UUC History

In 1956, seven families applied to the American Unitarian Association for a charter, seeking a liberal spiritual home. The Fellowship was granted a charter and held early meetings in various halls and churches.

Old Meeting HouseOur first Meeting House (figure to the right) was completed in December 1967, followed by an expansion in the early 80s to accommodate our increase in membership. We soon outgrew this space, and in 1992, moved into a new building up the hill from the old one. We continued attracting new members and again found ourselves lacking needed space, and a large expansion was completed in 2008.

Our beautiful sanctuary hosts concerts (approximately one a month) and gets high praise for both the acoustics — and the view. UUC members have reclaimed and maintain a wild flower garden, EarthSpirit Sisters built a labyrinth, members participate in a community garden, and we now have a Memorial Garden and columbarium. Our approximately five acres has a beautiful path winding through it including benches for meditation and reflection representing each of our seven principles.

We began as the Blacksburg Unitarian Fellowship before changing our name to the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the New River Valley following the merger of the Unitarians and Universalists in 1961. In 2003, we voted to recognize that we were no longer a Fellowship but a Congregation, and our name was changed to Unitarian Universalist Congregation. After several years of being lay-led or having part-time ministers, we called our first full-time settled minister in 1999, Rev. H. Christine Brownlie, who served in our pulpit for 12 years. In 2013, we called our current minister, Rev. Dara Olandt. Today we have over 200 members, a thriving Lifespan Faith Development Program (over 100 children in our Religious Education classes), a very active Social Action Program, are a Welcoming Congregation and have been recognized as a Green Sanctuary.