Collection title: Church of Universal Fellowship (Orono, ME) Records
Collection number: MS 1568
Dates of collection: 1843-1997
Size of collection: 2 boxes + 9 ledgers
Restrictions on access and use: Kept at Fogler Library's offsite storage facility; one week's notice required for retrieval
The First Universalist Society of Orono, Maine, was organized in 1843 with services first held in 1844. In 1858, the Society became the Orono Universalist Church. The property and rights of that church, including those of the First Universalist Meeting House Corporation and the Universalist Parsonage Association, were transferred to St. John's Universalist Church (also known as St. John's Parish) in 1861. St. John's formed a federation with the Congregational Church in 1918 to form the United Parish of Orono; about ten years later the two churches again became separate organizations. The Fellowship Church was organized in 1929 with St. John's remaining a separate entity. In 1941 the two churches were consolidated and became the Church of Universal Fellowship. The church is affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist Association as a community church. Its mission statement defines the church as "a welcoming, interfaith congregation that respects and supports each person's spiritual journey."
Scope and Content Note
The collection contains records of the Church of Universal Fellowship and its various predecessors including the First Universalist Society, St. John's Universalist Church and the Fellowship Church. Groups within the church including the First Universalist Meeting House Corporation, the Orono Universalist Parsonage Association and the Women's Alliance are also represented in the collection. Many of the records appear to have been gathered by Verna Church Witter, a long-time member of the church who died in 1999.
Records are arranged in chronological order and include minutes of meetings and reports of the First Universalist Society, 1843-1862; the First Universalist Church, 1858-1915; and St. John's Parish, 1862-1940; as well as annual reports of the Church of Universal Fellowship, 1961-1995. Financial records and treasurer's reports for the various churches are also found in the collection, as are weekly calendars of the Fellowship Church, 1937-1941, and directories of the Church of Universal Fellowship for most years between 1970 and 1994.
A history of the church published in the Lewiston Journal Magazine of July 17-21, 1909, is also found in the collection.
Contents of Boxes
1 Records, First Universalist Society, 1843-1862
2 Records, First Universalist Meeting House Corporation, 1843-1862
3 Records, Orono Universalist Parsonage Assoc., 1851-1862
4 Records, First Universalist Church, 1858-1915
5-6 Records, St. John's Parish, 1862-1940
7-8 Treasurer's records, St. John's Parish, 1899-1941
9 Cashbook, St. John's Parish, 1930-1941
10 St. John's Parish: records of church membership, births, deaths, etc., 1858-1942
11 Fellowship Church: Contributors' record, 1930-1938; Treasurer's record, 1930-1935
12-15 Weekly calendar, Fellowship Church, 1937-1941
16 Minutes of meetings, Women's Alliance, Church of Universal Fellowship, 1941-1950
17 Minutes, etc., Women's Alliance, 1976-1990 (notebook of Erdine B. Dolloff)
1-2 Treasurer's records, Women's Alliance, 1929-1979
3 Treasurer's records, Church of Universal Fellowship, 1949-1997
4-7 Annual reports, Church of Universal Fellowship, 1961-1995
8-9 Directories, Church of Universal Fellowship, 1970-1994 (with gaps)
10 The Orono church which the great war governor of Maine helped to found. Lewiston Journal Magazine, July 17-21, 1909 [copy from microfilm of original newspaper]
11 Woman's Club of Orono directories, 1986-1990 [copies belonging to Verna Witter]
Finding Aids for selected manuscript collections in the Special Collections Department at Fogler Library are accessible online in URSUS, in a browsable Guide to Manuscript Collections. Please contact Special Collections at firstname.lastname@example.org or (207) 581-1686 for further information.