Church founded through the efforts of Captain Frederick William Macondray. You can learn more about Captain Macondray at the Dorchester Atheneum historical archive or the Otis McAllister, Inc. corporate website.

First church built at 805 Stockton Street, near Sacramento Street.


Thomas Starr King , who came from the East, was an exceedingly popular minister. The congregation grew and a new church was built at 133 Geary Street, the present site of the Neiman-Marcus department store across from Union Square. King was a tireless worker in raising money for the American Sanitary Commission (which later became the Red Cross), and lectured statewide to keep California in the Union. He preached only seven sermons in the new church before he died at the age of 39.

Horatio Stebbins' long ministry was marked by church growth and a move to a new site. Land was purchased at Franklin and Geary Streets, the present location, farther uptown amid new Victorians. The new and present church was dedicated in 1889.


Bradford Leavitt had a distinguished ministry extending from the 50th anniversary of the church through the disastrous San Francisco earthquake of 1906 and beyond. The earthquake shook the church bell from its tower, and it fell through the sanctuary roof, disrupting normal activity for a considerable time. Many church member's homes suffered damage and many members moved away from the city. Leavitt worked on a relief commission, associating closely with the city administration. He later exposed the corruption in City Hall, resulting in the Mayor's conviction and the resignation of the entire Board of Supervisors.


Dr. C. S. S. Dutton, an Englishman by birth, came to a long ministry here. He preached inspired sermons and was well loved, although the times were hard and included two World Wars and the Great Depression.


Harry Meserve found a depressed congregation and a run-down plant. With his great vitality, a fitting 100th anniversary of the church's founding was celebrated, hundreds of new members were received, involvment in social action increased and building improvement took place.


Harry B. Scholefield arrived to serve us well during the difficult days of the Vietnam War, civil rights demonstrations, and the church's huge building project of 1967-68. In 1970 the Sanctuary and Center became a city landmark. Dr. Scholefield was named Minister Emeritus by the congregation when he retired in 1973.
Howard G. Matson was called as Associate Minister, with an emphasis on social concerns. Famed for his "Peanuts" stories in sermons, Howard became Community Minister to the migrant farmworkers on his retirement in 1972.


Alexander C. Post was ordained by the congregation as Minister of Music in December 1973, after having served as organist and choir director since 1968. He was named Minister of Music Emeritus on his retirement in 1992.


David O. Rankin became our Senior Minister, soon gaining a reputation as a preacher of biographical sermons. During his ministry, the loan from the 1966-68 construction was paid off in 1978.


Diane M. W. Miller served as Interim Senior Minister and Mark Belletini was Interim Assistant Minister. Diane was dearly loved and was noted for her role as a feminist. Mark served as the chair of the Hymnbook Resources Commission which produced the present hard-bound worship book for the Unitarian Universalist Association.


Stanley R. Stefancic was our Senior Minister; a social activist known as "a bricklayer, a poet, scholar, musician and sports fan." He resigned in 1985.


Joan Stephens Hull was called as Associate Minister. With warmth, humor and her "Theology of Abundance," she served the church as preacher, teacher and counselor.
Raymond Baughan, Interim Minister

Robert T. Latham, Interim Minister


Victor H. Carpenter was called as Senior Minister. Under his ministry the church experienced considerable growth and an increase in community involvement. In 1989 a year-long celebration of the 100th anniversary of the dedication of our present Sanctuary took place.
Junella Hanson was called as Minister of Religious Education. She retired in 1992, then returned as Interim Minister. On her second retirement in 1995, she was named Minister Emerita.
Weston Stevens and Junella Hanson, Interim Ministers


Margot Campbell Gross and John N. Marsh, Co-Ministers. Under their leadership, church spirit was revitalized, a highly successful capital fund drive conducted, and an extensive program of seismic strengthening and overall remodeling of our facilities took place.

Reverend John H. Robinson Jr. served as Interim Minister effective August 1, 2004.


Reverend Gregory L. Stewart was called as Senior Minister in 2006.


Dr. Stephen Furrer, Interim Minister


Dr. David Sammons, Interim Minister


Dr. John Buehrens, Senior Minister


Rev. Vanessa Rush Southern, Senior Minister




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