In 1982 a group of Northshore residents, feeling the need to connect with other like minded individuals, began meeting in each other’s homes to socialize and to share ideas about liberal religion. At that time there were two Unitarian churches in the New Orleans area, but none on the Northshore. This group would soon transition into meeting at the American Legion Hall in Covington, and from there to a school facility in Lacombe which would affectionately become known as “the dome”. NSUU was officially established in Oct of 1984, and became a legal corporation in August of 1985.
With assistance from UUA and the support of a growing congregation, NSUU was able to call its first minister, Rev Jane Mauldin in January of 1986, and she would go on to serve with distinction for 11 years. By 1989, there were 100 members, and the need for a larger, more permanent church home became evident. In February of 1990, the church was able to buy the land on Krentel Rd where the present church stands. Early 1990 also saw the church awarded the O Eugene Pickett award. This award is given annually by UUA to the congregation that has made an outstanding contribution to the growth of Unitarian Universalism!
In July of 1997, David Ord was called as NSUU’s new minister, and it was during his 8 year tenure that the present sanctuary and community center were built on the Krentel Rd property. Construction took 12 months, and the dedication was held in August of 2002 with 109 members present.
Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005 and completely devastated the area. Many NSUU members experienced damage to their homes, with some losing everything they owned. The church and grounds also experienced significant damage. Church membership dropped by 30% when circumstances forced members to leave the area permanently. The grief experienced by the Katrina event was immense, but the recovery brought out the best in human nature and gave us all reason to hope. Volunteer groups from all all over the country came to offer assistance, sometimes sleeping in their cars or camping on the grounds because there was no available housing. Slowly we healed our wounds and began to look toward the future.
The most substantial and progressive result of Katrina was the 2007 alliance formed by the three UUA churches in the area, (Greater New Orleans Unitarian Universalists or GNOUU) with the goal of sharing resources and ministers, and assisting each other in the recovery. NSUU also became affiliated with the Center for Ethical Living and Social Renewal, hosted at First Unitarian Church of New Orleans. This group contributes to the rebirth of New Orleans through programs and services promoting racial and economic justice.
With the departure of David Ord in 2006, NSUU began relying on guest ministers to fill the pulpit, and the formation of GNOUU with its sharing of ministers contributed to a robust worship program at NSUU. In addition, Rev Jane Mauldin, our founding minister, returned as a guest minister and now graces our pulpit periodically with her wisdom, enthusiasm and compassion. When asked recently what she thought were the best years of the church, she replied “the golden years may still be yet to come”.