Unity of Missoula is a part of Unity Worldwide Ministries.
Unity Worldwide Ministries is a worldwide network of ministries, ministers, licensed teachers and individuals providing practical teachings to help people live healthy, prosperous and meaningful lives. Unity is a positive path for spiritual living. We teach the effective daily application of the principles of Truth taught and exemplified by Jesus Christ.
Unity has established spiritual communities of study throughout the world where people discover and practice the Unity way of life. We address physical, mental and emotional needs through affirmative prayer and spiritual education. We serve those who seek inspiration and prayer support as well as those who use Unity teachings as their primary path of spiritual growth.
We believe that all people are created with sacred worth. Our ministries and outreaches are inclusive and open-minded, free of discrimination on the basis of race, gender, age, creed, religion, national origin, ethnicity, physical disability and sexual orientation.
We honor all paths to God as we provide a philosophy that is spiritual, not religious; and love-based, not fear-based. We strive to help individuals have a stronger connection to God every day by helping them to feel empowered, accepted, loved, inspired and connected.
Unity of Missoula is a Team Ministry
Inspired by the vision of Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, co-founders of the Unity movement, Unity of Missoula has used a team ministry approach since the year 2000. With the gentle coaching of our Licensed Unity Teacher and our Board of Trustees, members of our congregation with very diverse backgrounds speak on Sundays, sharing Unity truths and examples from their own spiritual experiences. This team ministry allows the congregation to benefit from the different perspectives and divine talents of individual members. Linda Andrus, Licensed Unity Teacher, is our church administrator and is a frequent Sunday speaker. We also invite guest speakers from other Unity Churches, Unity Village in Missouri, and other spiritual backgrounds to speak on occasional Sundays and to lead workshops that help us enrich our lives.
In addition, we are blessed with occasional Sunday talks and classes led by our Minister-of-Record, Rev. Susan Gumm. Unity of Missoula is a community of people who serve each other by volunteering their talents to provide the community with everything needed to support our Sunday services, book groups and classes, prayer support, hospitality, as well as our building and grounds maintenance. Our program coordinator, Linda Andrus, is a Licensed Unity Teacher and periodically teaches classes based on Unity principals. Unity of Missoula continues to evolve with the love and support of its members.
History of Unity of Missoula
Little is known about Unity in Missoula before the late 1930s when the Unity Center was established at 200 E. Pine St. In 1943, the name was changed to Missoula Unity Center and located at 103 S. 5th St. E. Rev. Maidie R. Van Etten served as the first minister. She held Sunday services and classes and read devotions on KGVO Radio. When she left in 1953, Missoula students began to hold meetings in private homes. For a while traveling speakers rotated through Missoula and gave guest lectures and classes at the Missoula and Florence Hotels. Unity students continued to meet whenever they could. Mary Wessel from Bozeman was the most frequent speaker along with Louis Meyer, Ralph Rhea, and Francis Gable. Unity of Missoula began meeting as a study group in the 1960's under the guidance of Joel Baer, then we incorporated in 1969.
Sometime between 1975 and 1977 the students of Unity bought their first building on Catlin St. That was also when they hired their first minister, Rev. Jeannie L. Horton. She resigned three years later. During the interim between ministers they began a team ministry in which each prominent member of the church took turns speaking. Guest speakers also continued to enrich the Unity community.
In 1978, Pat Green, who was the president of the board at that time, traveled to Unity Village to find a new minister. Rod McCallum began ministering in 1978. His ministry was followed by Rev. David McArthur. Under Rev. McArthur Unity grew substantially. They packed the Catlin Church so full that they had to purchase a new building. The new building was huge and located on University Avenue. Rev. David McArthur initiated many classes including the Course in Miracles which is still in progress today, facilitated by Tom and Linda Andrus. Guest speakers came frequently to enrich the congregation. Rev. George Stone taught on occasion. David's parents were also quite active with Unity in Missoula. They taught adult education classes and classes on Universal Law. David was Unity of Missoula's minister for ten years. Individuals of the congregation still speak fondly of him. He was our minister for the longest period of time. After David there were two other ministers, Revs. Dale Blackford and Bea Arline. When Bea left in 2000, the congregation initiated our current team ministry. Retired Rev. Susan Gumm is currently our Minister of Record and occasionally speaks on Sundays and facilitates workshops.