Our Stories

The History of All Souls

Visit our Online Bicentennial Album.  

The founding of All Souls dates from its charter in 1819. All Souls’ first church, built before a minister could be found to leave the stability of New England and risk a career with a struggling congregation, was located on Chambers Street between the Broad Way and Church Street. It was dedicated on January 21, 1821, and would be the home of the congregation until 1844.

Read more about The Early Years.

When Henry Whitney Bellows was called to All Souls straight from Harvard Divinity School in 1839, he was embarking on a partnership that would last 43 years and would prove to be extraordinary. Bellows served not only his congregation. He also served the nation, the city of New York and the Unitarian denomination.

Read more about The Middle Years.

The history of recent times inevitably sorts itself into categories of living memory, collections of documents and artifacts, all of which may wait years for narration and interpretation. With the perspective of distance, certain moments gather interest and importance. The building of our present church was built in 1932, during the ministry of Minot Osgood Simons, is certainly a significant point in our institutional history.

Read more about The Modern Era