Suffering for Blasphemous Libel: The Ministry of Robert Wedderburn

In the first of two sermons devoted to reimagining our Unitarian Universalist roots, the Rev. Dr. Colin Bossen will explore the life and theology of the Rev. Robert Wedderburn (1762-1836?). The Rev. Wedderburn was the first Unitarian minister of African descent. Active in London from roughly 1802 to 1828, his work leading multiracial, working-class congregations in the very heart of the city is not widely known. Examining it challenges us to reconsider the nature and limits of Unitarian Universalist theology. 

About our guest speaker: The Rev. Dr. Colin Bossen has served, first in an interim and now in a developmental capacity, as the Senior Minister of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston since 2018. He earned his PhD in American Studies from Harvard University and his MDiv from Meadville Lombard Theological School, and has held non-residential fellowships with Rice and Princeton Universities. A scholar and a social justice activist, he’s pleased to be back in Santa Barbara. You can read his blog and find out more about his current projects at

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