Our History - Celebrating 43 Years! 1974 - 2017

 

  • The first meeting of what was to become Unity of Charlotte was held in 1969 at a private home, based on the Unity Study Groups advocated by founder Charles Fillmore.
  • The study group became large enough that in January 1972 Unity Minister Rev. Myrtle Fitzpatrick and her husband began to make the round trip from Asheville, every Friday night for 22 months to provide classes.
  • The group was first called Unity Center of Charlotte. At the October, 1974 membership meeting, the group voted to charter as Unity of Charlotte.
  • In November, 1974, Unity of Charlotte was incorporated and became the second Unity church in North Carolina, after Unity of Arden, NC.
  • Meetings were eventually moved to the building on the corner of Sharon-Amity and Providence Rd. The first noted meeting at this location was on June 2, 1974.
  • In January 1975, retired Unity minister Rev. Esther Louis, assumed the interim ministerial responsibilities.
  • From March of 1975 and for the next seven years, the Church used a nearby Seventh Day Adventist Church on Sundays.
  • This lasted until the purchase of property at 3500 Sharon View Road in March, 1982.
  • Rev. Eudolene Steeves began her service with the church in April, 1975. During this period a "Voice of Unity" line was put into service.
  • May, 1975, there were two Sunday Services.
  • In January 1979 new minister, Rev. Jerry Belanger joined the church. At this point, the church started its book store.
  • During 1979 taping the services started to lend to those unable to attend the regular Sunday Services.
  • Also in this period the church's purpose was stated: "I see Unity of Charlotte unfolding through me as a radiating center of light, life, and love. Its divine purpose is to bring harmony, healing, and prosperity to the hearts, minds and affairs of the people whom it serves."
  • A dedication service of the new church home was held November 23rd, 1982 located at 3500 Sharon View Road. The property consisted of 5 acres of woodlands, a pond and a small three-bedroom house
  • In May, 1984, Rev. Jervais Phillips became Unity of Charlotte's new minister. Membership at that time was 99 members.
  • On October 1st, 1984, a second Sunday Service was added, and Jervais' wife, Elizabeth was made musical director.
  • By March 1985 the church had outgrown its facilities, and leased space for the Sunday Services at the Sharon View Country Club across the street from the church office.
  • In September 1987 the church accepted an offer from the board of the Seventh Day Adventist Church on Sharon Road to rent their facilities on Sunday mornings.
  • The entire $85,000 mortgage at 3500 Sharon View was paid off in February, 1988, and the congregation held a mortgage burning party. It was noted as of March there was a membership of 350.
  • In 1991, after much discussion, the congregation voted against proceeding with building a new church on the Sharon View site. Jervais submitted his resignation as minister in July 1991.
  • As the search for a permanent home continued, a move from the Seventh Day Adventist had to be made. In December the church was able to proceed with plans to rent the Matthews Community Center starting January 1992.
  • During the period of time between permanent ministers, Nancy (McLaughlin) Ennis served as the Interim Spiritual Leader of Unity of Charlotte.
  • In May 1992 Rev. Randolph Wilkinson, a dynamic and powerful leader, was hired and in place as the new minister. Shortly thereafter Christ Unity Church was formed in the northern part of the county.
  • December, 1992 the first service, a Christmas candlelight ceremony, was held at a former church building located at 1000 Woodlawn Road. Unity leased the building from Pfeiffer College, which was using it for weekday classes.
  • In the spring of 1995, prosperity classes based on the work of Catherine Ponder were held at the Sharon View office. The church had two Sunday services and the building was packed to overflowing.
  • In June, 1996, Unity sold the property on Sharon View Road and was able to manifest the down payment to purchase the Woodlawn Road facility.
  • Also in 1996, the video ministry entered a higher level and we purchased new audio equipment which allowed us to upgrade our tape ministry as well.
  • After serving Unity of Charlotte for a decade, Rev. Randolph Wilkinson made his transition in March, 2002, leaving a huge void to fill. His passing was a shock to the congregation.
  • Nancy Ennis, as a Licensed Unity Teacher, took over the church administratively. At the same time, she pursued her education as an ordained Unity Minister.
  • At the request of the Association of Unity Churches, Unity of Charlotte employed the services of Interim Minister Dr. Nicholas Griffin for several months in 2002 and again in 2003.
  • Meanwhile, the physical plant at 1000 Woodlawn Ave was requiring more and more expensive maintenance. The Board repeatedly asked congregants to help maintain the building, but got very little or no support. Therefore, the search for another church home was undertaken.
  • In July, 2005, Rev. Phillip Smedstad was offered the position as Senior Minister.
  • He conducted services, taught classes, and helped to prepare the congregation for its move to 401 East Arrowood Road. The location was a former Elk’s Club, which was gutted and completely rebuilt inside to meet the needs of the church.
  • In March, 2006, we held our first service at the new location, with about 160 in attendance. After that, attendance leveled off to about 130 or so per Sunday.
  • In 2007, the Board was required to address a budgetary short-fall and opted not to renew Rev. Smedstad’s contract.
  • Rev. Nancy Ennis was ordained and took over the reins of the church.
  • As a way of returning the favor for its help throughout the years, Unity of Charlotte began hosting space for a Hispanic Seventh Day Adventist Congregation on Saturdays and Wednesdays.
  • In 2014, Rev. Nancy was joined by Rev. David Hulse, who served as Minister of Education. Together, they provided many dynamic classes including HeartMath and the School of Spirituality. The church also started it's own YouTube channel in High Definition.
  • Rev. David departed Charlotte in late 2016 to take up residence in Columbus, OH.
  • Rev. Nancy left Unity of Charlotte to devote more time and effort toward teaching the precepts of HeartMath.
  • In February, 2017, Unity of Charlotte began an on-going process to attract the right and perfect minister. Until a final selection is made, the church has guest speakers every Sunday while maintaining a strong and varied selection of classes.