Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Northern NevadaUnitarian Universalist Fellowship of Northern Nevada

A Brief History of Our Fellowship

We are proud of our Fellowship, our denomination, our rich religious tradition, and our history as a liberal religious voice in Northern Nevada.

Our Fellowship, founded in January, 1959 with the encouragement of Monroe Husband and the American Unitarian Association, has evolved much like other small congregations established about fifty years ago. For the first quarter-century we were a small, intinerant band of liberal seekers, held together mainly by friendships and a shared search for spiritual meaning. Our greatest strengths were a dedicated cadre of religious education teachers and our determination to accumulate a building fund for the future.

Those first twenty-five years were our childhood and adolescence. We moved often from one barely-satisfactory rented space to another, contented ourselves with lay leadership and eclectic programming. In the early 1970s, we sought occasional visiting ministers from the Pacific Central District, and we enjoyed a minister-on-loan for a short period. Gradually becoming more traditional, we embraced music and more formality in our services. For several years, we were quite comfortable in an ecumenical setting made possible by a tolerant Catholic bishop who enabled several non-traditional groups to share a meeting hall.

By the early 1980s, when this idyllic arrangement ended, we became nomads again but our aspirations were more clearly defined.

By this time we knew we needed both a permanent home and a professional minister. In 1984, our building fund and our courage enabled us to purchase two-and-a-half acres of land south of Reno and a small residence that had been condemned for freeway expansion. In the fall of 1987, we began to meet in a small house completely renovated and remodeled by many long hours of hard work by Fellowship members and friends.

The three years of sweat equity and the additional dollars contributed to this effort enriched our congregation spiritually as well as financially. We took large risks, assumed a debt, made an addition to our building to accomodate the growing congregation.

Later, as we approached the year 2000, we decided to make an even greater commitment by designing and building an entirely new facility, with a Great Room for services and major events, a Gathering Room to welcome visitors, friends and members, and spaces for a religious library and places to display the art which is so essential to the life of our congregation.

In late 2005, we completed a campus beautification program which added a beautiful new paved plaza north of the new building, space for additional parking, and a wonderful Memorial Garden with contoured landscaping and comfortable seating where members and friends could relax and contemplate the beauty of nature.

We are thankful for the vision of those pioneers who successfully created our Fellowship and their success in bringing us all together into a beautiful place of worship. We are now completing our fifth decade as a dynamic religious society, ready to offer spiritual sustenance to friends and members, and to work for social justice in our community.

UUFNN Historical Timeline

See our time line document here.