Unity of Wimberley began in 2003 when a small group of individuals committed themselves to bring Unity teachings to the Wimberley Valley. Originally, the group met monthly in a small gathering place on Wimberley Square. By mid-2003, about 25 people were meeting for Sunday services each week in the barn of Holly and Buddy Wilson.
Licensed Unity Teachers from the area came to speak for each service and music was usually provided by the Wilsons' teenaged daughter Kelsey, a violin virtuoso.
Finding the Holy Hill
Shortly thereafter, the Wilsons discovered a property that had been on the market for some time. They knew this would be the perfect home for our budding spiritual center. Together with our initial board of trustees, the decision was made to owner-finance the property. Our first Sunday service was held at what was then The Wimberley Lodge in April 2004. It was at this time that Mindy Audlin, who had been an occasional guest speaker, submitted an application to become the spiritual leader of the congregation. In August 2004, the Board of Trustees voted her into the new position.
The Money Miracle
In December 2004, a new financing agreement was issued which was intended to grow the center and establish the necessary funds to refinance in April 2008. The only requirement was that we put down $40,000 in cash. Thus began the campaign: $40K in 40 Days! Through the efforts of our 50-member congregation, more than $40,000 was raised in just over 50 days. We thank God for the miracles of prosperity that continue to bless this sacred place!
The church has continued to grow and thrive, adding core staff to support the enormous task of maintaining the facility and attracting an uplifting and talented music team. The amenities are a special blessing to our young people, and the youth education program that continues to expand. This enabled special programs to youth and other spiritual groups throughout the region who are looking for a Hill Country getaway for their classes, workshops, and retreats.
Keep on Stretching
When our spiritual leader, Mindy Audlin, expanded her horizons to become the network producer for Unity Online Radio, the search began for a new minister in late spring of 2007, and hired Rev. Rudy England in August.
In April of 2008, work on refinancing our property began. After talking to the banks, who would only finance a portion of what was needed at jumbo interest rates, we got serious about "self-financing." Thus was born the Church Family Ownership (CFO) program. In five months, all of our financing capital was raised through cash donations and the sale of promissory notes to CHUP members. Our church is now fully and privately financed by CHUP members. We continue to express our gratitude for the faith and spirit of this spiritual community as manifested through this amazing effort.
In August 2008, one minister departed and we began to host a spectacular line-up of guest speakers each Sunday, all the while knowing that our right and perfect new minister was making his or her way to us!
Rev. Ellen Dabenport
With what can only be described as divine order, on April 1, 2009, Rev. Ellen Debenport became the minister at Unity of Wimberley, agreeing to serve on a temporary basis for one year. At the November 2009 HUG Meeting (Help Unity Grow) the congregation recommended to the Board of Trustees that Rev. Ellen Debenport be offered the position of permanent minister, which she accepted.
The community grew and thrived attracting attendees from a 60+ mile radius. Ellen also gained an online following throughout the U.S. and beyond through her Sunday talk recordings posted weekly on our website. During her time at Unity of Wimberley, Rev. Ellen published "The Five Principles: A Guide to Practical Spirituality" which became a Unity worldwide best seller. She subsequently published the popular "Hell in the Hallway, Light at the Door: How to Move Gracefully Through Change into Renewed and Abundant Life. "
But, inevitably, chapters end... At the end of May 2017, Rev. Ellen headed to Unity World Headquarters to take the position of Vice-President, Content & Media Strategy, in which she oversees the Daily Word, Unity magazine, books, assorted publications and Unity's online radio station.
And We Persevered...
The collective intention was to be guided by the Five Basic Principles of Unity and operate from an abundance consciousness, staying mindful of the reality created through our thoughts, words, and actions.
And then… Rev. Jill Carey!
On March 8, 2018, after nine months of transition, Rev Jill Carey was named our new senior minister. This was a Spirit-led and Spirit-filled period for Unity of Wimberley involving an inspired search team, who presciently named themselves "Our Minister Magnets (OMM)." They were a divinely persevering Board of Trustees, a steady resourceful crew of staff and volunteers, and a patiently engaged congregation. And, likewise, it was a Spirit-filled time for Rev. Jill as she shared her surprise at this calling after ten years out of active ministry. In her words, "I’m thrilled to have been called to this beautiful congregation."
But wait, There's more!
The Sunday before Rev Jill was officially on duty, she announced that she and Kit Holmes, RScP would be forming a ministry partnership much to the delight of all. As Rev Jill related, "Kit and I knew years ago in a different place and time that we had powerful and transformative energy together, but we could never have dreamed that it would manifest like this!"
Kit had been the Music Minister for just over five years when in September 2016 she departed for other adventures. As the search began for a new minister in the summer of 2017, the Minister Magnet Team undoubtedly found a hold on Kit, too. By late in the year Kit had the stirring that maybe she still had more to do at Unity of Wimberley after all. With a call to Jill, who had not yet made any indication that she was interested in the job at Wimberley, the spark was lit to form this partnership. The new Ministry Team, Rev Jill Carey, Senior Minister, and Kit Holmes, RScP, Associate Spiritual Leader (and music director), commenced our new awakening on April 1, 2018, Easter Sunday. This team remained in place through March 2022, when Reverend Kit left to pursue new adventures in her ministry. Rev Jill Carey remains the Minister, and a new music director team was hired: Julie Ragins and Curtis Brengle, who have played with famous acts domestically and internationally.
The Quilts: There are twelve beautiful quilts adorning the walls of the sanctuary. Each one represents one of the fundamental Twelve Powers. For a closer look, click on this link, Twelve Powers Quilts.