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Unitarian Fellowship Records (DeKalb)


Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

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Unitarian Fellowship Records (DeKalb), 1961-1971 | Northern Illinois University

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Collection Overview

Title: Unitarian Fellowship Records (DeKalb), 1961-1971

ID: RHC/RC/013

Extent: 0.5 Linear Feet

Date Acquired: 00/00/1960

Subjects: Religious Institutions-- DeKalb, Unitarian Fellowship, DeKalb, Unitarians

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Unitarian Fellowship of DeKalb Collection documents the history of a liberal religious society from 1961-1971.  Unfortunately, records providing information on the society’s first months of existence in 1960 are missing from the collection. Nevertheless, a complete set of minutes (1961-1971) comprehensively details the concern of the Unitarians with educating the community about their beliefs and promoting a strong, dedicated membership. Newsletters, correspondence, treasurer’s reports, and religious education reports relate supplementary data about Unitarian programs dealing with social problems and juvenile religious instruction (1961-1971). Informative sets of committee lists and building records document the construction of the new society meeting hall in the 1960’s. Several fellowship papers dealing with contemporary issues such as militarism and racism are included in the collection along with national universalist publications on the aims of liberal religious organizations in North America. The records are of extraordinary quality for research on the beliefs and functions of liberal religious societies.

Collection Historical Note

Jack Peterson, Mason Myers, Jeannette Murray, Gail Anderson, and Galen Meling organized the Unitarian Fellowship of DeKalb in March 1960. Several months later this first board of directors secured a charter. Initially, the fellowship met in Jefferson School on North First Street. After five years of growth, the Unitarian Fellowship constructed its own building at the corner of Hillcrest and Garden Streets and dedicated it in 1966. The Unitarian Fellowship, a liberal religious organization, believes in certain values of freedom of faith and a united world. During Sunday meetings, members evaluate their beliefs based on Biblical evidences of truth. Each meeting has a speaker or program designed to promote the intellectual development of the participants. The major topics discussed at business meetings are the religious education of children and the problems of fair housing and racism. In addition, the Fellowship sponsors social events such as pot-luck dinners, picnics, and parties. Although membership declined after 1971, the Unitarian Fellowship still is active in the DeKalb community today.

Subject/Index Terms

Religious Institutions-- DeKalb
Unitarian Fellowship, DeKalb

Administrative Information

Repository: Northern Illinois University

Access Restrictions: There are no restrictions on access to the collection.

Use Restrictions: Property rights in the collection are held by the Regional History Center; literary rights are dedicated to the public.

Acquisition Source: The Unitarian Fellowship

Acquisition Method: The Unitarian Fellowship, DeKalb, Illinois, donated its records to the University Archives in the 1960’s. J. Joseph Bauxer, University Archivist, transferred the collection to the Northern Illinois Regional History Center in June 1978.

Related Materials: Researchers should note the related church collections held by the Regional History Center: First Congregational Church of DeKalb (RC 17); DeKalb First United Methodist Church (RC 24); St. Paul’s Episcopal Church of DeKalb (RC 55); First Lutheran Church of Rockford (RC 83); Salem Lutheran Church of Sandwich (RC 84); and Trinity Lutheran Church of Mt. Morris (RC 104).

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],

Box 1
Folder 1: By-Laws and Ammendments, 1961-1967
Folder 2-4: Minutes, January 1961-May 1971
Folder 5: Correspondence, 1960-1969
Folder 6: Treasurer's Reports, 1961-1971
Folder 7: Membership Lists, 1961-1969
Folder 8: Officer and Committee Lists, 1960-1970
Folder 9: Committee Reports, 1961-1967
Folder 10-11: Newsletters, February 1961-May 1971
Folder 12: Building Information, no date
Folder 13: Religious Education, 1960-1971
Folder 14: Unitarian Position Papers, no date
Folder 15: Denominational Publications, 1960-1970

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