The History of Our Community
Our community was founded in 1936 by Reverend Julia A. McKee, with the support of her husband, Brown McKee. Members originally met at 1301 Wachtel. Soon thereafter, they moved to a store front located at 9417 South Broadway. In 1942, the church moved to another store front located at 284 Lemay Ferry Road.
It was after this move that the members began fundraising for their “dream church.” They held church picnics each year where they sold roast beef sandwiches, side dishes, and desserts. People in the community looked forward to these Unity Picnics where they could purchase wonderful dinners for a reasonable price. The money raised from these picnics was a great help in growing the building fund.
By 1950, enough money had been raised to purchase the lot located at Pardella and Bayless. This land previously belonged to Sigerson Nursery. On January 3, 1953, construction of the church building began. Construction was completed on June 21, 1954, and the dedication service was held on June 27, 1954.
Archival notes indicate, in addition to the picnics, the members held bake sales, sold vanilla, pepper, quilts, and fruitcakes for fundraising. During December of 1958, the members sold 1,453 pounds of fruit cake for a profit of $435!
On May 16, 1976, the members hosted “Our Nation’s Bicentennial Celebration Dinner” at 8352 Watson Road. This event is noteworthy because James Dillet Freeman was the guest speaker.
Since its inception, our church has been known as Lemay Unity Center, Lemay Unity Church, and Unity Church of Peace.