History of Unity Church of Modesto
Unity Church of Modesto began on February 4, 1930 with a series of lectures given by E. V. Ingraham from the Unity School of Christianity of Kansas City, Missouri. Lectures titled "What is Christianity and Who Is Christian" were held from February 9 through February 14 at the Hotel Hughson in downtown Modesto, California. The lectures were on how to make your prayers effective and to awaken your own Divine Genius for successfully meeting the problems of everyday life. The population of Modesto at this time was 13,842.
Edith Lilly, who was registered with the Unity School of Christianity, served as the first Spiritual Leader of the Modesto Unity Center for 16 years from April 1, 1930 to September 1, 1946. Edith was instrumental in forming and leading the first Unity study groups which met in congregational homes and rented halls.
1931 January A Unity study group on "Lessons in Truth: A course of twelve lessons in Practical Christianity" by H. Emily Cady met on Friday afternoons in the home of Miss Ida Durham.
1936 First Unity Center was opened at 107 Hackberry Avenue with open meetings on Friday afternoons. Meetings were also held in members private homes with Edith Lilly as Spiritual Leader.
1938 Unity “Attributes of God” class was held at the local McHenry Library and was given by leader Dorothy L. Stevens.
1946 Nellie Burford was sent from Unity School of Christianity, Lee’s Summit, Missouri to become the Spiritual Leader for the Modesto Unity Center and served the community for two years.
1951 Alma Smith Ladd, from the Unity School of Christianity, became the first ordained minister of Modesto Unity Center at 316 Hackberry Avenue and served the church for four years. Pictured is Ann Evans who attended as a child with her aunt Sarah Duddy. The church was open six days a week and held Bible study classes, Healing Principles classes, prayer group meetings, and study groups on Charles Fillmore’s book "Talks on Truth."
December 15, 1951 Modesto Unity Center became incorporated with Unity School of Christianity, Lee's Summit, Missouri. From that day forward we are known as Unity Church of Modesto. Reverend Alma Smith Ladd minister.
1995 October Property was purchased for $355,000 dollars at 2467 Veneman Avenue. Operating without a minister and with true “Love in Action,” our dedicated congregation labored to renovate the property to make it into the spiritual home we now enjoy. The first service was held on January 28, 1996 given by interim Lay Teacher, Jeff Weller, of the Sacramento Unity Church.
Ministry Timeline for Unity Church of Modesto
|Start Date||End Date||Name||Position|
|04/1930||09/1946||Edith Lilly||Spiritual Leader|
|09/1946||11/1948||Nellie Buford||Spiritual Leader|
|04/1951||08/1955||Alma Ladd||Senior Minister|
|08/1955||08/1956||Lucy Stringer||Senior Minister|
|08/1956||11/1962||Russell Kemp||Senior Minister|
|12/1962||12/1964||Carol Romburg||Senior Minister|
|12/1964||11/1967||Elizabeth Burgle||Senior Minister|
|08/1968||09/1975||Ruth Holden||Senior Minister|
|03/1976||03/1980||Gary Redfern||Senior Minister|
|02/1981||11/1982||Roger Tiffany||Senior Minister|
|07/1983||06/1985||William King||Senior Minister|
|06/1985||01/1988||William Keller||Senior Minister|
|05/1985||07/1988||Ruth Holden||Assoc. Minister|
|09/1988||09/1992||Joyce Mech||Senior Minister|
|01/1993||09/1995||R. David Smith||Senior Minister|
|08/1996||07/2001||Lawrence R. Schellink||Senior Minister|
|07/2000||07/2001||Denese Schellink||Assoc. Minister|
|12/2001||05/2002||Robert Wasner||Interim Minister|
|05/2002||02/2005||Paul Hart||Senior Minister|
|06/2005||03/2006||Kathryn Brenson||Senior Minister|
|11/2006||09/2008||Ralph Grzecki||Senior Minister|
|11/2006||09/2008||Carolyn Grzecki||Assoc. Minister|
|11/2008||Present||Paul Patterson||Spiritual Leader|
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