First Universalist Society Franklin
ABOUT FUSF The First Universalist Society in Franklin was founded in 1856 during an era of evangelism and growth for Universalism. Throughout our 140 year history, we have enjoyed a close relationship with Dean College in Franklin which was founded by Universalists in 1865. For 80 years, our religious community was centered around Grace Universalist Church next to Dean College. For a number of years we held our worship services in Dean's Marvin Chapel, named after one of our early twentieth century ministers, on the Dean College campus.
We became a Unitarian Universalist congregation after the merger of the two religious denominations in 1961. In the late 1970s through the mid-1980s, we were in danger of extinction reduced to a "Faithful 9" members who struggled to keep our congregation alive. In 1987, the Reverend Carol Rosine came to us as an extension minister. During the next five years, we became one of fastest growing churches in the UUA with a more than three hundred percent increase in both membership and religious education program enrollment. In 1990, we called Reverend Rosine as our full time minister.
In the past several years, we have voted to become a welcoming congregation, operated the church during our minister's sabbatical, completed the development of our mission statement, purchased an 11 acre parcel of land in Franklin, constructed a building, and moved into our new home. Now we are an active mid-sized congregation of more than 200 members. We have 150 children in our bustling religious education program and offer a series of ongoing adult religious education programs.
Our future promises to be as exciting and filled with growth as our recent past. The first service in our new Meetinghouse was held on May 13, 2001.