and experience; his wife,
a woman of culture and refinement. His sermons gave much
inspiration and practical help to his congregation which
grew in membership under the stimulus of his preaching
and parish work. During his pastorate in Quincy, Mr.
Sands became a definite part of community life. He
received unanimous encouragement and some financial
support from the congregation to establish a small
community center. The couple and their small daughter
moved from a residence near the church to a location in a
depressed neighborhood. Their home was then open to all
for education and recreation, offering friendly service,
comfort and dignity. He had earlier experience in this
activity in Buffalo, N. Y. and in Chicago. Mr. Sands
continued his pastorate during the administration of the
social settlement, a position without pay. He resigned
from the Quincy Unitarian ministry in July, 1933, to work
with the Illinois Emergency Commission in Chicago.
- Ward Burgess Jenks
- 1934 to October 1936 - In his first pastorate he
aimed to build up the church school and the adult
membership by increased activity, as in a Community
Institute of Adult Learning, the Lyman McCarl Chapter of
the Unitarian Laymen's League, the Liberal Forum, the
Children's Theater, and the Young People's
- Robert Murray Pratt
- October 1936 to 1947 - At the Centennial Celebration
in 1939 he said, "The church is united in loyalty to
a continuance of the fine work begun by the founders . .
.and carried on by devoted liberal men and women."
He successfully brought a sixty percent increase in
membership and transformed the Sunday School into a
Junior Church; saw the church placed on a sound business
basis with all debts paid.
- 1947 to 1952 - Under his leadership the church
experienced improved financial conditions and addition of
new members. He delivered stimulating sermons. He led in
the acquisition of a fine parsonage, was active in race
relations and local politics, unified the membership -
erasing the invisible walls of separation. Rex Aman, age
96, was born on February 17, 1913, in Cambridge,
Nebraska, died on May 28, 2009 in Fort Worth, Texas.
Thomas J. Maloney
- September 13, 1953 to June 1956 - He wanted to make
the church a leader in the community - a liberal platform
for promoting freedom of thought, equality of
opportunity, and the use of reason and justice in solving
problems. He promoted the Foreign Film Series and was
active in Mental Health Organizations. Tom Maloney died
on May 6, 2005, in Colorado at the age of 82.
- John M.
- September 1956 (or April 1957) to January 1960 -
Provocative, informative sermons delivered in dramatic
style. Growth of membership primarily due to leadership
and inspiring sermons. Approved the merger of Unitarians
and Universalists in 1959. Acted in Quincy Community
Little Theatre performances.
- George P. Crist, Jr.
- September 1960 to May 1968 - Maintained high
intellectual standards and fearless and honest research
in his sermons. Participated in liberal and humane
movements in the community. Established a formal Memorial
Committee. Encouraged the opening of the Eliot Book
- November 3, 1968 to March 31, 1969 - An "Interim
- September 14, 1969 to May 31 1970 - An "Interim
- Calvin Knapp
- September 21, 1971 to April 30, 1976 - A man of
extraordinary energy . . . He taught us churchmanship. He
initiated the first annual plant sale in 1973, led the
congregation to a formal declaration of
world citizenship, and conducted "Red Velvet and
Candlelight" Christmas Eve Services.
- John W. Brigham
- May 1, 1976 to June 1982 - He completed a lifetime
career in the Unitarian ministry by cooperatively serving
the congregations of Quincy, Illinois and Burlington,
Iowa. After his retirement and until his death, he
continued membership and service in Quincy as Minister
Emeritus. Author of the volumes of poetry: "Still
Sounds the Buoy from the Sea" and
"Windows of the Mind."
- Eric A.
- August 1, 1982 to March 1987
- Lynn S. Smith-Roberts
- September 1989 to June 1995 - A graduate of Starr
King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, California. She
came to us from Bismark, North Dakota, and we shared her
ministry with the UU Fellowship in Macomb, Illinois. From
1999 until her death in 2013, she was on the staff of the
Sacramento, California Public Library.
- Dr. Robert
J. S. Manning
- November 1996 to June 2011 - Our 36th Minister, Dr.
Robert J. S. Manning, is the longest-serving minister in
the long history of this congregation. Ordained and
installed in November 1996, he is Professor of Philosophy
and Theology and Chair of Humanities at Quincy University. Dr.
Manning graduated summa cum laude from the College of Wooster in 1983
and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
He completed his master's and Ph.D from the Divinity School of the
University of Chicago. His academic interests and
areas of teaching experience are feminist theory - gender
studies and Holocaust studies. He participates in
seminars for professors at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. In
2006-07, Dr. Manning was a Fulbright Scholar
in Romania. A sample of
- September 2012 to July 2015 - Scott Aaseng served as
a consulting minister. Once a month he would commute to
Quincy from his home in Chicago via AmTrak. Scott started
out as a Lutheran and graduated into Unitarian
Universalism as his children became teens. Scott's
over-riding interest is the work of the UUANI, The
Unitarian Universalist Advocacy Network of Illinois,
which advocates putting our UU values into meaningful,
concrete far-reaching action toward social justice. His
work with Quincy's Unitarain Church was directed
toward leading us to discover a clearer picture of what
sort of Ministry we want to pursue and what sort of a
Church we wish to become.
- Krista Taves
- August 2015 to June 2020 - Krista Taves' sermons
stimulate the mind, touch the heart, deepen the soul and
move the spirit. Rev. Krista was first ordained in 2004
by the First Unitarian
Congregation of Toronto. She served congregations in
Ontario, Louisiana and Missouri prior to coming to Quincy
Unitarian. Active in the reproductive justice movement,
and serving as a volunteer clergy counselor for Faith Aloud, since 2007;
she is also active in the Black Lives Matter
movement. Rev. Taves went on to become Minister of
Congregational Life at Eliot Unitarian
Chapel in St. Louis, Missouri.