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A brief history of our congregation founded in 1952,

compiled by member Marieanna Elliott, with our thanks and appreciation.


  • 1892 Episcopalians built the church building.


  • 1912 The Hamburg Unitarian Women’s Alliance was formed from the Unitarian Universalist Buffalo Church that moved to the Southtowns. 


  • 1950 Engaging in many charitable projects over the years, the Hamburg Unitarian Women’s Alliance started hosting potlucks for their families and others from the community and inviting the minister of the Buffalo Church to speak to them once per month. They began meeting for Sunday evening services bi-weekly at the Odd Fellows Club which is the current location of John and Mary’s. They started planning to form a Unitarian Fellowship in Hamburg.


  • 1952 UUA officially accepted the Unitarian Fellowship of Hamburg. Current member Nan Cobb is the first child to be dedicated at 4 months of age. The group started fundraising.


  • 1957 The congregation finally had sufficient funds to consider buying a building, just as the Episcopalians were moving into their new large building on Main Street.

  • 1995 An architect, Jay Braymiller, who listened to member wishes, drew up a grand scheme and provided the church with a model of his plan. After conflict, hesitation, and being unable to afford the entire project, the church decided to build one step at a time. The first step was to “turn the church around”. In the process, it was discovered the beautiful wooden floor lay underneath the ugly dark tile that had covered it up.


  • 2016 Inspired by Jim Collins, the church was “turned back around” (the way it is today) and the front door with the large glass windows was installed.


  • 2018 Under the influence of Wendy Pond, and some financial assistance from Chalice Lighters ($20,000) handicap accessibility projects ie. the ramp and lift. were started.


  • 2019 The memorial Garden was created in memory of Jim Collins. Bonnie’s Garden Club donated the Peace Pole, which Jim had always wanted. (Note that Jims’ memorial service attracted so many people, every chair was filled and still many folks could not come in. So Jim had his wish—which had always been to fill the church…).


  • 2020 Rev. Susan M. Frawley initiated having a “Pride in the Park” service, making the community aware of our existence. Over the years, we have often had periods with no official minister (though Rev. Reidell provided monthly services for 40 years. During the lean years, the Church relied on members and lay speakers as well as available Rev. Francis Manly for about 6 years, Michelle George Yates for 5 years. Susan M. Frawley is currently serving as our consulting minister.

Through the years the Church has continued to be involved with providing good works through volunteer, fund raising and collections.


Special pride is evident in the social justice donations made to Warm the Children, Family Promise, Union Pleasant School families, the Ukranian Relief Effort, local Hamburg Beautification Board and Band Concerts, co-sponsoring Hamburg Pride Services, cooperative support for the Buffalo UU Women’s Social Club events and community and church activities individual church members become involved in.

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