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Unity of Delray Beach Celebrates Fifty Years at Its Present Location
Unity of Delray Beach Church is celebrating sixty-four years of successful ministry in Delray Beach, fifty of those years at its present location of 101 NW 22nd Street.
“Unity of Delray Beach teaches a spiritually empowered way of living, a way of life that leads to a sense of well-being in every area ―greater health, happiness, prosperity, success, and peace of mind.
“When one enters the church there is a feeling of awe, love, peace, and power. Many say that upon entering the sanctuary they feel as if they have come home. We are a spiritual community dedicated to helping people to realize their dreams and live a life of complete fulfillment. We do not have a reluctant God; our God is a joyous, loving, giving, caring God. We believe God loves us and cares for us and wants the very best for us.”
The following is the story of the church since it began as an educational idea in 1948.
The History of Unity of Delray Beach
Every mighty work begins with a spark of inspiration. In 1948 Mrs. Frances Jarrell, a dedicated Truth student (the name coined for those studying the New Thought and metaphysical traditions of Unity), started a class of instruction in the Delray Beach Women’s Club. Her class consisted of one student. It gradually grew as others who were seeking greater spiritual understanding joined the class. Soon it became obvious they needed a more suitable meeting place. With the understanding of the philosophy that where there is a definite need, Divine Supply would be forthcoming;
Through the generous interest of Mr. and Mrs. Warren Grimes, the group moved to an upstairs room on Atlantic Avenue that they fondly referred to as the Upper Room. In the Upper Room, recently ordained Rev. Frances Jarrell conducted her first service on December 16, 1950. She continued to teach and serve the needs of the community until 1954.
Rev Jerrell’s splendid example was carried on by the Rev. Lucy Stringer until 1955, when she was succeeded by the Reverend Eva Rosencrans. The consciousness of the Upper Room attracted well-known speakers and ministers from all over the world. It was through Rev. Rosencrans’ inspired leadership, guidance and loving efforts that Unity of Delray Beach outgrew the Upper Room.
Once again God’s substance flowed generously to meet the needs of Unity of Delray Beach. Unity was the recipient of five and a half acres of land given by Mr. and Mrs. Warren Grimes in 1961. On January 5, 1964, the first service was held in the new sanctuary. Rev. Eva Rosencrans said of the new building, “Our sanctuary, hexagonal in shape and walled with clear glass, reflects the dignity and simplicity of a Unity service.”
To this day the church, surrounded by gardens that can be viewed from inside the sanctuary, is known for its beautiful, contemporary design. While sitting in comfortable wicker chairs, people can contemplate the oneness, wonder and magnificence of God.
In 1964 the Rev. Rosencrans had a dream to provide a loving, caring school for children to grow and develop academic excellence based on spiritual ideals. Her Unity congregation supported this concept and through this vision, Unity School was founded. Once again, the generosity of the Grimes family provided the first buildings for the school.
Today Unity School provides an excellent educational program for children of pre-school age through the eighth grade. It is recognized by the community as a thriving, successful and unique campus.
Rev. Mary Kupferle became Eva Rosencrans’ associate in 1966 and became senior minister in 1968. Rev. Kupferle brought a devoted sense of dedication to church and school. She was loved and widely known throughout the community, school and the world through her radio broadcasts and her inspirational writings. Her words of wisdom were the lead articles in Unity’s popular Daily Word magazine for many years; her books continue to inspire and bless many.
Rev. Kupferle was a visionary and a light. She served Unity of Delray Beach for 18 years and later became an active, loving part of Unity of Delray Beach as Minister Emeritus until she made her transition in 2003.
In 1983 Rev. Richard Barnes followed Mary Kupferle’s successful leadership. Rev. Barnes caught the vision for Unity School. Because of past experience as an educator and school administrator, he brought direction and professionalism to Unity School while continuing to enhance the vision of Unity Church.
Rev. Greg Barrette assumed leadership of the church in 1990. It was through his dynamic Sunday lessons and dedication to youth that Unity of Delray Beach attracted more and more families, thus increasing Sunday attendance.
Rev. Nancy Norman became Rev. Barrette’s associate in 1992 and assumed the position of senior minister in 1996. Rev. Nancy Norman’s ministry is filled with grace, love and understanding. Her teachings and lessons have inspired and helped many. Through her writing and published works she is fulfilling her personal vision: “To empower people to realize their full God potential.”
About Unity of Delray Beach Today:
Unity of Delray Beach is a non-denominational church welcoming visitors and guests of all faiths to join in all of the activities offered.
• No admission charge to any events; a free will love offering is collected
• Reservations are not usually required.
• A 24 hour prayer line for inspiration and to receive your prayers: 561-900-
• Weekly Wisdom Inspirational Messages: www.nancynorman.net
• Church website with audio Sunday services: www.unityofdelraybeach.org
Classes at times require books or supplies, which will be announced.