Greater Nashville Unitarian-Universalist Congregation (GNUUC) was founded in July 1994 with 52 charter members in a separation from First Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashville (FUUN). The initial impetus for the separation came when unidentified members of FUUN made charges of inappropriate conduct against the minister, and those charges led to bitter divisions within the church and to the resignation of the minister.
A group who felt the minister had not been given a fair hearing began meeting at FUUN as “the Phoenix Group.” Seeking a peaceful separation from FUUN, 58 members of this group signed a letter to the Board of Directors of FUUN dated July 3, 1994, stating their intention to form a new UU church in Nashville and asking FUUN to serve as the Covenant Church.
In the last half of 1994, GNUUC was granted a charter by the UUA. In December 1994, after a vote by both congregations, FUUN became GNUUC’s covenanting church (our sponsor) and provided some financial support during each of our first three years as a congregation.
Please see the full text of the intention letter below:
July 3, 1994
The Board of Directors
First Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashville
1808 Woodmont Blvd.
Nashville, TN 37215
The persons listed at the end of this letter wish you to know that they support the founding of a new Unitarian congregation in the Nashville area. We are convinced that this action is in the best interest of Unitarianism and liberal religion in middle Tennessee generally, and of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashville in particular. We intend to seek recognition from the UUA, and we ask that First UU Church serve as our Covenant Church and that the board endorse this action as a positive and constructive endeavor.
We wish to stress that the formation of a new church is not solely a reaction to the strife that has permeated relationships between factions at First UU for the past year and a half. To the contrary, we see it as an idea, long entertained by some of us, whose time has come. The current situation may provide the added incentive for us to take actions that we have delayed taking for too many years. While it is not the only compelling factor in our decision, it is in agreement with the recommendations of the Alban Institute and Luther Kramer, who have gone on record as viewing the formation of a new church as one positive way to move forward.
Nashville is a rapidly growing and a rapidly changing cosmopolitan city, and it is time that there were more than one choice here for an individual or a family seeking a Unitarian church in this area. The membership of First UU has outgrown the physical plant, and we are sure that the church can more effectively get on with the job of reconstructing its activities under new leadership without, at the same time, needing to deal with the pressures imposed by overcrowding.
We ask for the good wishes and the cooperation of the present elected leadership of First UU as we embark on this bold and exciting challenge.
|Kathleen Ayres||Keith Lundin|
|Barbara Belfiglio||Phiefer Brown|
|Boyd Brown||Lois Brown|
|John Brown||Loretta Brown|
|Gene Bryant||Nancy Colowick|
|Clinton Confehr||Susan Confehr|
|Laura Copeland||Greta Crawford|
|Elizabeth DePriest||Arthur Ebbets|
|Howard Forrest||Kelly Forrest|
|Pam Hooper||Susan Humelsine|
|Jerry Kimbrough||Diane Kimbrough|
|David Macaione||Sherry Male|
|Joan Marz||Mike Morgan|
|Larry Romans||Laurrie Bullock|
|Elvira Casal||Tom Christenbery|
|David Frese||Eva Close|
|Barbara Coe||Maryda Colowick|
|Mary Hinton||Kathleen Matthews|
|Suzanne Potter||Carl Gebuhr|
|Fran Gebuhr||Ninez Giles|
|Virginia Grantham||Terry Griffith|
|Jessie Van Volkenburgh||Gary Linn|
|Eric Schechter||Lillian Duncavage|
|Kathryn Trupin||Diana Page|
|Willis Perkins||Nancy Perkins|
|Bob Sanders||Pat Sanders|
|Gary Smithee||Oscar Touster|
|Eva Touster||Barbara Kurland|
Cc Barbara Bedingfield
Unitarian Universalist Extension Department Luther Kramer