Our Church History
The Unitarian Universalist Church of Indianapolis was founded in 1978 by 92 people who had previously been members of All Souls Unitarian Church in Indianapolis.
In the early years, services were mostly lay-led while the congregation rented space at Central Avenue United Methodist Church. In September 1981, the current four-acre campus was purchased. In 1983, an extension minister was called, and the first full-time minister was called in 1986. The congregation’s growth led to a 1993 capital campaign, and a new meeting house was dedicated in September 1994.
Now a congregation well over 200 members, the church supports a vigorous and well regarded religious education program, a distinctive music and fine arts program, a professional staff, and vital ministries that support our principles. For example:
- Following a lengthy preparation, the congregation voted unanimously in 2003 to become a Welcoming Congregation, a program for congregations that see a need to become more inclusive towards bisexual, gay, lesbian, and/or transgender people.
- The Green Sanctuary Task Force, which was organized in 2006, conducted surveys, educated church members, and helped our congregation become a leader in organizing and promoting environmental action in religious communities in Indianapolis.
For more information, see UUI History Detail .
Our Property’s History
Our campus has a history rich in community service and education. The Orchard School purchased the property in 1926 and built the buildings we call the Cottage, The Religious Education Building, and the Social Hall (formerly a gym). A fourth building, which we call the Commons, was originally built by a Sertoma Club and used principally for training Noble Industry students.
The Sycamore School and the International School, now well established institutions, both began here, as did the internationally acclaimed Indianapolis Children’s Choir, founded by former church member Henry Leck. This tradition continued when The Independence Academy, a school specializing in education for middle and high school students with high-functioning autism, started on our campus in 2008.
Buildings have also been rented to Building Blocks Academy, Little Scholars Head Start School, and YMCA summer camp programs, among others.
UUI Photo Album
Here are some photos documenting our church’s history: