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This profile was last updated on 10/14/14  and contains information from public web pages.

Rev. Gordon B. McKeeman

Wrong Rev. Gordon B. McKeeman?

Minister Emeritus

Phone: (330) ***-****  HQ Phone
Unitarian Universalist Church of Akron
3300 Morewood Road
Akron , Ohio 44333
United States

Company Description: The Unitarian Universalist Church of Akron is committed to spiritual growth and learning across the lifespan. Rather than teaching one set of beliefs or focusing on...   more

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations


  • Masters Degree
    Universalist School of Religion at Tufts University
  • Honorary Doctorate
    Meadville Lombard Theological School
44 Total References
Web References
Gordon B. ..., 14 Oct 2014 [cached]
Gordon B. McKeeman Minister Emeritus
Remembering the Living Tradition - UU Ministers Association [cached]
In Memory of . . . Gordon B. McKeeman (1920-2013)
Gordon was born in Lynn, MA, on September 12th, 1920 to William Neil and Lena Mabel (Goodridge) McKeeman.
Gordon went on to receive his Masters Degree in 1945 from the Universalist School of Religion at Tufts University. In 1969, he earned an Honorary Doctorate from Meadville Lombard Theological School.
Ordained to the Universalist ministry in 1945, Rev. McKeeman served All Souls Universalist Church of Worcester, MA from 1944 - 1950, First Parish Universalist Church of Stoughton, MA from 1950 - 1955, St. Paul’s Church of Palmer, MA from 1955 - 1961, and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Akron, OH from 1961 - 1983. In 1984, he was named Minister Emeritus of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Akron, OH. In 1983, he accepted the invitation to serve as the President of Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, CA, and he did so faithfully until 1988. His influence on the nature and shape of Unitarian Universalist ministry endures.
Rev. McKeeman engaged civic life with zeal. He held various offices on the Unity Community Council, served as a Board member for the Akron Rotary Club, founded the Fair Housing Contact Service, and founded the Planned Parenthood Association of Akron OH. He was also an adjunct faculty member at the University of Akron, OH.
Heavily invested in and committed to the denomination, Rev. McKeeman served as Vice President of the Massachusetts Universalist Convention, and President of the Massachusetts Universalist Ministers’ Association. Along with his wife, Phyllis, he served as Youth Leader at Ferry Beach. Additionally, he was the President of the Ohio-Meadville District, Vice President and President of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, and Vice Moderator of the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Board of Trustees. Additionally, he ran for Presidency of the Unitarian Universalist Association. Rev. McKeeman received the Angus H. MacLean Award from the Unitarian Universalist Association in 1982, and was the Berry Street Conference Essayist in 1993. Together with his wife Phyllis, he was awarded the UUA Distinguished Service Award in 1993.
Rev. McKeeman placed tremendous value on lay ministry. The Ohio Meadville District’s Commissioned Lay Leader program is an outgrowth of his grounding in Universalism and his understanding regarding the importance of strong lay leadership and the need for leadership that emerges from within congregations.
His unceasing commitment to Universalism led to his being a charter member of The Humiliati (the humble ones). The group, formed in 1945, "stressed that human beings are impelled, not compelled, by the power of God to fulfill the good potential of their lives. The impulse toward wholeness in humanity is predisposed to good, though it can be weakened or distorted by chaos and conflict. Authentic worship keeps it alive and restores its integrity.� By the time The Humiliati disbanded in 1954, Rev. McKeeman was elected as their lifetime Abbot. During the last few years of his life, Rev. McKeeman wistfully reflected upon being the last living member of The Humilati.
Rev. McKeeman belonged to the ministerial study group, The Fraters of the Wayside Inn. The group was founded by Universalist ministers in 1903 and succeeding the 1961 merger of Universalism and Unitarianism, expanded to include individuals ordained in the Unitarian ministry as well as those ordained in the new denomination. Rev. McKeeman advocated for the election of women into the group; in 1989, The Fraters’ membership expanded to include women. The Fraters of Wayside Inn was very important to Rev. McKeeman, and into the last few years of his life he treasured mementos and keepsakes he gathered during his years with the group.
Rev. McKeeman’s passion for ministry impacted innumerable lives. In the beloved meditation manual Out of the Ordinary: Meditations, he wrote:
Gordon is survived by his loving wife of 69 years, Phyllis; sons, Bruce, Glenn, and Randall; four grandchildren; and sister, Gloria King.
Gordon was preceded in death by his parents.
The Humiliati, 25 July 2014 [cached]
Charter members of the Humiliati were Gordon McKeeman, Albert Ziegler, Earle McKinney, Raymond Hopkins, David Cole, Frederick Harrison, Charles Vickery, and Albert Harkins.
The Humiliati held their first convocation at Tufts in 1946 with McKeeman as Abbot.
McKeeman was elected to two terms on the UUA Board of Trustees, served as president of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee and was president of the Starr King School for the Ministry.
They stopped meeting, though McKeeman, by then elected "Abbott for Life," could presumably have convened them.
Thesis, Meadville/Lombard Theological School (1978); Gordon McKeeman, "The Humiliati," an unpublished paper presented to the history section of Collegium (1987); and Mark Belletini, "Sacramentarianism among 20th-Century Unitarians and Universalists," Regaining Historical Consciousness: Proceedings of the Earl Morse Wilbur History Colloquium (1994) are important studies.
The author consulted with Gordon McKeeman in the preparation of this article.
Gordon B. Mckeeman | Universalists, 23 Jan 2010 [cached]
Gordon B. Mckeeman
Gordon B. Mckeeman (1920-)
Gordon B. Mckeeman
Gordon B. Mckeeman
A former president of the Starr King School, McKeeman also ran for the presidency of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA).
As a child, young Gordon went to local public schools, and graduated from Lynn English High School. In Junior High School, McKeeman began to attend the First Universalist Church in Lynn, where all his friends were going, and he fell under the influence of Alice Harrison, the Director of Religious Education.
McKeeman became the first person in his family to attend college, and finished under some financial duress with a B.S. in education from Salem State Teachers College (Massachusetts) in 1942. During his college years, McKeeman began to date Phyllis Bradstreet.
After that McKeeman moved on first to Stoughton (1950-1955) and then to Palmer (1955-1961), Massachusetts. Phyllis became especially active with the Girl Scouts in Stoughton, and Gordon became a community leader in Palmer, where the church constructed a new fellowship hall during his ministry.
In 1961 McKeeman was called to a large, dynamic congregation in Akron, Ohio, where he remained until 1983. During this time he began to be more active in the denomination. He began two terms on the UUA Board of Trustees in 1969, and was its vice moderator from 1975-1977. He also began a ten-year period of service on the board of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) in 1969, including being its president from 1973-1977. In 1976 McKeeman decided to run for the presidency of the UUA, and became part of the "Jack (Mendelsohn), Paul (Carnes) and Bucky Show.
McKeeman lost in a close election to Eugene Pickett. McKeeman also served as a ministerial settlement representative in the Ohio Meadville District of the UUA from 1970-1983. During a preaching engagement on the West Coast, several people approached McKeeman about serving as president of the Starr King School, after he had agreed to serve on an presidential advisory group the previous year. Eventually the search committee chose McKeeman, and he spent five years (1983-1988) as the president, helping to put the school on a more sound financial base. After that he retired, and he presently resides in Charlottesville, Virginia.
In his religious odyssey, McKeeman wrote, "I believe in institutions. I even believe in the conservative mission of institutions. I believe institutions, if they are to fulfill their purpose, must be conservative. But to be viably conservative, they have to change. McKeeman said that he always hoped some other job than minister might leap off the want ad pages in the Sunday newspaper, but he never found anything else he was qualified for.
Our Staff and Leaders :: UUCA, 14 Nov 2004 [cached]
Gordon B. McKeeman
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