Real estate developer Charles Fillmore and his wife, Myrtle, founded Unity in Kansas City in 1889. Suffering from ill health, the two used prayer and affirmation to help them heal. Soon friends joined them in affirmative prayer and the Fillmores began writing about their metaphysical beliefs and experiences. In the beginning the Fillmores were interested in giving people practical tools in Christianity to improve their lives. Thus, the Unity Movement began.
Now Unity churches are in major cities across the country and worldwide. Unity World Headquarters, Unity Village, located on a beautiful 1,400-acre campus 15 miles southeast of Kansas City, serves people from 150 countries through its threefold mission of prayer, publication and education.
Land for Unity Temple on the Plaza was purchased on Kansas City’s Country Club Plaza in 1928. 15 years in planning and five years in building, Temple services were first held in 1948, and the sanctuary was completed in 1950.
The congregation celebrated this milestone with a capital campaign to maintain the building for the next 100 years. Many Lights - One Vision was launched on Dec. 12, 1999 and is our way of giving back to the visionaries who built this grand structure.
1889 - Charles and Myrtle Fillmore publish Modern Thought (later Unity Magazine)
1891 - Society of Silent Help (later Silent Unity) formed
1903 Unity Society of Practical Christianity (Unity Temple on the Plaza) incorporated
1906 - First permanent home found for Unity Congregation at 913 Tracy Avenue
1914 - Unity School of Christianity founded
1924 - Daily Word begins
1928 - Property on Country Club Plaza purchased
1931 - Myrtle Fillmore dies
1933 - Charles Fillmore retires
1934 - Charles Fillmore marries Cora Dedrick
1934 - Ernest Wilson leads congregation
1938 - Louis and Ethel Meyer assume leadership
1948 - Charles Fillmore dies
1948 - Unity Temple on the Plaza opens
1950 - Unity Temple on the Plaza completed
1954 - Cora Fillmore dies 1954
1960 - Construction debt on Unity Temple completely retired
1984 - Founding of Plaza Lights School, later to become the Global Montessori Academy
1991 - Unity Temple merges with the Myrtle Fillmore Center
1991 - Duke Tufty assumes leadership
1991 - Cornerstone Foundation is founded
1994 - Vegetarian restaurant Eden Ally opens and later is awarded best vegetarian restaurant in KC
1995 - 90th anniversary of the Unity Temple Women's Auxiliary
1996 - Buddhist Center founded at Unity Temple
1999 - 100 years of Unity celebrated!
2007 - 2010 Capital Campaign begun to restore Unity Temple
2008 - Main Sanctuary repainted
2009 - All sanctuary seating is refinished