Sunday, December 24, 2006

Southern Illinois U and U history website

Is like the website I would like to do (and indeed started using one of Scott Wells then unused websites) - One of the advantages of a website instead of a book (even one like REBELLION IN THE MOUNTAINS: THE STORY OF UNIVERSALISM AND UNITARIANISM IN VERMONT (1976) Edith Fox McDonald is that corrections can continue to be added as they are found.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Back to Basics

Ok, it's back to basics on this blog -
This is now a history blog and will remain so.
The exceptions will be pictures of current southern Universalist Churches (and maybe some universalist Churches) and maybe items of interest to folks interested in southern Universalist history.

I have lots of items to tel: what famous southern writer had an Uncle who was a Universalist - and maybe an Unitarian - minister? which famous dogs were breed by an Universalist minister? What other old southern school was founded by an Universalist minister? What southern Universalist minister was a private in the Confederate army and what southern Universalist minister was a Lieutant? What southern Universalist minister was a Chaplin in the confederate army? (hint: he wasnt an Universalist then!) Which southern Universalist ministers became Spirtualists? What famous southern small town was founded mainly by Universalists?

The non-history material will be moving over to

as I try to tidy my blogs and my life!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

I reccomend "my bad month" to all of my friends....

"I Reccomend 'my bad month' to all of my friends.."

is what some rejected comment stated, and his friends apparently had websites dealing with loans, bedroom supplies, drugs, and more loans.

as for me, Im starting to recover......

Thursday, November 23, 2006

My bad month

Two weeks ago, a member of our tiny UU Congregation died, and his wife
asked me to do the funeral and eulogy - with my wife, Sharon,'s help I
did so
We discovered that Sharon's father was in the hospital in Thailand,
prognosis unknown (he is still in the hospital, prognosis better)
A friend emailed me telling me that he was dying and asking me to take
over one of his projects.

last week, my car was damaged in the undercarriage to the tune of
$2000 - the adjuster still hasnt been to see it - I live in an area
with no mass transit, so ive been getting a ride to work, eating
lunch in the office, and walking home at night.

Wednesday my mother didnt answer her phone, so we went down and
discovered she had had a massive stroke - prognosis still not good.

Today - I recieved an email that my friend had died earlier today of
a heart attack

I am sending this out, not because Im looking for sympathy; Indeed as
I read this I'm thinking of a a sermon by Rev Tutlle of Minneapolis
in the 1890s, where he quoted a sick man who said "I cant complain -
of my 53 years, I had 50 of excellent health".
Instead I am just thinking out loud about the fraility of life and the
importance of compassion and love. Of focusing on what is important
and not on what is not. Of not complaing when we could be celebrating

(and of course on living wills, and wondering who should get my
collection of Universalist and UU books!)

best wishes to all
Steven R

Friday, November 17, 2006

D. B. Clayton top of the pops!

ok, go to this website

and go down to biography - and what do you see?

wow! how's that!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Florence SC Us, Us, and UUs

Sometimes it's interesting to look at a particular location and see how so-called liberal religion takes hold (or doesn't) in a location.

Florence SC was a railroad town, founded as a station on the Manchester - Wilmington Railroad in the 1850s and named after the Railroad president's daughter. During the war, there was a prisoner of war camp there, and then after the war, a National cemetery for the soldiers who died there, and then other veterans (I note at least one chalice on the grave in the old cemetery). Henry Timrod (who probably didn't inspire Bob Dylan after all) taught school nearby.
Into the early 20th Century, Florence became a hub of transportation, partially due to it's being midway between New York City and Miami. First railroad (and before sleeper cars, they stopped at the hotels in Florence) and then highways, and now interstates.

While it is probable that D. B. Clayton did some preaching in Florence, (particuarly when he lived 30 miles away in Cash's Depot); I have yet no evidence of that.

Thanks to recent detective work by Carol Simmons, we do know that the treasurer of the North Carolina Universalist Convention, Inc. in the mid 1930s lived in Florence SC.

In 1961 and 1962, there was a short lived Unitarian Fellowship of Florence; with members in Marion and Florence. The timing is the same when the AUA was making a big effort to start Fellowships and Churches throughout the south - with surrport of money and leadership. Some of the Churches made it (in SC, like Clemson and Columbia), many did not - having got trapped in the tension of race and outsiders and politics ).

In the mid 1980s, another fellowship was started in the Florence area. I think it ran until about 1988. From what I recall it was under the leadership of a College Professor at Coker College in Hartsville, SC.

In 2001, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Florence was founded by a couple who after a couple of years, moved to Fayetteville - and started a UU church there.
After almost 6 years, the UUCF is still alive, if small.

The mid 1930s UCoNCi treasurer and the 1961/2 congregation are pieces of the Florence puzzle that I found out within the past week! Not much significance in the big picture, but an interesting light in the little picture!

(and yes i will cross post this on the UUCF blog too, what ya expect?)

Friday, November 10, 2006

- In Memoriam

It says right there in my blog profile, that I am not a minister.
But I do give sermons and UU lectures - and this weekend, I take the sad step of officating at a funeral....
I've been asked by the family and how could I refuse. I've also been asked to say something about the kind of man he was, and how could I refuse.... but it's breaking my heart and making me cry. How do real ministers do this on a regular basis?

I know what the family wants and I and my wife will try to help them as best we can.
We looked at songs, we looked at readings, we got quiche and cookies.

... but this is my blog and I can do what I want here - this isnt the history of Universalism in the South, but today this is now one man joining history, one man who's love of life and optimism kept us going, one tiny congregation getting even smaller...and since this is my blog, I can write words to comfort me - and I will.

"Love Never Ends" there is no need for me to type in all of this beatiful words attributed to Paul, because that's what it comes down to - Love Never Ends. Love is all conquering, and there is no foe it will not subdue. Love never lets go.
When we face the overwhelming pain of grief and sorrow, we need to remember that Love Never Ends. amen

Saturday, October 28, 2006

from 1923 address....

"Sometimes I fear we fail fully to realize the conditions of many in our rural and small-town churches. We assemble in some fine church in a big city and from velvet cushions and gilded pews study the problems of the Church at large. Yonder in the background, quite beyond the range of our vision, are the poor, struggling congregations, burdened by debt, and with failing numbers, in hostile communities where the very name Universalist is anathema. Then, too, there are the scattered Universalists, hundreds of miles from their nearest fellows, no State Convention, no support from without, no fellowship even with kindred souls. For these, especially in the South and West, Universalism is a hard religion, and those who persist and carry on are the real heroes of the faith. I appeal to you in comfortable, united and prosperous congregations not to forget those less favored churches and church members."

- from Universalist General Convention President Roger S. Galer address
to the Universalist General Convention October 25, 1923

I first started to quote this because I was thinking of using "For these, especially in the South and West, Universalism is a hard religion, and those who persist and carry on are the real heroes of the faith." as a subhead for this blog - and I still might -- but then as I thought of it, particuarly the isolated Universalist, I thought ya know this is why God invented the internet......

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

UUCF Revival: Universalism - God's Reviving Grace

Theme: Universalism: God's Reviving Grace

When: Nov. 2-5, 2006 (full time and one-day registrations available)
Where: Fourth Universalist Society, 160 Central Park West at 76th St.,
( .
Who: UU Christians, UUs of any theological orientation, Christians of
different traditions, and all who are interested in a spirited engagement of the
heart and mind.
Keynoters: Professor and author Dr. Gary Dorrien lecturing Saturday, Nov.
4th, at 10:30 a.m. on "Liberal Theology Today: Crisis and Renewal in
Progressive Religion" and Pastor and Author Jim Mulholland lecturing Friday morning,
Nov. 3 at 10:30 a.m. on "Resisting Good News."
Schedule also includes:
Opening Worship, Thursday, Nov. 2, 7 p.m. led by Kim Hampton of St. Louis
Friday morning Nov. 3, Taize Service, 9 a.m. led by Chris Walton, editor of
UU World
Saturday morning Nov. 4 Communion Service, 9 a.m. led by Rev. Jeffrey Lane
Gould of Wilmslow, England
Saturday afternoon, Nov. 4, Prayer and Healing Service, 5 p.m. led by Rev.
Peter Boulatta of Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.
Sunday Morning Nov. 5 Worship, 10:45 a.m. led by Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt
Workshops on Talkback with the Keynote Lecturers; UU Christianity, the UUCF,
church history, art, music, Small Groups, Sacred Poetry, led by Gary
Dorrien, Jim Mulholland, Tom Schade, Tim Jensen, Barbara Gadon, Dave Dawson, Suzanne
Small groups for more intimate conversation and focused bible study.
Socializing out in Manhattan together in the evenings.
Friday evening Catered Meal and Program.

Lodging Possibilities listed on the website:

Fees: Full time Adult $150. Full Time Under 18 $100. One-Day Adult $100.
One-Day Under 18 $50. Seminarians and Young Adults (under 35) Full Time $75 One
Day $50.

Thanks and blessings,
Rev. Ron Robinson

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Real 1870s Story: the correction

"A Clerical Humorist

A friend relates to us the following anecdote: -
"Stopping over Sunday with a brother minister in New Hampshire, who lives near the Connecticut River, and being ourself a clergyman, we were naturally invited to preach for him. Just before the sermon, he said to us it was their custom to close with the Lord's Prayer, and as he should have a notice to give he would attend to the closing of the meeting. At the conclusion of the sermon we stepped aside and the pastor entered the desk and said: "Next Sunday I shall exchange pulpits with Brother B, of S., and, as congregations generally like to know something of strange ministers that they are to hear, I will say that Brother B is called the handsomest man in the State of Vermont. Let us pray". The oddity and ludicrousness of the remark about his Brother B. so distracted our thoughts that we could not command our attention in season to engage in the prayer that followed."

If Brother B. of S, Vermont was Universalist, it would be B. M. Tillotson of St, Johnsbury, Vermont.

Story from the Universalist Register 1875, written by one of the Rev. Skinner(s).

So, now that I ran the real story; anybody got a picture of the Rev Tillotson so we can see if he was indeed the best looking guy in the state of Vermont.

blogging and 1870s story

I was going to post this below mild story on another blog - but that blog just removed commenting and their email address -- and now only allow "team members" to post. Not sure if this is just a response to an abusive poster (my guess) or a temporary accident or what. But it does explain why everyone of my blogs in now comment moderated.

and as soon as I post a non-history stuff, I hear about the possiblity of linkage of various history sites and blogs -- so now I have to figure if I want to continue to add non-history universalism stuff to this blog or not... hmmm


you might then (or might not) appreciate this story - taken from an 1870s Universalist publication.

The preacher told us that the Church always ended with the Lords Prayer, and that he gave annoucements right before that. So after the sermon, he got to the annouements and said "Next week, the pulpit will be supplied by Rev Skinner. I know that most of you want to know a little bit about a strange pastor, so I'll say that he has been called the best looking pastor in Maine....." Needless to say after annoucement, we didnt pay as much attention as we should have to the prayer.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Universalists and Universalism thoughts - non-history

I talked to someone today who's daughter died this week - and the parent had to make a decision about continual lifesurport....
lots of problems in their relationship, and she died as a result of her troubles. Her lifestyle was extemely unhealtful and as everyone told her, it would kill her, which of course it did. I could go on describing how wretched she had made herself in the name of what she thought was happiness. I listen to a griving parent who sacrificed time, money, energy, peace of mind, for a child that never said "I love you".....
"Why did" i was asked "she have to die?"

That's the question ministers are asked, but Im no minister - when it's a parent of a young woman, aasking about the death of the mother of a 6 year old child, it's more heart rendering too....
... I was able to bring some relief....

To bring the title of this thought to the topic, I thought of Universalism and Universalists, and why I am an Universalist.
One of the basic tennets (as I understand it) is that God is Love, and that to do wrong (ie: sin) is to suffer from not being with God. This woman (who I knew for years before I knew her parent) was definately doing wrong, and I certainly feel she was suffering for years. I can not speak with authority, I can only speak my heart -- that parent loved their child with all their heart, and stuck with her as best they could, and would God do less that that? and after trying for 26 years, would God then shrug and punish her for 26,000 plus years? That's the classic Universalist question, to which the Us would say a stong "No!". There is just punishement for doing wrong (sin), but just punishement is just that: just.
Would God punish the parent for the sins of the child? Some folks actually believe God would, and certainly that parent is suffering now as well...but to suffer for their child through all eternity?

I didnt mention Universalism to this parent, but I did attempt to give them "Not Hell, but Hope and Courage".

I dont usually offer much non-history here, Im not a minister, nor claim to be...nor a theologian,
I do see human suffering on a daily basis, so I certainly see the need for the Hope, Charity, Kindness, Love... and the need for Universalists of any denomination....

Universalists in Charleston - part B

Jehovah's Fitness wrote inquiring about Universalists in Charleston...
- see

for what I know on the Charleston Universalists.

I also previously on this blog wrote a blurb about the missing "No-Hell cemetery" in Charleston.

however, recently I read in the Charleston Geanological society newsletter than a new "old" cemetery was found there this year (2006), and I wondered if this might the Universalist cemetery. As far as I know Shecut's (who is historically important in SC history) - gravesite is unknown.
your question awakens me to the fact that they are not listed in the 1846 or 1850 Universalist Companion. I don't have any of the earliest issues - but if Rev Case was there until 1844, and Rev Newell in the 1850s, why isn't it in the Register?

Maxey B. Newell (1807 - 1868)
born Ma, in Ma in 1840,in Norfork Va from 1840 - 1844, in Rhode Island 1845, 1849, Vermont 1868. (dates may be wrong) - but does have time to be in Charleston in the 1850s. Fisk made the papers quite a bit when he was there, quite a rebel rouser (and left the ministry to become a professional rebel rouser).
nor do I have access to anything that might give a clue as to who besides Shecut was a member.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

S. M. Simons (1817 -1893)

The Rev S. M. Simons was the puzzle in my search for pre-Civil War Universalist ministers. I've been unable to find out a thing about him, he wasn't mentioned in Father Clayton's autobiography - he wasn't famous like N. P. Walker or J. A. Chapman; or a writer and circuit rider like Allen Fuller - and unlike J. Mullikin, he wasn't even in the census ....

While actually, he was in the census.... But between Census takers getting his name wrong and Universalist Almanac getting his name in a non-traditional spelling, I couldn't find him. Earlier this week, I found his full name, his burial site, and a beginning of information about him.

Silas Milton Simons (1817-1893) was born in South Carolina and spent most of his life in what is now Aiken County (it had been both Lexington and Orangeburg County while he was there), near Black Creek and Steedman's. He, like so many southerners, went by his middle name. His wife was Susan Simons. In 1843, he was ordained an Universalist minister. He maintained those work until his death in 1893. Sometime between 1881 and 1888, he and his family and sons and daughters moved to Ramsey, Arkansas. Where he is burred in a family cemetery.
After his death, some tragedy (I assume viral) took the life of his two sons and a daughter in just a week in 1913.

At this time, I don't know what kind of person Rev Simons was. The 1880 census has him listed as a farmer (not surprising, all ministers living on a farm in SC are listed in that census as farmers); I don't know is doctrine, or his passions, I don't know what sort of person he was. But I do know he preached and believed in the Universal Reconciliation of man and God. And he preached that in rural South Carolina for 40 years.
Today inbetween Steedman and the Black Creek is the ( a small u) universalist Pauline Church of Christ. While I have no idea how much their other beliefs and the Rev Simons beliefs coincide, and I don't want to suggest that Simons had anything to do with their church - other than to say that he helped tilled the soil that they are now weeding. And I suspect that Rev Simons would be appreciative of knowing that preaching of God's eventual reconciliation with all mankind continues in his backyard.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Universalist Miscellany 1843

Because of family emergencies, I wasnt able to sit down with Rogers book and an atlas,
this weekend....

so instead, Southern Universalism taken from the Universalist Miscellany July 1843- June 1844. Rev Otis Skinner and E. H. Chapin, co-editors
Chapin had been minister in Richmond Virginia.

#1 July 1843
"Experimental Proof the Highest Evidence for the Truth of Christianity" (E. H. Chapin)

#5 November 1843
United States Convention of Universalists. met in Akron Ohio, in September 1843.
Rev. E. M.Pringree of kentucky, asst Clerk
"resolved that this Convention does not recognize, but diapproves any test of fellowhip in our denomination, or a fitness for a seat in our councils, other than those founded on christian faith and characther, and established by Chirst and his apostles."
(this is response to a vote last session that it is improper for persons who drink alchol to be a delegate). also passed a motion that slave owners re-consider the policy of bondage. Next convention to be in Baltimore in September of 1844.
George Rogers was a deligate from Ohio. E. M. Pingree and A.W. Bruce representing Kentucky.

#8 Febuary 1844
"Dissertation on the Word Gehenna (L. Willis) currently in Mass, later Charleston

#9 March 1844
"The Father Seen In the Son" (E. M. Pingree)
"Christ and the Woman of Samaria" (E. H. Chapin)

#11 May 1844
"Human Nature" (E. H Chapin)

not alot, but next volume (1844-5) contains lists of new ministers and new churches.

Friday, September 29, 2006

George Rogers (1804-1846) part 1 - the biography

George Rogers 1804-1846

died young, 42 is very young to those of us over that age.
short with a high pitched voice.

Born in the United Kingdom, came with his grandmother to the United States in 1818.
spent some time in orphanages in Philadelphia -
in the 1820s, he moved up and down the Atlantic coastline as a traveling non-denominational minister. Around 1829, his studies of the Bible convinced him that the trinity was un-Biblical, that Christ's mission was to reconcile man with God (and not God with man). He became an Universalist in 1830, and began preaching in Philadelphia, Brooklyn, and parts north. He was fellowshiped in 1831, and ordained in 1832. In 1834, he was the first Universalist minister in Pittsburgh, and returning in 1835, he organized an Universalist society, and helped them get a minister.
He moved himself, his wife and child to Cincinnati in 1836, and that remained his base until his death. He became the editor for the local Universalist paper, Sentinel and Star in the West. However he continued to spend most of his time on the road (or on the river). He made at least 6 missionary trips to the midsouth
By 1841, his problems with arthritis worsened. He continued to travel, going north to Maine and Upper Canada, south to New Orleans, east to the Atlantic Ocean, west to Iowa. There were only three states he didn't preach in (the Carolinas and Vermont).

Pros and Cons of Universalism 1838, 4 printings, 5,000 copies
Memoranda 1845
Universalist Hymn Book 1842 (at least 2 later printings)

this is based on Russell E. Miller's THE LARGER HOPE
part 2 of this will be based on memoranda itself and Roger's southern journeys.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

UUCF Universalism issue

The Unitarian Universalist Christian
published by the Unitarian Universalist Christian Fellowship has a special issue on Universalism.

Mark W. Harris does a real good article on "Hosea Ballou's TREATISE at 200"
Peter Hughes points out some historical problems in the Chronology of early New England Universalism -
Ernest Cassara has an article on Universalism in the American Experience
Duke Gray looks at What Does the Scripture say about Universal Salvation
Alan Seaburg visits Crane Theological School
and some book reviews

To expand slightly on what I say above, I find Mark giving me, what I feel a very clear understanding of what Ballou has to say - about his loving Calvinist God. He hasnt quite gotten me to be a Calvinist, but Im more likey to not think of it as a dirty word.

If you send $50, you can join the UUCF, it even says right here on this publication that copies are $50, but Rev Ron Robinson says that folks reading this blog can get a copy for $18.
Send to Unitarian Universalist Christian Fellowship ; P.O. box 6702, Turley, Ok 74156

if you're in the Turley area, you can check out Rev Robinson's home church
see the website at

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Shelter Neck work day this weekend

Shelter Neck Unitarian Universalist Camp (formerly an Unitarian School and an Universalist Camp), located near Wilmington NC; is having a Work Day this weekend - if interested, drop me a line, and I will send you the email address of the person to contact. If you cant go this weekend, but would like to keep up with Shelter Neck, check out their home page at . This photo is from their last work day and (c) 2006 Andy Wasilewski.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

John Stancill - part 2

"The First preacher of Universalism of whom we have heard of in North Carolina, was Mr. John Stansel, of Johnstone County. He had been a preacher in some other denomination; but about thirty- two or three years ago, he changed his sentiments and became an Universalist, or Hell Redemptionist as he was called. He retained his views until the hour of his death, and died regretting that he could leave no one behind him to follow up the work. About the same time, although unknown to Mr. Stansel, there was an Universalist preacher lower down in the state, by the name of Tatum.


The Modern History of Universalism: From the Era of the Reformation to the Present TimeBy Thomas Whittemore
(1830) published by Whittemore, Boston, MA

Friday, September 08, 2006

Newspaper Archives via Google - Clayton

As someone else has noticed, besides Google Books - there is Google News Archives,
giving us 1-2 sentence news items from the past.

to whet our appetites:

Atlanta constitution (and also run in Fort Wayne Weekly sentential)
April 14, 1895
"D. B. Clayton, one of the oldest ministers in the Country, of Columbia, SC, arrived in the city yesterday, and will preach at the Knights of Pythias Hall on...."

Atlanta constitution
September 12, 1897 somehow mentions D. B. Clayton and Thomas Chapman and convention.
the Georgia Universalist Convention?

A lot more on one of Clayton's son - a SC politician -- to be a SC politician back then, was to be an Episcopalian - so I guess I cant mention him here, right? Even though he was advocating on Feb 18, 1895 mixing cotton seed meal and corn meal as food for humans.......
No wonder his dead headed for Georgia as soon as the weather warmed!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Stuff I Wonder about

I wonder if Sherrif -Constable J. L. (Leonard) McGowin (McGowan) - who shot "Railroad Bill" in Atmore, Alabama in 1896 was a member of the Universalist McGowans.... Unless somebody pops up and answers this, it will be awhile before I start sorting the McGowans...... but the location seems right for the family.
(and if you dont know the song, I'd wonder how you managed.... ride railroad bill)

Another guy I wondered about, and I hope to have an answer sometime - is a rather famous SC native, who founded what is now a state surported school, who always went by "Rev" on the school's website. I see that back in the 185os, he is mentioned in the Universalist Register as an Universalist minister. Clayton mentions him in his book, as a boyhood friend and a small u universalist, but not as an Universalist minister. The school's website and other historic sites doesnt list his denomination. Hmmm. If he indeed was an universalist minister, this is another lasting contribution to southern history by a southern universalist.

I had someone (well the UUCF) mention my blog, but hinting i did a bit more theology on the blog than I do; should I add more theology? either Southern or not? historical or not?

I note I now get more LWMA searchers than anything else, should I talk more about them?
- add grin here -

Steven R

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

More "What I've been up to"

Back on August 13th, I played tourist by going up to Greensboro NC (as some of you with long memories know) - I went to the nearby Battle of Almanace battlefield. This 1771 battle was the upcountry settlers against the Costal British "taxation without represntation" Government. My wife had ancestors who apparently were involved in the pre-Battle attacks on the land speculators in German central North Carolina, and she also had ancestors on the pro-British squash them flat military side. The Teagues also were on the list of folks not granted a pardon, and they quickly moved down to SC, where some of them eventually became Universalists. I found it interesting that one of the leaders of the NC Regulators (who was not at the battle being a Quaker), Herman Husbands, moved back to Pa, and was later envolved in the Whiskey Rebellion. Not Universalist connected - but sill of interest. i noticed that there is alot of Friends in the eastern North Carolina area where Universalists also flourished - worth looking into.
We also looked at the battle of Guilford's Courthouse, and atteneded First Day Service at the NewGarden meeting House. And of course wondered around the tombstones. I suspect I'll need to know more about Lutherans and Morivans and other German of the Carolinas - the more you know, the more you need to find out....

More "What I've been up to"

Back on August 13th, I played tourist by going up to Greensboro NC (as some of you with long memories know) - I went to the nearby Battle of Almanace battlefield. This 1771 battle was the upcountry settlers against the Costal British "taxation without represntation" Government. My wife had ancestors who apparently were involved in the pre-Battle attacks on the land speculators in German central North Carolina, and she also had ancestors on the pro-British squash them flat military side. The Teagues also were on the list of folks not granted a pardon, and they quickly moved down to SC, where some of them eventually became Universalists. I found it interesting that one of the leaders of the NC Regulators (who was not at the battle being a Quaker), Herman Husbands, moved back to Pa, and was later envolved in the Whiskey Rebellion. Not Universalist connected - but sill of interest. i noticed that there is alot of Friends in the eastern North Carolina area where Universalists also flourished - worth looking into.
We also looked at the battle of Guilford's Courthouse, and atteneded First Day Service at the NewGarden meeting House. And of course wondered around the tombstones. I suspect I'll need to know more about Lutherans and Morivans and other German of the Carolinas - the more you know, the more you need to find out....

Sunday, August 06, 2006

John Stancill

John Stancill ( -1795) was one of the first known preachers of universalist restoration in North Carolina. He was an elder in the Baptist Church, and preached from the 1760s to 1790s. Variant spelling of his name is " Stansel/Stancil/StansalIs ". If that's all you want to know, you can stop there. Either he or his parents were born in Maryland. He was a elder in the Flat Swamp Baptist Church - which is near the border of modern Martin and Pitt county in North Carolina. (the county line changed so its not in the county now it was then). This church is roughly ten miles north of the present Greenville NC. It's my understanding that the church still remains as of 2002. In the upheavals of the Baptist Church in the 1830s - Flat Swamp sided with the Primitive Baptists (also known as Old School Baptist). The Primitive Baptists did not have "clergy" but Elders. The below from 'the History of the Church of God"(1886) by Cushing Biggs Haskell and Sylvester Haskell - concerning the Flat Swamp church. "In the beginning, however, of the year 1776, this church was constituted, ...And at the same time John Page, one of her members,was ordained to the administration of gospel ordinances. Elder Page took the pastoral care of the church, and labored with great zeal and success......1795. Some time previous to this the church had experienced great difficulties; as the love of many began to wax cold, it gave an opportunity for the enemy of souls to sow seeds of discord among them. The church seemed to go down to ebb tide, while errors were spreading and extending in the doctrines of Arminianism and Universalism. There were no ingatherings for several years, and the Lord was pleased to call their pastor to his rest in 1795; and although there had been raised up in this church several preachers,yet at this time she was entirely destitute of ministerial gifts. In this destitute situation she raised her cries to the Lord to sendforth laborers, and to raise up one to go in and out before her. In answer to these cries, it appears the Lord was pleased to send her Elder Joseph Biggs, who had been lately received a member at Skewarkey. The church gave him a call to take the pastoral care in February, 1796, but according to his request ordination was deferred until February, 1797. The church being in a cold state and abounding with disorders, there were no additions, many excommunications, very little decorum, and conferences thinly attended. Often did her young pastor sit in conference with only seven or eight members. "(for what it's worth, one of my relatives had ordained Elder Biggs). From Vol. 1 of THE LARGER HOPE: The First Century of the Universalist Church in America, 1770-1870 by Russell Miller on page 758 in a section titled North Carolina: "Two Dunkards, John Ham and John Stanstel, were responsible for the first Universalist preaching in the years between 1780 and 1800 in eastern North Carolina, where most of the earliest Universalist societies in the state were organized. ( from Jacob Frieze,"History of Universalism in North Carolina," Universalist Magazine 9 (11 August 1827): 30-31, reproduced from the Liberalist (Wilmington, NorthCarolina). Also "At the meeting of the Kehukee Baptist Association in Halifax County in 1790, three elders were appointed to visit the Flat Swamp church ... to investigate the theological damage done by "a certain John Stansill," who was propagating the doctrine of Universal Restoration." As for Stancill being a Dunker - well, I don't believe he was a GermanDunker -however I'm still trying to figure out English Dunkers in the Carolinas! The Dunkers (aka as Tunkers, German Baptist Brethren andcurrently Church of the Brethren) in South Carolina and some in central North Carolina did all become Universalist in theology in the 1790s - and Universalist Churches by the 1820s.... anybody know anything else?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Lyman Ward Military Academy - southern Universalist Heritage

yes, the Lyman Ward Military Academy
is the most solid southern Universalist Heritage remaining.

Universalists allowed for freedom of individual conscience - and that means freedom to believe and object to war on religious grounds and freedom to serve in the military. Southern Universalists often picked the last freedom - the freedom to serve. From Rev Giles Chapman who served in the Revolution, to Rev Strain who served in both the Mexican and Civil War, to Rev Clayton who served in the Civil War, to a modern family who proudly has 4 generations to be career military, yet Universalists. Plenty of northern Universalists (and Unitarians) also served in the military - and even Unitarian Universalists, not that long ago as US Secretary of Defence.

While I dont know what Rev Ward's feelings would be toward the military aspect of his school - I do know that he would strongly be glad to be associated with the education and the teaching of self-discipline that would enable young people (in the current school, that is young men) to grow and learn - to be able to chose what direction they want their life to be. He stated "We help deserving youth to help themselves."

In the alumni website
there are rememberances of the old SOUTHERN INDUSTRIAL INSTITUTE,
with the "God is Love" plaque in Goodwill Hall.

the list of Universalist family names in the alumni and board section: McGowin, Ross, Langley, Weed, Foshee, Simmons, Teague, Canfield, Clapp, Rasnake, Chapman, Coleman, Herrighton, Strain......

I'm sure the modern Lyman Ward Military Academy doesn't have enough Universalist Heritage to satisfy myself - how could it? It was a non-secreterian school from the begining -- but it still remains a most powerful reminder of the Universalist commitment to "make it possible for earnest industrious youth to win an education and to learn to lift instead of to lean."

What I've been up to...

I have been working on southern Universalist history, but instead of posting it here, I've been helping folks with their projects.... 1) southern Universalist Spirtualists - I found two they didn't know about. 2) Universalism in Washington County, Georgia. I found some things that the person doing the work didn't know - but they knew a lot more than I, and had done some great research! I certainly have no qualms about printing my own research - and have permission to quote from #2, but since they both might be publishing projects, so I won't for right now. I've been doing some more looking at the father and son team of southern ministers. I also refreshed my memory on what is the longest lasting non-theological achievement of Southern Universalism -- and since this achievement has a webpage, it is probably the easiest way for folks to hear that Universalists were indeed in the south! I'm not going to say what this achievement is - yet - although I will give a few clues by saying that some modern UUs will be offended by the whole idea of being affiliated with it, even historically! Not enough hints, but if you know what it is, you will know why that is so true - and if you know the old southern psyche, then you know why it is such a fitting fit. Any guesses?

Monday, July 24, 2006

Saluda SC and Brewton Al

Not that I can tie in Saluda SC and Brewton Al Universalist Church(es) - but I was thinking of both yesterday and today.

Someone was telling me yesterday that they were in the Saluda SC church building 20-25 years ago, and was able to see stars that had been painted on the interior roof of the church. They asked me if that was common in Universalist Churches - I dont think so...

At one time, the Brewton Alabama Universalist Church was one of the largest in the south. In the 1950s Rev. Richard W. Knost had his radio show "Universalist Hour" broadcast from there. Not sure when the church ended - but the building is currently housing the
Cornestone Community Church of God. Families would be McGowan, Miller, etc.

Monday, July 17, 2006


In the mail today was a copy of VOICES OF THE FAITH: A BIRTHDAY BOOK, by J. W. Hanson.
"Containing a selection for Every Day of the Year from Writers expressing the Universalist Faith"
(4th edition 1891)

so like most folk I checked my birthday ( in my case it's August 13) and much to my surprise.
it's a quote by Rev. D. B. Clayton

"An important work will be done toward the saving of this word and the saving of every soul in it, when intemperance and licentiousness and gambling, and all forms of oppression, and all other great moral evils, are done away. Every dram-shop, every gambling hall, every all of intemperance, or gambling, or licentousness that exists, is a force working against the cause of universal salvation; and the degree that we give it any countenance or support we are woking against the will of God. When we profess belief in the final salvation of all; when we declare it to be God's will, and then give countenance to, or fail to contend against, anything that corrupts morals, or deadens spirtual life - is there any greater impiety than that?"

Friday, July 14, 2006

"Who knows where the time goes"

I see it's been a full month since I posted here - doesnt seem that long...

been on the road some of those times (two weekends in Raleigh for family buisness - and yes my nephew will be going to Guillford College - a College associated with the Society of Friends. And No, I wont be having him do research for me on those Teagues and other SC Friends who became Universalists.

I've also been having to work ! And to be honest, the sort of work I do can be draining
(yeah, yeah, I know - isnt that why they call it work instead of play?)

But I havent been totaly forgetting southern Universalist history -
- I recently read "We Would be One: A History of Unitarian Universalist Youth Movements" which i will mention later the various southern universalist parts -

Im currently reading the "Procedings of the Universalist Centennial .... 1870"
There is a report from a distant relative (about her Sunday School), Mrs Outlaw refuses to be discouarged - thank goodness. And yes, I will quote here.

I continue with my other interests, done a lot of work for a tribute to artist Al Hartley, and a tribute to editor / writer Richard Hughes just reprinted, has inserted a credit for work i did 20 years ago, and never recieved credit for. i continue to visit revolutionary war sites in the Carolinas (there are well over 200 in SC alone, so i dont really expect to get to all of them).

Lastly, I honor my father-in-law by watching episodes of Maison Ikkoku -
(a mild joke that nobody will get - least of all him)

and did you know, it's hot in the south??
no wonder they drank alot of booze - and why the Universalists were temperance.....

best wishes all
steven r

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

half a sentance of a Clayton letter to the editor

ok, ok, ok, this is so minor "Much ado about Nothing" - that Im mentioning this here, so you can skip it - this is really misc - out of context - and frankly here only to remind me the next time I want to get eye strain by reading poor scratchy microfilm, what to look for. this is for those of us - ok me - who want to know everyword Clayton said ....

Ive read through microfilm issues of THE STATE looking for Clayton mentions (ok, i cheated with the exception of a year where it wasnt available, I read the microfilmed index first), but somehow I missed the below excerpt . Said excerpt taken in who knows what context from THE STATE and put in the 1982 book, MILL AND TOWN IN SOUTH CAROLINA 1890-1920, David L. Carlton, Louisana State University Press.

two comments before the quote; THE STATE quickly became the leading Columbia SC newspaper, but Clayton's son - Albert (A.W.) Clayton had owned an afternoon Columbia paper that was a competor to THE STATE. Another son, Virgil (V. P.) had been Postmaster of Columbia, an appointed political position. Virgil had various letters in THE STATE, where he defended himself (at one time THE STATE accused him of forcing postal employees of voting Republican), and offered political solutions
This before Albert went back to Feasterville area, and Virgil down to Charleston for a higher appointed political position

"The Revered D.B. Clayton complained in 1896, of the 'cupidity of lounging, loafing, lazy men.'"
June 7. 1896.

See I told you it was much ado --- we all know that lounging loafing lazy men are like that!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

C. F. R. Shehane

I wish I knew more about the Rev C. F. R. Shehane; but from what little I do know, Im glad I didnt KNOW C.F.R. Shehane.... but all I wanted to do today is to quote a blurb taken from the June 22, 1855 issue of the Vermont Patriot of Montpelier, Vt. I'm not sure I necessarily believe it, although I dont really doubt it was published! " UNIVERSALIST PREACHER FATHER SHEHANE - called by the people "the walking Bible". In an Alabama court it was discovered there was no Bible, so the judge had the jurors swear by placing their hands on the preacher."

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

More Rev Daniel B. Clayton Genealogical stuff

At the Universalist Convocation, I asked a question about Rev Daniel Clayton, and I was told (by someone, CS?) that I was the expert on Clayton! Hmm... i dont know if I would go that far, although I confess I do know some of the trivia ... Clayton had a great granddaughter who married a guy who pitched for the Brooklyn Dodgers!

Anyway, while Clayton and his second wife and two of his sons are burried in Columbia, SC;

In the Red Banks Cemetery in Red Banks, Mississippi
are burried

William Clayton (May 13, 1791-August 5, 1856)
Elizabeth Clayton (September 24, 1794-December 26, 1869)
this would be D,B,'s father and step-mother. At least I hope this is the step-mother.

also burried there
Rebecca B. Clayton (November 5, 1821 - September 7, 1847)
married November 5, 1839
yes, she married D. B. on her 18th birthday - died before her 26th.
He calls her the love of his life.
Sallie Clayton (died August 18, 1856, age 10 months)
the daughter of Clayton and his second wife Mary A.
Her formal name was Sarah, and she was born on October 18.

Other Claytons in the cemetary, I havent done research on D.B.'s half siblings and cousins.

universalist Convocation at Our Home Photos - part1

part 2 will be when I get the next reel finished!

Pictures from Canon Ga 2006

So I actually developed two rolls of film so far this year!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Rev Irwin Part 3

Her tombstone states

Oh, send me out to tell
the Nations of a Love
that bars no soul outside
That Heavenly Home above.

Clayton Memorial - Newberry - pictures part 2

More pictures from last summer

Clayton Memorial - Newberry

they have a new sign now: this is the old one.....

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Last current thoughts on Mississippi

I'm probably not going to post anymore on Mississippi, untill i get my pictures in (one set is at the developers, the others probably will have another 10 pictures to go....)

"Our Home Universalist Unitarian Church" is a wonderful name...
they had a timeline on the wall of important church events, and photographs of past ministers (and layleaders) - thus keeping their history alive to current and next generations. I wish I had copied the dates of ministers - especially since ive been trying to keep up with Rev Rasnake who was there (if my memory serves) from c1942 to his death in 1950.
I bought souvineers of course, t-shirts (on sale) and a cd-r of "Free Chruch of Jones", a bluegrass single recorded in 1983 by Papa Reece Owens (off an LP made at that time). Probably the only bluegrass UU Church song; certainly one of only a handful of UU church songs.
Went to Buruss Memorial , where the hurricane damage was worse than at Our Home - It looks as if there may be some structual damage inside. There was reports of vandalism, but I couldnt tell which was hurricane and which was vandal. We pulled out two Universalist books out of the boxes of books - one a copy of one of I. M. Atwood's contributions to the "Manuals and Faith and Duty" -- and the other, a copy of D.B. Clayton's "47 Years in the Universalist Ministry". I found it interesting that the cover binding was a different color than mine, and that there wasnt a photograph of Clayton as the frontpiece. Apparently there were two editions?

If you're in southwest Mississippi near I-59 on Sunday Morning at either Ellisville or Laurel; stop by "Our Home"! I suspect that you'll be glad you did.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

UC - Our Home, day 3

posted two days late....

buisness meeting in the AM, I am nominated to do the new UC mailing list

Morning church service even had the Pastor Rev Luck in tears of joy!

and a great lunch! afraid to weigh myself.....

after hours, we went to Burrus Memorial Church -

Saturday, May 06, 2006

UC - Our Home, day 2

Long day at the church - but a long great day!

Day starts with a service by the Rev. Derek Parker -
a wonderful preacher, and he would seem to be a wonderful minister....

Rev Gordon Gibson talked about Mississippi's own Judith S. Murray -

I attended the Rev. Doak Mansfield's talk on Social Justice, and how to do it - I confess to always enjoying hearing liberal southern preachers - the sound feels good! Heard some good ideas

There was a talk about Unitarians in southeast Europe and the hope for a Universalist future there.

Martha Thompson spoke about the UUSC

and last, but far from last: the dynamic Linda Foshee spoke on the history of Universalism in the deep south - lots of singing and slides! Very fun way to end a productive day.

(note that I didnt make any comment about the food..... or the fellowship ... I ran out of superlatives!)

Friday, May 05, 2006

Universalist Convocation at Our Home 2006

Our Home Universalist Unitarian Church in Ellisville Mississippi !

We made it to Laurel and Ellisville on Friday (spending much of the morning in Alabama at Moundville - touring the old mounds - built 1000 years ago)

Met the leaders of the Our Home Church, meet nice folks that I met last year - (Rich Kostner says the subscriptions of the Universalist Herald are up from last year !) Talking to some nice new folks --

Rev Lapoint wants to make sure we look for now and the future - as no one can live in the past --
Rev Chandler started his service by saying that seeing the picture of Daniel Bragg Clayton on the wall reminds him that Clayton used to preach for 3-4 hours and folks would love it -
-- I was wondering if he was trying to beat Clayton's record tonight.... Longest UU service I had ever attended, good thing that we ate before hand! My wife says she told me I should have had regular instead of decaf!

Tomorrow starts at 9 and runs to 8 or 9 - but lunch and dinner are on the schedule. and I will remember to nix on decaf!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Mississippi, you're on my mind....

Ok, Im off to Mississippi! and the Universalist Convocation!
got two days to get there - we're taking the scenic route!

reports from the UC, depend on net acess!

see ya!

Friday, April 28, 2006

Mobile Alabama 1846

Evangelical Magazine and Gospel Advocate
volume 17 #2 Utica, NY January 9, 1846

By a letter in a late number of the CHRISTIAN MESSENGER from Br. I. D. Williamson, we learn that he is again at Mobile preaching the gospel of universal grace to the people of the South; and on account of his state of health (an asthmatic complaint) will probably remain there. --The Church that his friends lately purchased and paid for was found to have a prior claim on it to that of the society of which it was purchased; and the "uncertain law" has decided that the claim is good. Hence our friends have got to pay for it AGAIN, before their title will be good. Well Br. W. says the money, some $3000 is mostly raised for the purpose, and thinks the Universalists will still secure by again buying the house. We hope so.

D.S. ((note: Rev. D. Skinner))

other notes: the Christian Messenger was a NYC paper -

Plans and other stuff

Ok, Ive been digesting alot of stuff recently, from Canon Ga ((it seems that Rev. J.M. Bower's older brother - 24 years older brother- a Church of Christ minister, was one of two voters in Georgia to vote for Abe Lincoln in 1860 - he credited his father with his thinking that way)) to re-reading the book on Unitarians in the pre-1860s south - which includes the two Unitarian -Universalist churches in Richmond and New Orleans, which led me to reading the Richmond part of the biography of one of the ministers there. Also a recent military history spends a couple pages talking about Marie Boozer (Feaster). The new Universalist Hearld came in. The Universalists had a church building in Mobile Al in the 1830s.

My plans eventually are to learn HTML coding, and put up a nice website (i have a free one from google - which is mostly blank), I then will have States and Churches and Ministers and Layity all nicely hyperlinked (does calling it hyperlinked show my age??) together, so that if someone clicks on Mobile, they get to see what I've dug up, and if they click on Rasnake (who's from Virginia and not SC by the way), they'll see what I've dug up.
The fact that I'll have to learn coding suggests how unlikely this is......
... but those are the plans

Monday, April 24, 2006

Marching Thorugh Georgia

Well this past weekend, we went to just west of Newnan Ga (between Atlanta and the Alabama line) to hear a memorial service by the SAR and the DAR to honor a relutionary ancestor of my wife. We were of course the only folks there from SC - although the guy from New Jersey did drive further - much further!
On the long drive back, we stoped by various historic sites closed due to blue laws - and then we get the idea of driving to Hart County Ga to the cemetary where the ancestor's wife is presumbly burried. Apparently, they took 1-85 from one side of Georgia to the other. With that idea, I immediately checked the internet and saw that the Canon Ga UU church was not having a service that Sunday, but since we would be driving nearby, we opted to drive past - for photo ops (pics when i get them developed, which seems to be only a yearly occasion).
I knew Canon Ga was going to be small, but i didnt know it was going to be that small! Now, Outlaw's Bridge NC Universalist Church is 1/4 of the town, and Red Hill Universalist Church, NC is out in the country, so it shouldnt have been that surprising - but it was.
the town consists of 5 churches, two streetfulls of buildings behind them (one of the churches being a storefront in the block), most of the stores looking closed - hey, there are bluelaws in Georgia, otherwise i'd know if any were open. there is a seemingly empty church beside the U church from the same blueprint (no name on their sign - my wife thinks it might be the Baptist who moved next door). The UUs do have a fellowship hall on the otherside of the building, across a side street - and a nice granite table behind the church for the usual southern outdoor picnics....
My wife saw the setting and said "what a nice place for an Universalist Convocation" - of course with fancy hotels just a ways down on the lake, it could be.....
Back home, my wife does a quick check to see if she is related to any of the Universalist Bowers - and while she has Bowers in her family (from Bowersville!), she doesnt see any blood kinship - but the family names are familiar - even J. M. Bowers mother has a good former Quaker name, that my wife is related too.... but since she is related to virtually everybody in the three counties there, and up and down the river, I suspect we will discover it somewhere.....
So we can halfway claim kinship to the church there.
Just like Im related to most of the folks at Outlaw's Bridge....

Oh despite the southern tradition of "who's your daddy", neither of us are in the DAR, SAR, SCV, Colonial Dames, etc etc, we could join of course..... ;-)

Friday, April 21, 2006

Sunday School pins - 1917 ads

these are ads for the various sunday school pins taken from 1917 (in this case from the United Brethren yearbook)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Sunday School Pins

Here are some Sunday School pins - cute, eh? I post an explanation for them next, that might or might not take away some of the magic.....

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

getting ready for mississippi

some people pack clothes, check their car's engine and tires, to get ready for a trip. Me? I read a book or two! Getting ready for Mississipi, Ive read the "Civil War in Mississippi" (no major battles near Ellisville); I've re-read D. B. Clayton's autobiography (no mention of services near Ellisville), Im currently reading "Disloyalty in the Confederacy" as a prelude to reading "The Free State of Jones" (no known Universalists mentioned in the index - although the Herringtons and the Duckworth family are mentioned (but they're both large families). As some of you may or may not know, there has long been the story that Jones County Mississippi during the civil war allegedly suceded from Mississippi and started their own republic -- while I wont get much knowledge of Mississippi Universalists from reading this, I should get some of the history of the area when the Universalist church was founded. Later I will re-read parts of "the Larger Hope" dealing with Mississippi in the 20th century. I already know that one of the Strain(s) was preaching nearby before the founding of the "Our Home" church... the 1933 and 1934 yearbooks list 4 Universalist churches in Mississippi, three near Ellisville! However none of those three had responded to requests for information during the height of those depression years, Burrus, Our Home, and Ellisville, Names like Kirkland, Herrington, and Collins. Preachers in Mississipi in the 1930s - John David Morris, of Laurel - ordained 1908.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

picture of booklet

The No Hell People

this small booklet was published in 1985 for the upcoming 100th anniversary of the Georgia Universalist Convention. The author, William Howard Balkan, was then the minister of Rockwell Universalist in Winder, Ga. I know almost nothing of Rev Balkan, other than he was a minister at Canon, Ga as well, and was a previous Luthern minister.
Sadly enough the 1965-1985 chapter 'we pause' could be written as 1965-2005.... as things remain about the same.....


"everything in moderation" is not exactly something that Universalists would say: but the Buddha did, and what's good enough for him is good enough for me! More seriously, I have enabled moderation for comments. Not due to anything the readers of this blog have said or done, but because of drive-by-spammers. Until today I could put you with shoe and pottery ads, and all the rest (and just delete them), but today this blog got x-rated material. Now, while this is always a possibility that some x-rated material might be acceptable for this blog - this wasn't it. (hey anything is always a possibility!). Since I do take vacations, and I don't like the idea of that particular spam sitting on my blog for a week or so -- all comments from now on will be moderated. Frankly I don't see any likelihood of someone making any offensive comment here other than spammers, so I haven't made any moderation policies other than that. Please don't prove me wrong!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Universalism and Universal Salvation

i found this short observation in the July 9, 1896 issue of THE CHRISTIAN LEADER to be worth passing on - unsigned but maybe by George H. Emerson

Universalism is not exactly convertible with universal salvation. Universalism presents indeed the issue of the final salvation of all souls, but it includes this - it is not simply IT. Universalism is a system of truths; it has many parts with many applications to life and conduct. The being, character, supremacy of God; his relations to the world and particularly to the beings created in His image; the consequent relations of souls to Him and to one another; the claims of justice and humanity and the privilege of worship - there are particulars enough to give matter for octavos. But the salvation of all mankind, essential to keep the system intact, is but a principal point, There are we find, many believers in Universal Salvation; but there are not so many believers in full Universalism.

he also says later in the page:

Universalists are more doctrinal in their thought, temper and habitual speech as they get further from the Universalist centres. We note that our Pennsylvania Conventions and Associations emphasize the doctrines of Universalism far more than do the Conventions and Associations of New York and Massachusetts. The letters of Dr. Shinn and the reports that come from Texas are "full of the doctrine" and for the reason that the atmosphere of those places puts Universalists on the defence. It would do any of our young men just out of Theological School good to try a campaign in New Jersey and the South. It would "set them" for life and make them better preachers for Boston and New York.

Universalist Convocation at Our Home

Universalist Convocation at Our Home -
Our Home UU Church in Ellisville Mississippi that is.

May 5-7, 2006

see the Our Home UU website

and click on the links for the details.

How can you not go? After all, I'll be there!

well - ok, so will lots of other folks who will actually be speaking:
Rev. Justin Lapoint, Rev Gordon Gibson, rev Doak M. Mansfield, Rev Richard Trudeau, Rev. Derrek Parker, Rev. Jacqueline Luck.

and a couple of people who arent Rev.s: John Lapoint, Martha Thompson, and Linda Foshee on Universalism in the Deep South --

and a church packed full of Universalists and universalists!
How can you miss it?

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Rev Irwin part 2

hmm, somehow the scans didnt show up....

Rev. Athalia L. J. Irwin - A Bouquet of Verses

For those of you who read the UU history magazine, Rev Irwin was featured in an article in the last few years - certainly saved me a lot of research! As noted earlier in the blog, I went to her grave in Columbia, SC - and will at some point post pictures. On her tombstone is words to one of her poems, and this little book contains more. It was privately printed in 1905, dedicated to her friend of spiritual benefactor, the Rev. Quillen H. Shinn, D. D. As typical of poems of that era, they're sentimental - the Victorian era was known for that. I include below not the best poem, but a typical (and atypical shorter) one. She includes a poem written July 1898, when she left the Baptist Church - and one she wrote on the day she was ordained as an Universalist minister, November 30, 1902. Father Clayton didn't keep his Columbia SC Universalist Church open very long - but certainly Rev Irwin was one of the major highlites!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

My Going to various U Churches - part 1 introduction

Today, I had planned a crazy plot of going to Red Hill Universalist, near Clinton NC
hearing the service there, and then heading fast back to Florence SC UU and hearing the service there (eating lunch in the car) . The Florence folks would appreciate that, as we have the hymnals.....

We've been to Red Hill a couple of times, usually making a day trip of it;
but I had heard that someone was going to be doing a talk on a topic I was highly interested in.
So I wanted to go. And didnt want to not fullfill my responsiblities to my local church either.
(note that important word: responsiblities)

The topic I was interested in, was made smaller, and a new - more important topic added -
and I still wanted to go.

But this morning, I woke up - sinsus were bad, head was throbbing, and I just knew we couldnt drive all those miles and then drive all the way back with no break ...

So my SO looked at me with amazement when I said that "it doesnt make much sense to go, does it?" And as the time approaches 10 AM, I feel bad that Im not at Taylor's Bridge, getting ready to discuss the sunday school lesson....

... at least I will be going to an UU service later today....

Ya know there are people who dont want to go 10 minutes to their local church - why do i go 30 -45 minutes (one way) to mine, and why would I litteraly spend hours going to 2-3 other churches?

Not going to provide an answer in this introduction,
(of course, that's why its an introduction!)

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Canon, GA again

Scott Wells linked to the previous post (and he even got a comment on it!)

so, I figured i would get another link from this one ;-)

so, Scott, did you get to live and this place? and note Rev Rasnake....

Thursday, March 02, 2006

What the Universalist Church is Doing 1907-1909

this is "an illustrated Compendium of Information Relating Chiefly to the Years 1907-1909"
complied by the General Superintendent William McGlauflin.

"Faith working through Love"

I need to get my scanner working as this includes a picture of the "Universalist Headquarters in Canon, Georgia" a two story building with equipment costing $5,500. Home of the Universalist Herald, Rev. John M. Bowers, editor and propereitor; and the headquaters of the district Supervisior, Rev. J.M. Rasnake

The National Council of Superinendents are pictured, Rev A. G. Strain of Ariton, Alabama.
Rev C. W. Hilstren of Hopkinsville, Ky. Rev L.R. Robinson of Harriman, Tenn, Rev Thomas Chapman of Clinton, NC. The 25 state superintendents include Rev. J. M. Rasnake of the Canon Georgia District, Rev John S. Cook in South Carolina.
Chatanooga, Tenn got their first pastor.

the Women's National Missionary Association surports a Home Mission and church extention movement at Durham NC - Rev W.O. Bodell in charge.

the Young People's Christian Union has led missions in Harriman, Tenn, and Atlanta Ga.
it's convention in 1894 in Harriman, Tenn was the first National Universalist meeting in the south. Its 1900 convention in Atlanta was the second.

The Junior Young People's Christian Union was founded in Harriman, Tenn in 1894 by Mary Grace Canfield, who was its first superintendent.

Universalist Herald is a weekly - Devoted to Temperance, Moderation and reasonable interpertaion of Religion.

there are two other southern universalist papers
the Colored Universalist, edited by Rev. Joseph Jordan of Suffolk, Va
and the Universalist Bulletin, published in South Carolina!

New Church buildings include
Tarpon Springs, Florida - the old building burned in 1908, new building and parsonage
Camp Hill, Alabama - 263 members

New Parsonage include
Canon, Ga

Mission work includes
Rev Richard M. Smith working in Montgomery, Al
Rev. J. Wyatt in North Georgia
Rev Leonidas A. Lowery in South Georgia
Rev W. O. Bodell in Durham, NC - working for WNMA
Rocky Mount, NC - planning to build, owns lot
Pink Hill, NC - Union of Universalists and Unitarians in 1908, own building
Chattanoga, Tn - organized 1907
Newberry, SC - building parsange

pictures include: the 1907 Outlaw's Bridge NC building; Burruss church in Hamburg, Florida,
Clinton, NC church building

missionary work in Suffolk, Va; Co-operative Church in Cuba,

and news flash: October 1909 committee exists to build a church to honor S. H. Quinn in the south - among the members were the southern supers and: Mrs. M. O. Winstead, NC; W. Crouch, WVA; John S. Cook, Newberry SC (new super); W. M. Conine, Al; Mrs. T. C. Credile, Fl; and Rev Ahalia L.J. Irwin, NY

besides Cook mentioned above, another new super is Charles P. Hall of Penasacola, Fl.

Mississippi NWMA state convention founded.

Friday, February 17, 2006

universalists in Atlanta, part 2 the link is the Emory U collection of UandU material from Atlanta - it tells a slightly different story than has been mentioned earlier here.
Rev W. C. Bowman started an Universalist church in Atlanta in 1879, it lasted a year. Father Clayton in his autobiography mentions that Bowman left after one sunday service to become a spirtualist - leaving Clayton to edit the Atlanta Unversalist weekly newspaper! Rev Q. H. Shinn was next starting in 1893, leading to the formation in 1895 of the First Universalist Church of Atlanta. They merged with the Unitarians on November 14, 1918 to become the Liberal Christian Church, and moved over to the Unitarian Church building in 669 W. Peachtree St. In 1944, they broke away from affliation with the Unitarians (dunno about the Universalists) due to disagreements over segregation. In 1951, the AUA sold the building out from under the congregation. In the Spring of 1952, the AUA send Rev. Glen Canfeld to restart the United Liberal Church (as it had been known since 1927). The last Universalist Register i have is from the 1930s, and it was affiliated then. Emery has board minutes of the FirstU from 1900-1907, and Mission Circle Minutes from 1897-1899, as well as a history of Universalists in Atlanta.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

1937 Southern Young People's Conference

christian leader august 28, 1937

"Southern Religious Liberal Young People's Federation" met July 23-15, 1937

hosted by the members of the YPCU at Burruss Memorial Universalist Church near Ellisville Mississippi.

Kentucky 1
North Carolina: 6
Georgia: 21
Alabama: 15
Louisiana: 1
Florida: 1
Mississippi: from Burruss and 2 from Our Home Universalist Church near Laurel.

Miss Juddye Bowers, granddaughter of John M. Bowers was president of the SRLYPF
Charles Herrington was president of the Burruss YPCU.

speakers included: Rev Leonard C. Prater, superintendent of Georgia
Rev. Thomas Chapman, minister of Burruss
Rev. Charles G. Girelius, minister of the Unitarian chruch of New Orleans
Dr. Lyman Ward, president of the Southern Industrial Institute of Camp Hill, Alabama
Rev. George C. Boorn, "in charge" of Friendly House, Canton , NC

new officers for next year include (1937-8)
J. Andrew Frazier, Cover Creek, NC president
Eugene Luening, Lousville, Ky vice president
Juddye Bowers, Cannon, Ga, secretary
Rufus McCall, Pensacola, Fl treasurer
Oleta Grantham, Ellisville, Ms board
James Guffin, Winder, Ga board

Dr Ward hopes to have the 1938 conference at Camp Hill.

2006 note: this was both Universalist and Unitarian youth

Thursday, January 26, 2006

In the mail and on the shelf

i had finished a post, and blogger went off-line. so I copy my post --
--- and then accidentally deleted it!
Luckily I was just going to talk about today's mail!

In the mail, I got an 1849 booklet telling me about Scripture Doctrine (by Rev. S.B. Smith)
the ads for the other books look interesting...
the current newsletter of the NEW MASSACHUSETTS UNIVERSALIST CONVENTION - with a reminder of the Universalist Convocation in May in Mississippi; and a plan for an Universalist heritage Corridor in Winchester NH.
a 1871 Universalist Register and Almanac, where Father Clayton admits he hasnt done much preaching in Columbia or SC, but would try in the winter (of 1870-1).
and I got an email from Clayton's great great granddaugther-in-law wondering why I hadnt written recently (i know the family genealogy!)

Earlier this week, while trying to do some basic research on the Jordan Community House, I was irratated at the numerous differing years of start, founding, and ending of UUA support that I found. Then looking for something else in the second volume of THE LARGER HOPE, I found a good chapter on this mission; and a good section on FRIENDLY HOUSE, and a good section on the joys and concerns of the relationship between the UUAW and NC.
How had I not remembered all this? Why isnt this book in print?

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Rockwell Universalist in Georgia

If i knew what i was doing I could probably do this better - but at the end of this post is a link (or a copy and paste link) to Rev. Scott Wells website with a fairly modern picture of the Rockwell Universalist Church.
this is an early southern Universalist church founded by (or co-founded or early members of whom were) Universalists from South Carolina moving west. This would be (if memory serves me right) from the Anderson District that we've been mentioning. And as noted, there was a meeting house in the area back in 1846.

as Scott posts them, I will link to them!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

"peace church"

I quoted the below on the UUHS mailing list, and rather than lose it, thought I would copy it here.
I note however, that while the Universalists were never a "peace church" and the Unitarians never even came close, the Unitarian Universalists are indeed coming close to it. Not sure if that is good or bad - but for this blogsake, it puts us closer to the southern Universalist roots of German Baptist Brethren and Society of Friends - which are historic "peace churches"

the below is taken from the 1959 version AND THY NEIGHBOR AS THYSELF from the appendix - no index

1790 Universalist Convention
OF WAR. ---Although a defensive war may be considered lawful, yet we believe there is a time coming, when the light and universal law of the gospel, shall put an end to all wars. We recommend, therefore, to all churches in our communion, to cultivate the spirit of peace and brotherly love, which shall lead them to consider all mankind as brethren, and to strive to spred among them the knowledge of their Saviour and 'Redeemer, who came into the world "not to destroy men's lives, but to save them."

1917 report of the National Social Service Commission of the Universalist Church. "War is brutalizing, wasteful, and ineffective, We therefore pledge ourselves to work for the organization and federation of the world, that peace may be secured at the earliest possible date consistent with justice for all.

the 1931 Universalist General Convention" whereas the General Convention of the Universalist church in 1925 recognized the right of members of this church to refuse on conscientious grounds to participate in any warfare as being in accord with our fundamental principles,..."
"... Members of this Convention are granted the right to interpret the spiritual authority and leadership of Jesus as meaning the supremacy of Christian conscience and the refusal of military service at any time on consicientious grounds."

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Kim Wilson asked me a good question - that I couldn't answer, and hadn't ever thought about. This explains why she is a professional historian, and why I am but an amateur...(as Richard Thompson said "they're worse than critics, they're amateur critics!"). She asked me about the politics of SC Universalists of the 1830s -- I dunno - and other than the Rev. T. Fisk who preached down in Charleston, who was for reform - I still dunno. And I admit that I dunno much about his politics - other than he had some, and was well known for having them. D.B. Clayton's son, Virgil Pingree Clayton was the famous one in his family, as he was a well known leader in the Lily White Republicans (and as a southern politician he joined the main southern church- Episocalipans) - but D. B.'s politics, I dunno. Indeed I find that I'm having a tendacy to make the southern Universalist fit in with their neighbors and their neighbor's politics. They were mainly solidly middle class professionals, but its easy for amateurs to forget that in the old south, Doctors and merchants were middle not upper class - Planters were upper class, regardless if they had other occupations they dabbled in.... Slave owners with 10 slaves or more were upper class (don't take this as fact all you other amateur historians) -- anyway I've been thinking more of southern Universalists as just another member of the solid south....But then I read this from Claudia L. Bushman's A GOOD POOR MAN'S WIFE (1998 EDITION), which is a biography of Harriet Hanson Robinson. Her brother J. W. Hanson was the known Universalist writer, publisher, theologian . (pg49-50) "... The controversial and despised Universalists. Though the sect preached the mild, loving doctrine of universal salvation and the brotherhood of man, Univeralsim aroused powerful antipathy, and with cause. The sect undercut the very basis of religion and morality as they were then understood. .... The traditionalists had reason to fear and despise the Universalists. While the Universalists preached love and brotherhood, they were revolutionary at the base. It dismissed claims of authority at existing churches. Founded and promulgated by lower-class uneducated preachers, the sect was democratic and reasonable, whereas the Calvinists were authoritarian and punitive. Univeralism threatened the power structure of the traditional church, removing the sting from God's commandments and even humanizing Christ. Universalists refused to take their place in the ordained order of society. Their agitation rattled the framework of life. Another reason for the traditionalists' concern was the belligerent stance of the Universalists. Not content to go their way in peace and love, they felt obligated to criticize the establishment and to enter into disputations with clergymen of other sects. They pictured their religious work as a battle, adopting a military jargon to talk about it." Certainly one of the themes of Universalist periodicals of the 1830s is the immorality and hypocrisy of other denominations.... If one wants to read about all of the scandals afflicting clergymen, Universalist periodicals is a good place to start....... so are the southern Universalists of the 1790s-1820s bold and revolutionary?

the sick and the Holy

I've been sick these last few days, so Ive spent the last few days reading and thinking in a fog.... One really shouldnt read religious books when one's brain is foggy, so Ive been reading books about religion instead... (add grin here) SECRETS OF THE BIBLE (2004) Archeology Magazine - quotes Mark Chancey, an archelogist about an unhistoric alleged Biblical site in Israel "legitimate religious phenomenon" "creation of sacred space by regarding some place as holy and by allowing people to connect with what they see as holy." This explains my visiting historic Universalist churches, and why I dont want them to be destroyed..... they're holy to me! I see the connection between the past and present. - Ive stood on the spot where Winchester stood, Ive traveled the same roads as Clayton .

Saturday, January 07, 2006

what i should be doing

what i should be doing

1) putting some more information from Kim Wilson up here
2) checking the census, as I will be losing access to proquest
3) cross-refrencing material in the Brethren Encylopedia
4) doing more research on Allen Fuller - how many books did he write?
when was he born?
5) doing the non-Universalist historical stuff that puts food on my table and books in my library

instead Ive been reading a biography of Robert Carter, THE FIRST EMANCIPATOR (2005), a guy who converts (do i need to put a spoiler here? ) to Sweedborganism...
and reading other blogs and doing some email

hang in there, i got boxes of stuff to share!
oh, as mentioned in the Boy in the Bands blog, I heard there is a no-hell (ie: universalist) cemetary in Charleston; I have no idea where. Both Scott and myself think that the burial site of J. Shecut is a good place to check first - anybody know where that is?

(my local gen lib doesnt have Charleston books!)