Our History

Our History

Unity Spiritual Center began in 1985 in Lebanon, New Jersey. Between 10 and 15 people met weekly at the home of Walter & Kathryn Chauncey for a book study class, using aWalter and Kathryn Chauncy wide variety of texts with a metaphysical/spiritual message.

Walter Chauncey approached Audrey Palmer, a Licensed Unity Teacher candidate, to facilitate the weekly classes. And so the connection between the study group and Audrey began. It would last for 24 years.

The study group chose the name Unity of Lebanon and formed a Steering Committee and began holding the vision of one day becoming a fully functional Unity Center with a minister of their own.

In 1987 Audrey entered the 2-year Ministerial Education Program at Unity Village, Missouri. When her ministerial education was complete, now Reverend Audrey Palmer approached the study group in Lebanon, NJ – were they ready to hire a minister of their own? They were. Rev. Palmer’s first Sunday was August 1, 1989.

As Unity of Lebanon outgrew the Chauncey’s living room, the group rented various locations throughout western Hunterdon County. In the mid-1990s a “Dream Team” was formed to hold the vision of a place of our own by the year 2000, and to scout for properties that we might purchase. 

At the same time, the Hunterdon Hills VFW was quietly having a conversation about the possibility of selling their home. Their vision was for it to remain service-oriented and community-centered. In 1999, while in the process of checking to see if site plans would be approved, we rented the space and then closed on the property in June of 2000. 

Our name became confusing at that point. No longer located in Lebanon, with a mailing address in Asbury and our physical location in Pattenburg, we changed our name to “Unity Spiritual Center.” 

Rev. Audrey retired on her 24th anniversary as our minister on August 1, 2013. For an 18-month transitional period we were led by Unity Transitional Minister Terrence Padgett. Our present Minister Rev. Carmela Vuoso-Murphy began serving our ministry on February 1, 2015.

 Our Center continues to offer a wide variety of spiritual classes and workshops and fun-raising events. All this is accomplished through the generosity of those near and far who lovingly support this ministry with their tithes, donations and gifts of time, energy and creativity. We are grateful.