History of “The Independent Christian Church”The Independent Christian Church, Unitarian Universalist, has the distinction of being the first Universalist church in America. Brought to Gloucester from England by John Murray, Universalism is founded on the belief that God wills the salvation of all, emphasizing the inherent goodness of human beings.
With Murray as leader, several members of the First Parish Church separated from that body on January 1, 1779 and formed The Independent Church of Christ. The church received its charter in 1785; in 1786 Gloucester Universalists fought for, and won, freedom from taxation for the support of the First Parish Church. The ruling in their favor by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court provided a precedent for the separation of church and state. The cornerstone for the current building was laid in 1805.
In 1961 the Universalist Church of America and the American Unitarian Association merged to create the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), and the Independent Christian Church voted to be part of this union and became a UU Church.
Today our congregation is known on Cape Ann as the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church. Our congregation is a fellowship of individuals united in seeking spiritual strength, the better to achieve peace, poise, and power for the demands of daily life. In 2004, the congregation voted for official recognition as a Welcoming Congregation of the Unitarian Universalist Association.