About First Church

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The First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston is located in the Museum District and has been a beacon of liberal religion since 1914 in the most populous city in the southern United States.

We are a member congregation of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). Our congregation is affiliated with other Unitarian Universalist (UU) churches around Greater Houston and the world. As people focused on creating what Dr. King called ‘the beloved community,’ we offer our skills, talents and experience to build a more loving, just and peaceful world today.  

While aligned in our desire to make a difference for the good, we are diverse in faith, ethnicity, history and spirituality, as well as gender identity and sexual orientation. We encourage members to nurture their spiritual lives with intentionality and pursue the beliefs that most resonate with each of them; we encourage members to think for themselves and ask the difficult questions; we know we need not think alike to love alike.

Our faith tradition is older than many realize. Across the globe, our legacy reaches back centuries to liberal religious pioneers in England, Poland, and Transylvania. In North America, both Unitarians and Universalists can trace their roots to the early Massachusetts settlers and the Framers of the Constitution. Those two liberal Christian groups joined to become the UUA in 1961. Today, Unitarian Universalists include people of many beliefs who share UU values of peace, love, and understanding.

Find out more about us on the UUA website:

  • Beliefs & Principles - our seven Principles, six Sources and common belief questions
  • Who We Are - our history, symbols, backgrounds and stories
  • Religious Practices - what Unitarian Universalists do on Sunday and every day, including holidays and rites of passage
  • Get Involved - find out how to connect with Unitarian Universalism, no matter where you are

If you have more questions, email info@firstuu.org. For pastoral care concerns, please contact ministers@firstuu.org.

 

MINISTERS & STAFF

Rev. Dr. Colin Bossen

Rev. Dr. Colin Bossen
Senior Minister

colin@firstuu.org

The Reverend Dr. Colin Bossen is an award-winning preacher, scholar, and
social justice organizer. He joined First UU Church of Houston, in August 2018 as Interim Senior Minister and, in August 2020, became the congregation’s Developmental Senior Minister. He has a PhD in American Studies from Harvard University, a Masters in History, also from Harvard, and a Masters of Divinity from Meadville Lombard Theological School (affiliated with the University of Chicago). The co-author of two religious education curricula and the author of numerous essays and articles, Colin is currently affiliated with the Kinder Institute for Urban Research’s Center for Engaged Research and Collaborative Learning at Rice University. He has taught in various capacities at Harvard Divinity School, Harvard College, and Meadville Lombard Theological School. A recognized scholar of race, religion, and politics, he gave the Minns Lectures in 2019 on "American Populism and Unitarian Universalism" and is currently working on a book for a major university press on populism and religion in the United States. Read Colin's Blog

Rev. D. Scott Cooper

Rev. D. Scott Cooper
Assistant Minister of Congregational Life

scott@firstuu.org

Rev. Scott came to the First UU Church of Houston to serve as Assistant Minister. Scott served as Sabbatical Minister at his home church, the First Unitarian Church of Dallas, and completed his Ministerial Internship at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Sacramento. Scott graduated in 2016 with his Master of Divinity degree from Brite Divinity School.

Carol Burrus

Carol Burrus
Director of Religious Community

carol@firstuu.org

Carol leads our Children’s and Youth religious education and our Adult Program opportunities with a talented and devoted group of volunteers. She loves working with our church community of all ages, from baby to elder. As music is one of her passions, Carol shares her musical talents in our worship services and in our online group meetings (RE with families group and String Band). You will find Carol gathering people together to take action on issues of urgent concern, such as our climate crisis, safety for upcoming elections and protection of our democratic processes.

Tawanna Grice

Tawanna Grice
Director of Finance and Operations

tawanna@firstuu.org

After an extensive career and experience in top financial and accounting management, Tawanna joined us to direct our finance and facilities departments. She graduated with an MBA from Texas Women's University, serves as Secretary of the Board of Trustees at First Unitarian Universalist Church, and she is also a board member at a local credit union association.

Dr Jolie Rocke at First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston

Dr. Jolie Rocke
Director of Music

jolie@firstuu.org

A soprano and native New Yorker, Rocke is renowned for sharing the gift of song across the world. For more than thirty years, she served as a music teacher, program director, arts curriculum specialist, and consultant in Connecticut and Texas. In 2014, she was honored with Amistad Center for Art & Culture’s Spirit of Juneteenth Award. A Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame 2012 Honoree, Rocke received a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance from the University of Connecticut, a Master of Early Childhood Education from Loyola College in Baltimore, and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Hartford’s Hartt School.

Christian Holmes

 

Christian Holmes
AV Technician

christian@firstuu.org

Christian spent 20 years teaching middle school and high school theatre, as well as speech, dance, and broadcast journalism. He joined the church in 2019 and has expertly led our online video production. Christian is a performer in the local theater and contemporary dance communities. He is married and has two children..

 

Cheryl

Cheryl D. Rivers
Bookkeeper

cheryl@firstuu.org

Cheryl serves as the part-time Bookkeeper and provides support to the Business Administrator in managing the church’s financial affairs. She has over 25 years of experience in financial management with several faith-based and non-profit organizations. Cheryl embraces the First UU Church culture because it promotes diversity and equitable living for all.

Alex Keimig

Alex Keimig
Administrative & Programs Assistant
alex@firstuu.org

Learning and working with children and families from all walks of life has been Alex' experience over the past seven years. She joined First UU Church in 2019 and coordinates religious education programs at our Thoreau campus. Her role has expanded and she also provides assistance with office administration at the Museum District campus. She likes to lend a hand wherever needed.

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Jordan Ostrum
Voting Justice Organizer
votingjustice@firstuu.org

Jordan Ostrum (he/him/his) is a nationally recognized LGBTQ advocate with a passion for voting rights. A current graduate student studying Library and Information Science, Jordan is new to Texas but a lifelong Unitarian Universalist. Jordan is excited to use the position of the Voting Justice Organizer to work with people of all walks of life in order to revitalize the use of the democratic process. When not organizing, Jordan can be found reading a good book, eating bad pizza, or snuggling a drowsy basset hound.