Unitarian Universalist Association

By: Russell W. Lockwood

Type: General Entry

Published: 1976

Updated: February 1, 1996

Unitarianism has been defined as a belief in one God in one person as contrasted with one God in three persons and in the humanity rather than deity of Jesus. The name of Unitarians was originally used in Poland and Transylvania about 1600 and was later applied to English Presbyterians. Their teachings were transferred to about 125 old Puritan churches of New England. The American Unitarian Association was formed in 1825. In 1900 it was instrumental in organizing the International Association of Liberal Christian and Religious Freedom-a group of fifty liberal religious bodies. There were two Unitarian churches in Texas in 1906 and three by 1926. The three Unitarian churches in Texas in 1950 were at San Antonio, Dallas, and Houston. In 1961 the Unitarian Universalist Association was formed as a result of a merger of the American Unitarian Association and the Universalist Church of America. Historically, the Unitarian concept of one God stood in contradistinction to the generally accepted Trinitarian view of God in three persons. The rejection of the divinity of Jesus followed naturally, and it was supplanted by the recognition of the importance of the basic strengths and values of the man Jesus and of all men. The Universalists historically spoke against the predestination theory and affirmed their faith in the power of love. For over a century both groups have run parallel courses and have shared common concerns. In this country much of the early growth of the two denominations was closely connected to the transcendentalist movement of the early nineteenth century in the New England area. In 1906 the two Unitarian churches in Texas had 118 members. After World War II much growth was evidenced by the establishment of what is called the "fellowship movement." Lay-led groups were formed in a number of cities and towns. In 1973 there were sixteen churches and eighteen fellowships in Texas with a combined membership of 3,571. In 1990 the association had a membership of 4,440.

  • Religion
  • Unitarian

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Russell W. Lockwood, “Unitarian Universalist Association,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 01, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/unitarian-universalist-association.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

February 1, 1996