William G. Eliot
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 1839.
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.
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.
Martin W. Willis
June 1862 to 1865 – He had been minister at Nashua, New Hampshire, prior to serving as a chaplain in the Civil War.
S. S. Huntington
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 Hosmer
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.
James Vila Blake
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 others.
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, “Prospect House.”
1919 to 1923
Henry S. Cope
1923 (died) August 1923
September 1923 to 1926
1926 to 1928
Daniel Sands – 1928-1933September 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 Club.
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. Morris
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 Shop.
November 3, 1968 to March 31, 1969 – An “Interim Minister.”
September 14, 1969 to May 31 1970 – An “Interim Minister.”
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. Haugan
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.
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.
Rev. Krista Taves 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.