Trust of the Church


On April 30, 1973, the congregation of First Church voted to establish the Trust. The congregation had dwindled, there was no minister, and the future of the historic church was uncertain. The Trust was created to preserve Unitarian Universalist religious worship in Jamaica Plain, and if possible, in our remarkable building. Funding came from memorial funds, historic bequests, and the sale of the parsonage. Funds from the Trust have been pivotal in moving our church forward since the “rebirth” of the church in the 1980s. Fulfilling the Trust’s mission has included:

  • financing the church during a time of reduced membership thereby keeping the possibility of a future congregation in Jamaica Plain alive;

  • providing the seed salary money, along with the UUA, for a minister (who turned out to be Terry Burke) to give the community a chance to grow a congregation in Jamaica Plain;

  • granting a loan to the minister for his own home, to stabilize the church community;

  • assisting the capital campaigns, especially when matching money was required to bring in grants and thereby capitalize on money from outside our own congregation;

  • making annual disbursements to the operating budget; and

  • paying for critical repairs, such as installing a new furnace and patching a fallen crypt wall.


Decision to Divest

On Wednesday, June 4, the Trustees of First Church in Jamaica Plain Unitarian Universalist voted unanimously in favor of a resolution calling for divestment of fossil fuel stocks from its holdings. The vote was a culmination of the Trustees six month-long exploration of divestment.  The resolution called for immediate divestment of current individual fossil fuel stocks, prohibited the purchase of new fossil fuel stocks, and defines a three year period for analysis and development of a strategy to deal with other holdings, such as mutual funds.

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Composition of the Trust.

Five Trustees make up the Trust. The financial responsibilities of the Trustees include maintaining the purchasing power of the Trust over time through prudent investments, generating income to “maintain the building and carry on the activities of the church” and investing our funds in a socially responsible manner. The investment arm of Bank of America currently manages the trust funds.


Planned Giving to First Church.

Individual bequests were critical in creating and building the Trust from its inception and they are just as important today for the future of First Church. We invite all interested members and friends to include First Church when drafting your will or preparing your estate plan.


Contacting the Trustees.

The current Trustees are Geraldine Culver, Kurt Hemr,  Betsy McDowell, Jom Michel, and Tim Williamson. They may be contacted through the Church Office at