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First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany


For more than one hundred and fifty years Unitarians and Universalists have had a presence in Albany, with over 80 of those years spent in the current, although then smaller, FUUSA location. Members have been actively involved in our local community, national movements and global issues from our Washington Avenue, Albany location. A very brief overview of significant events over these years follows. To learn about FUUSA’s history in greater detail, we recommend First Unitarian Society of Albany 1842-1992, written by ten members of our society’s History Committee. A more recent history of FUUSA and our expansion project is also available in the publication, Emerson Community Hall, A “Space Odyssey” — 1990 – 2007.

The publication is available from the History and Archives Committee, First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany. A copy may also be borrowed from our Joy Library.

Moments in our History

1830 Albany Universalists began meeting
1842 First Unitarian Society of Albany (FUSA) organized
1844 Abolitionists meet in the Society’s Chapel
1856 Albany Unitarians and Universalists first conceived the union that only happened 100 years later
1895 Rev. Brundage revitalizes FUSA
1925 Current sanctuary and Channing Hall built
1928 Albany Inter-Racial Council formed at FUSA
1932 To assist poor women in the Depression, well-baby clinic held in Channing Hall
1934 FUSAn Frances Vosburg establishes first birth control clinic in Albany
1956 Refugees from Hungary welcomed by FUSA, thus beginning a half-century of refugee support
1962 New religious education and administrative wing added
1967 Members join with Black activists to protest $5 vote buying in Albany
1970 Many protests against Vietnam War
1984 Provided sanctuary for refugees from El Salvador and Guatemala
1985 Domestic Violence Task Force formed, eventually resulting in Equinox shelter
1987 FUSA declares itself a nuclear weapons free zone
1991 Began ongoing friendship with Partner Church in Szokefalva, Romania
1992 Congregation celebrated 150th anniversary of Unitarian Universalism in Albany
1994 Name changed to First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany (FUUSA)
1998 Congregation votes to become a Welcoming Congregation
1998-99 Built Habitat for Humanity house together with local Methodist churches
2007 Emerson Community Hall built
2008 FUUSA becomes a Green Sanctuary
2010 Second Habitat for Humanity house built