Olmsted UU’s History
The congregation of the First Universalist Church of Olmsted was organized in 1834. As a beacon of hope and progressive religion for the area, the church was one of the earliest Universalist congregations in northern Ohio. Founding members of the church included early pillars of the town, families such as the Stearns, the Fitches, the Roots, the Kennedys and the Coes.
The large bell in the belfry was cast in Boston in 1851, and brought to North Olmsted by horse and wagon. The bell tower was used as a station on the Underground Railroad to hide escaping slaves before and during the Civil War.
The congregation erected a building at the corner of Lorain and Butternut Ridge roads in 1847. This historic landmark building was moved to its present site in 1963. In 2009, the church celebrated its 175th Anniversary. At the concluding ceremony, an Ohio Historic Plaque was placed in front of the church and dedicated.
The Universalist Church of America merged with the American Unitarian Association in 1961, and thus the church is now known as the OLMSTED UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST CONGREGATION. OUUC is one of more than a thousand Unitarian Universalist churches throughout North America. All UU churches are autonomous congregations, retaining the authority to determine their own styles of worship and call their own ministers. Unitarian Universalism is characterized by an emphasis on religious freedom, the use of human reason in the quest for religious truth, and a generous tolerance of diversity of thought in spiritual discourse.