The Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Church is a strong tree with deep roots.

June 2015 – Church Leaders

Board Positions:

  • President: Alice Sessions
  • Vice President: Sanjiv Sarwate
  • Secretary: Clint Miller
  • Treasurer: Jonathan Sheets

Trustee Positions:

  • Barbara Coldiron
  • Becca Russell
  • Niranjan Sharma

Assistant Treasurer:

  • Doug Martin

Nominating Committee:

  • Julia Mitschke
  • Kathi Lunny
  • Tim Buckley
  • Jon Durbin
  • Susan LaRonde

May 17, 2015 – Mission Statement Approved at the Congregational Meeting

Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Church

Embrace Joy
Enrich Connections
Encourage Growth
Empower Dreams

April 26, 2015 – A Installation of a New Minister

Live Oak UU Church celebrated the Installation of Rev. Joanna Fontaine Crawford as the settled minister.

August 10, 2014 – A New Minister

Rev. Joanna Fontaine Crawford delivers her first sermon as Live Oak’s settled minister. “Not that Kind of Church”: Growing up a Unitarian Universalist in Texas, questions about your status of being “saved” are not uncommon. Rev. Joanna explores salvation, faith, and shares some of her own spiritual journey.

June 2014 – Church Leaders


  • President – Alice Sessions
  • Vice-President – Sanjiv Sarwate
  • Secretary – Rebecca Gangnon
  • Treasurer – Amy Thomas
  • Assistant Treasurer – Bob Moyers


  • Jenifer Swan
  • Barbara Coldiron
  • Clint Miller

Nominating Committee

  • Kathi Lunny
  • Douglas Martin
  • Sharon Fitzpatrick
  • Tim Buckley
  • Julia Mitschke

Policy Committee Non-elected Members

  • Tina Cordes

Executive Team:

  • Rev. Bunyard
  • Janet VanSickler
  • Douglas Martin

June 2014

Rev. Linda Bunyard completes her tenure as Live Oak’s Interim Minister

May 4, 2014

The Live Oak Vice-President announced, “of the membership of 154, 81% or 124 people voted in person, by proxy or by absentee ballot. When those ballots were counted, 123 people or 99.2% voted to call Reverend Joanna Fontaine Crawford to the pulpit.”

June 2013 – Church Leaders


  • President – Lee Bruns
  • Vice-President – Alice Sessions
  • Secretary – Rebecca Gangnon
  • Treasurer – Amy Thomas
  • Assistant Treasurer – Bob Moyers


  • Jenifer Swan
  • CT Goss
  • Sanjiv Sarwate

Nominating Committee:

  • Juanita Moshier
  • Kathi Lunny
  • Adrian McCulloch
  • Doug Martin
  • Sharon Fitzpatrick

May 19, 2013 – Ministerial Search Committee selected

At a Special Congregational Meeting, the Ministerial Search Committee members were selected:

  • Mark Anderson
  • Barbara Coldiron
  • Donna Durbin
  • Katherine Enyart
  • Mary Hengstebeck
  • Mike Schultz
  • Niranjan Sharma

August 1, 2012 – Interim Minister

Rev. Linda Bunyard joins Live Oak as our Interim minister.

June 2012 – Church Leaders


  • President – Rob Sartin
  • Vice-President – Lee Bruns
  • Secretary – Alice Sessions
  • Treasurer – Sharon Fitzpatrick

Assistant Treasurer:

  • Bob Moyer


  • Doug Martin
  • Carolyn Dower
  • Jennifer Swan
  • Amy Thomas
  • CT Goss

Nominating Committee:

  • Grace Glenn
  • Larry Smith
  • Juanita Moshier
  • Kathi Lunny
  • Adrian McCulloch

Executive Team:

  • Tim Buckley
  • Grace Glenn
  • Janet VanSickler

April 2012

Celebrations held for our departing ministers Rev. Kathleen Ellis and Rev. Chuck Freeman.

March 2012

Dedication of Chalice Pathway.

May 2010 – Congregation approves the Vision – Mission Statement

Vision – Developed as our goals for 2010-2015, this vision statement is what the members and friends of Live Oak UU Church see as the kind of religious community we want to become.

We envision:

  • becoming an ever more vibrant, welcoming religious community,
  • nurturing spiritual and personal growth, and
  • leading relevant actions of compassion, connection and justice within and beyond our community.

Mission – These Mission statements are the mechanisms by which we at Live Oak UU Church will achieve our vision.

Our mission is to:

  • build community connections within and beyond our congregation,
  • enrich worship services and lifespan education to nurture the spiritual and personal growth of our UU community,
  • strengthen programs that develop and support ministerial and lay leadership, and
  • foster local signature outreach projects.

January 2005

Sasha, our new grand piano, is welcomed to Live Oak.

May 2004

On Sunday, May 23, 2004 at a Special Congregational meeting, the members of Live Oak voted to call the Rev. Kathleen Ellis as a minister to our congregation.

March 2004

Live Oak labyrinth is dedicated.

June 1, 2003

We move into our NEW church building, transferring the flame and all of our stuff in one festive afternoon. Let the renovations begin!

September 21, 2003

First service in our renovated facility.

January 16, 2002

Contracts are signed and Live Oak becomes the proud owners of a former Baptist church on El Salido Parkway. The Hatch Road property was sold to another church and swapped for the new property. Stewardship is contracted to renovate the new, much larger facility.

September, 2000

We added a second, earlier, worship service to our offerings.

April, 2000

Rev. Chuck Freeman’s final approval is granted and he is an officially fellowshipped UU minister!

March, 2000

Contract is signed with architectural firm Stewardship for design of new sanctuary.

September 22, 1999

Church members met at sunrise on the autumnal equinox to dedicate land for new church buildings on Hatch Road in Cedar Park, just a mile from our current location.

May 1, 1999

Rev. Chuck Freeman was conditionally approved as a UU minister.

March 30, 1997

The church moved to our new property at Lakeline Office Park, 12310 RM 620 North, Suite 104.

July 31, 1996

The church purchased our Lakeline office building.

October 6, 1996

The church began meeting temporarily in Lake Creek Village, just across and down the street from our new property in Lakeline Office Park.

July 23, 1996

An electrical fire in an upstairs neighbor’s office in the Cortez Plaza building caused the church to have to look for new meeting space. The church began meeting at Jollyville Elementary School on an emergency basis.

January 1996

Chuck Freeman became our part-time minister.

January 1995 to January 1996

Services were led by guest speakers, guest ministers, or members of the church.

August 1993

Live Oak obtained a minister through the UUA’s New Congregation Extension Ministry Program. The Rev. Annie Foerster (right) remained with Live Oak until January 1995.

January 1993

The church participated in a four-week “Minister on Loan” program with Rev. Charles Gaines, sponsored by the UUA.

November 1992

Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Church was chartered, and rented office space in the Cortez Plaza building at 13276 Highway 183.

July 29, 1992

The Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Church was officially incorporated as a church in the state of Texas.

July 12, 1992

The church held its first regular service, at The Arbor Nursing Home on 5301 Duval Road. It was attended by 25 adults and 14 children.

October 1991

Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Church was founded by this small steering committee.

September 1991

A presentation by a Unitarian Universalist Association, or UUA, official, to the members of First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin inspired a previously-unorganized group of Northwest Austin residents to begin meeting regularly to discuss the formation of a new church in their geographic part of Austin.


In a series of articles from our tenth anniversary year, amateur historian John Iacoletti reflects back on what was going on a decade ago during the first formative months of this congregation.

January 20th, 1992. The Internet was still primarily a playground for computer nerds and university students. Having been raised a UU, currently unchurched, and living in northwest Austin, the following announcement on the austin.general newsgroup caught my eye:

The Northwest Unitarian Universalist Committee is holding a public informational meeting for people who are interested in forming a new Unitarian Universalist Church in the northwest Austin/Round Rock area. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 4, 1992, at 7:30 p.m. at Jewish Community Center of Austin, 11713 Jollyville Road.

Martha and I decided to go check it out, with 2½-year-old Paul and 6-month-old Stephanie in tow. The guest book tells us who was there that night … some of the names are still familiar in our community today, other names are familiar only to old-timers: Tina Cordes, Vella Fink, Annie Legrand, Grace Lawlor, Kathy Sanchez, Ralph Shepley, Dale Stahl, Barbara Denny, Dwight Brown, Fred Wooden, and 9 others (the Sessions either weren’t there or forgot to sign the book!). I was later told that this was the first public meeting to organize a new UU church in northwest Austin. Until then, it was mainly a “crazy idea” batted around by a few mavericks at First UU Church who had a dream. It was cold and damp outside that night as we walked into the Jewish Community Center. Inside I found a group of total strangers, but they were the warmest, most welcoming and enthusiastic total strangers I had ever come across. I don’t remember much about what was specifically discussed that wintry evening, but I knew that something profound was going to happen and I wanted to be a part of it.

April 1992. Welcome to the first edition of the still-to-be named Unitarian Universalist Church newsletter … an auspicious beginning to the publication you are now holding in your hands (or on your computer screen! [the one where the website articles come from!]). It was written by Roger and Alice Sessions and was all of two pages in length. Amongst the articles in Volume 1, Number 1 of News From The NorthWest:

  • What would probably be the first formal church social event, the Seder Supper on April 11th
  • The announcement of the upcoming “name our church barbecue” on May 17th bullet
  • A report of a visit from the then district president Marty Robinson

There was also a 5 line long “calendar” of future events. At this time, there were organizational meetings held once a month. The first Sunday service would turn out to be another 3 months away. I’m guessing that this first newsletter went out to around 30 households. Still published monthly, the Live Oak newsletter now runs 8-10 two column pages, with about 200 copies going out in either print form or electronically.

May 1992: The New Church Has A Name!

A “Name-Our-Church” barbecue was held on May 17, 1992 at Ralph Shepley’s ranch on Onion Creek in Dripping Springs. Adults and children alike voted (this was pre-consensus if you can conceive of such a thing!) from a list of 25 possible church names. Some of the more notable candidates were: Harmony UU, Bluebonnet UU, Fellowship of The Covered Dish, Hill Country UU, Pathways UU, Furious Fire Ant UU, Balcones UU, and Texas Rattler UU. The clear winner was “Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Church.”

As fate would have it, Jim Scott, a traveling UU folksinger, just happened to be passing by that day and treated everybody to an impromptu concert. History also records that 10-year-old Keith Lawlor won the watermelon seed spitting contest (18′ 10″), and 11-year-old Emily Sessions and Tia Lawlor swept the three-legged race.

It was also around this time that the “Coordinating Committee” became the “Steering Committee” and started meeting monthly. Then as now, the meetings were open to all.