In 1951 an ad from the American Unitarian Association appeared in the Winston-Salem Journal asking: “Are you a Unitarian without knowing it?” The ad suggested that you might be a Unitarian if you believe that:
• The Bible is an inspiring human document but not the literal word of God.
• People are not condemned by “original sin” but are inherently capable of improvement.
• Development of character is more important than accepting religious creeds.
• The purpose of religion is to help us live this life well, rather than prepare for an afterlife.
The people who responded to the ad soon formed a Unitarian Society and began meeting for informal, lay-led discussions exploring religion, the arts, philosophy and social issues.
Finding a Home
Membership increased, and in 1961 we moved into our first home, a house at 2873 Robinhood Road. Meetings continued to be lay-led until we called our first full-time minister in 1982. We moved into a new building at our present location, 4055 Robinhood Road, in 1997. Our minister, the Rev. Lisa Romantum Schwartz, has been with us since August 2012.
Living Our Faith
Our Fellowship has been a leader in social reform through the years. In the 1950s and 1960s, we publicly supported racial integration, equal opportunity in jobs and public office, and women’s rights. In 1973, we proudly declared our support for gay rights by tying a pink ribbon around our building during the first Winston-Salem Pride event. In 2006, we were hosts to the first annual Piedmont Earth Day Fair.
Our Fellowship is one of about 1,000 congregations that make up the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), based in Boston. And, we are part of the Southeast Region, which assists us in supporting and working together with congregations geographically located nearby. Although each congregation is autonomous, we receive assistance and support from our national and regional organizations.