BuxMont Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

BuxMont History

Building 1963 In 1961 a group of Unitarians who were members of the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia and the Unitarian Society of Germantown (both in Philadelphia) met to explore the possibility of developing a new Unitarian fellowship in the Bucks and Montgomery County area. With the help of the American Unitarian Association, this group held a meeting in March of that year to determine public interest in such a fellowship. Out of this first meeting, services began to be held in the community room of Hatboro Federal Savings Bank. Following the merger of the American Unitarian Association and the Universalist Church of America, BuxMont received its charter in June. In 1962, as membership grew, services were moved to rented space at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Warminster, and religious education classes were held in members’ homes. Crowded conditions in these classes and the mutual discomfort held by the two differing faiths toward each other led members to seek their own meeting space. In May of 1963 the members purchased the historic building that the Fellowship now calls home.

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Renovations over the years have made the building almost unrecognizable from its origins as a creamery. After their beginnings as a lay-led congregation, the members called their first minister in 1968. Many members were unhappy with this minister, who resigned in 1972. BuxMont then entered into a long period of lay-led ministry until 1988, when member Art Severance (who was given a scholarship by the congregation to study ministry), was hired as part-time minister. Since 1993, when Libby Smith was settled as full-time minister and continuing with the Rev. Dan Schatz, BuxMont has maintained its tradition of lay-led ministry in partnership with its minister.