The Reverend Dr. John Cummins, son of Rev. Robert Cummins, general superintendent of the Universalist Church of America, replaced Olson. Cummins who developed a more inclusive lay leadership, was not afraid of controversy and was a committed civil rights activist. He went to Selma to march with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1965, counseled conscientious objectors during the Vietnam War and later provided sanctuary to Central American refugees. (Pictured at left with reproductive rights champion Betty Benjamin.)
The congregation grew significantly under his leadership. He and his wife Drusilla were active in the denomination in various leadership positions as well having served on a variety of committees and commissions in the Prairie Star District (PSD) and the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). Cummins ran for the state legislature, served two terms as president of the United Nations Association of Minnesota, and was invited to the White House Conference on International Cooperation by President Lyndon Johnson. After 23 years representing 127 years of five settled ministries in the history of the church, Cummins retired in 1986. He is currently Minister Emeritus of the church.
Excerpted from First Universalist Church of Minneapolis: The First 150 Years, October 2009.
Reflecting on highlights of UU history, from our Minister Emeritus John Cummins