South Side Unity Center of Christianity
Note from Mark: The following people worked for this church in early years:
- Henrietta Gorden was a licensed Unity teacher in 1941.
- Freida Ann Whitfeld was a licensed Unity teacher who served at this church from 1937 until at least 1948.
- James Ellliot, D.D.S., who was a licensed teacher in 1941 and who had previously served in Detroit.
I would like to do a profile any of these people. Please contact me if you knew them or if you are related to them. Thank you!
HISTORY OF SOUTH SIDE UNITY CENTER OF CHRISTIANITY
In 1927, a small group of women who worked as “shampoo girls” at a beauty salon in Chicago’s Loop were introduced to the Daily Word. Their interest in Unity teaching grew, and they began to meet and study together with a group of south side families in a home located at 5955 S. Calumet Avenue. This was the first church home for South Side.
The Board of Directors was formed in 1928, and it was the Board who initiated the name, South Side Unity Center. The congregation moved to their second site at 4307 S. Michigan Avenue also in 1928. The Center did not have a licensed Unity minister or teacher. Guest speakers were arranged by Mrs. Doris Spaulding, minister of the Unity Church of Christ The First.
In 1941, Mrs. Henrietta Gorden became the first ordained minister of South Side Unity Center. The name was changed to South Side Unity Center of Christianity (SSUCC).
The following is a list of highlights leading up to our current status:
- In 1943, Mrs. Nettie Ross joined the church.
- In 1953, Mrs. Johnnie Coleman joined SSUCC and in 1956 became the ordained Minister of Christ Unity Temple.
- In 1956 SSUCC moved to its 3rd location at 1245-47 W. 63rd Street.
- In 1963, Rev. Henrietta Gordon made her transition. For several weeks, Mrs. Priscilla Purdy, a licensed Unity teacher, continued the functions and services of the church with her lecturing.
- In 1963, Rev. Lawrence Luke was installed pastor of SSUCC and served until 1967.
- In 1967, Mrs. Priscilla Purdy again served as leader until a permanent minister was installed.
- In 1968, Rev. Doris L. Caldwell was installed as minister until 1979.
- In 1979, Rev. Hazel I. Kimmons was installed as minister. In 1983, Rev. Kimmons lead the congregation into its newest and current facility at 9320 South Ashland Avenue.
- In 1995, Rev. Alberta Ware was formally installed as minister of SSUCC and served until 2001.
- In 2001, Rev. Hazel Kimmons made her transition.
- In 2002, Rev. Jack L. Bomar was installed as minister of SSUCC and served until 2004.
- In 2002, a new bookstore was opened and renamed in the honor of Mrs. Nettie Ross.
- In 2008, Rev. Gregory L. Lawson was installed as minister of SSUCC and served until 2010.