A positive path for spiritual living

Unity of Walnut Creek Timeline

1948

Began as a study group by Rev. Marie Giles as an outreach of Lakeside Unity Temple in Oakland. The group met at various locations in Alamo and Walnut Creek for 20 years.
 
1951
Started Sunday services, followed by services for children in 1953.
 
Cottage purchased in 19681968
Purchased a goat farm with a small cottage on Geary Road in Walnut Creek for $18,500. Moved out the goats and retrofitted the cottage to accommodate Sunday services.
 
1970
Hired Rev. Carol Ruth Knox directly out of ministerial school; her charismatic leadership built Unity of Walnut Creek to what was then the largest suburban Unity ministry west of the Mississippi. Added a second Sunday service. Installed Dial-A-Thought, a recorded inspirational message that continued until 2009.
 
For a detailed history of the Carol Ruth Knox years, click here.
 
1971
Started a monthly newsletter, which in 1973 was renamed Centerpoint.
 
The sanctuary in the 1970s1972
Constructed the sanctuary building for $53,000. Began the Uniteens program for middle school students (now called PeaceMakers), which joined the active Youth of Unity (YOU) for high school students.
 
1973
Started the Synergy School, a K-12 school that taught Unity principles, at Geary Road and later moved offsite; it continued until 1981.
 
1974
Constructed the Education Building. Initiated a training program for lay counselors, which evolved into the Lay Ministry program and is now known as Prayer Chaplaincy.
 
Rev. Carol Ruth Knox in the 1980s1975
Started the Unity Counseling Center, which operated onsite for 20 years.
 
1976
Purchased corner lot for parking, which was paved and landscaped in 2005.
 
1979
Held a Mortgage Burning Ceremony to celebrate that the loan for the sanctuary construction was paid off.
 
1981
Unveiled a new background behind the stage in the theme of the flame in the heart; it was the backdrop for all Sunday services until the renovation in 2010.
 
The stage backdrop for more than 20 years1987
Rev. Knox was killed in her home while preparing for Sunday services. Hired Rev. Marj Britt as senior minister. Began tithing 10% of Unity’s income.
 
1988
Began third, meditative Sunday service.
 
1990 
Hired Rev. Shari Culliver as senior minister.
 
1995
Began making lunches for the homeless on Saturdays.
 
2009 sanctuary with part of Peace Wall1997
Hired Rev. Max Lafser as senior minister.
 
1999
Erected the Peace Wall as part of a world-wide effort to promote peace.
 
2002
Hired Rev. David McArthur as senior minister.
 
2004
Introduced a visioning process into the monthly meetings of the Board of Trustees.
 
2007
Kicked off the Love In Action capital campaign, which grew the congregation's prosperity consciousness.
 
Sanctuary Building in 20132010
Finished a comprehensive renovation of the sanctuary and Education buildings, the first major enhancements since they were built.
 
2011
Hired associate minister Rev. Sheila Gautreaux as Music Director and Choir Director.
 
2016
Rev. David McArthur retired. Hired Rev. Denese Schellink as interim minister.
 
2017
Hired Rev. Kristin Powell as Lead Minister. Rev. Sheila moved away.