Conflict And Controversy Within the Universal Life Church

The Universal Life Church has had troubles, since 1959, but lately has come under relentless attack. One person is hell-bent on destroying the credibility of ULC with a massive email campaign, personal threatening emails and malicious phone calls.
By: Train Pro
 
June 18, 2011 - PRLog -- Recently, the Universal Life Church, founded in 1959 in Modesto CA, known for its ‘online ordinations’, and mentioned in shows such as  ’Friends’ and ’Big Love’, has come under heavy fire from one particular and prolific person of ill-repute, who has been attempting to destroy all credibility of the church by claiming exclusivity to the name ‘Universal Life Church’, denying the validity of essentially ALL ordinations done by the ULC, and making ludicrous claims of legal action against people who disagree with him.   The fact is that the ordinations done through the Universal Life Church in Modesto are all recorded by hand.  The internet is merely a way to convey the request.  This same minister has been making harassing phone calls and sending threatening emails to many ministers, who had at one point been associated with a church calling itself the monastery.

Out of concern for the emotional well-being of the recipients of the harassment, it’s important to get the facts straight.  The Universal Life Church was founded in Modesto, CA in 1959, by Rev. Kirby Hensley.  Its website is http://www.ulchq.com  and they are the International Worldwide Headquarters for the Universal Life Church. They have ordained millions of ministers over the years.  They have two websites who they are in regular communication with and who send their ordinations, received from their sites, to headquarters in Modesto.  Those two sites are http://www.ulcseminary.org (The Seminary) and http://www.ulc.net (ULC Online).  Despite false claims by the above-mentioned person, both of those sites are churches in their own right as well, but still continue to send their ordinations to Modesto for recording.  Neither of the people who run those sites were EVER employees or even independent contractors of the monastery.

In August of 2006, there was a split in the ULC, whereas the owner of the original monastery website had his website taken from him under circumstances which are still being debated in the courts.  From that time forward, the original Universal Life Church in Modesto ceased all association with the monastery site.  Since that time, the monastery has continued to ordain people under their own banner.  To confirm the validity of those ordinations, you must consult your local county clerk to confirm that that church has done its due diligence for your state.

Later, the monastery hired a man to run their social networking site.  After a time, he left their employ, apparently taking with him their mailing list.  He ‘invited’ those ministers to come to his ‘faith-based’, Christian-only, ULC-named church.  Some went with him, believing him to be a part of the original ULC, or at least the monastery.  He had, in fact, created his own church, using the name ULC.  In and of itself, it’s fine to use the name Universal Life Church in your church name, but the problem comes from bad-mouthing and going against all that the ULC stands for.  

The ULC is its own denomination and welcomes any real person to become ordained.  The focus that the renegade ’Brother’ takes is that ULC is not ‘faith-based’.  This is an insult to all of the people of faith who took the step of becoming ordained with great love and intention in their hearts.  If you are a Christian, then you are a Christian ULC minister.  If you are a Pagan, then you are a Pagan ULC minister.  This holds true for people of all belief systems.  There is no conflict or question of faith.

There is also no danger of retribution for those who disagree with what that minister has been preaching.  You cannot be sued for ‘not adhering to the Christian tenets’ of his church.  You can’t be sued for talking to someone from the Seminary, ULC Online or Headquarters.  Your ordinations entitle you to do anything that any other minister can do, including (but not limited to) weddings, funerals, starting your own church, ministering to those in need, or any other functions that you feel called to do.  Real ULC ministers perform many functions in their communities with personal pride, honor, and integrity.

Those who wish to be ordained with the church which started in and has been in operation since 1959, in Modesto CA, may do so at the above-referenced sites.  Ordinations with other churches may well be valid, but are not associated in any way with the original International Worldwide Headquarters of the Universal Life Church.
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