Notes written on Fellowship History by Jesse B.Coon


There may be misspellings due to error in translating handwriting.


May, 1983

Our fellowship was formally organized in 1956 under the leadership of Richard and Georgine Tarble, and Billy and Betty Thomas. They were Unitarians before becoming associated with the Department of Oceanography and meteorology at Texas A&M. They talked up the idea of forming a Fellowship among the members of their department and began to have informal meetings in their homes.


Horace Westwood, minister of the First Unitarian Church of Houston, officiated at the formal organization of the Fellowship. Our fellowship was at a low ebb in the early around 1960 when attendance often fell to 6 or 8. This was the time that the Rakoffs began to attend.


63-64

While meeting at the Hillel Foundation, we had Reverend Brand Lovely, minister of the Austin Unitarian Church speak to our group once a month. The group had a high regard for him. Also our program chairman, Ed Doran arranged interesting speakers. The attendance built up to 25 or so.


During this period Mary Rakoff was looking around town for a permanent home for our fellowship. Her search was answered when Earl Veyey, who had joined our group and made us an offer. He had been on the board of the First Christian Church, which had closed its doors. The board was stuck with making payments on their property.


Mr. Veyey offered as the building and the associated property, provided we would pick up the yearly payments of $2800. This seemed steep tо a group whose yearly budget had been $800 or so.


At a business meeting to consider this offer the group was not confident that they could undertake the financial burden. However, under the vigorous urging of Reverend Lovely, the group made an average pledge of about $100 per year and decided to take the plunge.


At that time the Fellowship was incorporated under the name "The Unitarian Fellowship," and the building, our present main Hall, was dedicated on Sunday, November 22, 1964.

When we moved into our own building, there was a burst of enthusiasm and we had no trouble meeting expenses. We would merely hand out pledge cards at our annual business meetings.


Henry Raboff was our first president in our newly acquired building. He promoted our first set of bylaws. The bylaws committee and the fellowship as a whole spent a considerable amount of time, effort, and pain discussing the bylaws.


We were able to afford to bring in a minister 6 or 8 times a year

from Houston or Dallas.


The building retained the aluminum cross mounted on the Welborn Road end. It was about 1970 when the unconventional element of the fellowship

brought it to a vote, and the сross was taken down. In the early 70’s our attendance fell to 15 or 20 at the Sunday meetings.


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