We Celebrate Our 30th Anniversary!
On April 16, 1988, Piedmont Unitarian Universalist celebrated its charter service. Forty-five members signed the charter and of these, nine are still members: Jeff and Linda Blum; Jim, Sandra and Ted Woolsey; Harry Lancaster and Jane Henderson; Pam Bloom; and Ed Barrier. Rev. Dr. William F. Schulz, President of the Unitarian Universalist Association, was present for that momentous occasion and was the key speaker.
In the mid-1980’s, Jeff Blum, the church’s founder and first president, envisioned a UU church in the soon-to-be rapidly developed University area and gained the support of Rev. Dr. Sid Freeman, minister of the UU Church of Charlotte, and Roger Comstock, the Thomas Jefferson District Executive. Jeff has said Piedmont UU would not have been possible without their support. His vision was shared by other members like the Woolseys, Pam and John Bloom, Harry Lancaster, and Jane Henderson, who became Piedmont UU’s first leaders. There were other leaders who are no longer members who also made important contributions. With their dedication to the vision and hard work, the church was formed and began to meet. The first services were held at several different places, but by January 1988, the church was established in the former First Baptist Church, renting space from the Old Courthouse Theatre in downtown Concord.
Jeff said recently the founders’ original vision was that Piedmont UU would have professionally trained ministry. It would not be a fellowship led completely by members. Despite financial difficulties over the years, Piedmont UU has in fact always had professional ministers, starting with Rev. Liz McMaster in 1988, Rev. Wyman Rousseau in 1992, and Rev. Robin Tanner in 2010. On March 4, 2018, the congregation, with 101 members in attendance, elected Rev. Mary Frances Comer to serve as fourth settled minister. It was another momentous occasion!
On April 15, 2018, at the University Gathering, Rev. Mary Frances Comer will lead a celebration that includes remembering that very special charter service on April 16, 1988. She will speak on “Celebrating a Dream and Living into Our Visions” as we celebrate who we are and where we are on our journey.
It will include having Ted Woolsey and Julie Blum light the candle to begin the service, as they did for the first service, the 10th anniversary and the 25th anniversary, surrounded by our remaining charter members. Members will share a potluck lunch after the service, followed by a 30th birthday cake and a champagne (alcohol and non-alcohol) toast led by our founder and first president, Jeff Blum!