History of All Souls
Universalism in the Watertown area has its roots in
the early 1800s in Sackets harbor, where Edmond Luff, an English emigrant, preached until 1822. In Watertown the first Universalist society was loosely organized in 1820. The first ecclesiastical body met on June 21, 1823. The plans for building a house of worship were formalized, and 18 months later the church on the southeast corner of what is now Public Square, was dedicated. The dedication sermon was given by Hosea Ballou (1771-1852) largely credited with founding the Universalist Church.
The first church burned in 1850 and a larger brick building, called the First Universalist Church, was built on the same site.
In 1905 the brick church was sold and in
1907 a new building on Washington Street was dedicated. That church served as All Souls until December 13, 1984 when it was destroyed by fire.
All Souls then built their present home, a modern, energy efficient church on Gotham Street, which was dedicated in September 1988. That service featured the then president of the Unitarian Universalist Association, Rev. William Schultz.