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Wednesday, January 03, 2007  

Lida Hensley has Passed Away

I am very sad to report that Lida Hensley, the president of the Universal Life Church, passed away on 12/31/2006.

The Reverend Kirby James Hensley (23 July 1911-March 19, 1999) was the president and founder of the Universal Life Church.

Hensley was born as second in a family of seven children on July 23, 1911 in the mountains of western North Carolina. For over 65 years he studied and preached religion throughout the United States. He was illiterate, but still found ways to learn about things that interested him, namely religion.

Hensley was ordained in the Baptist Church, but after preaching for several years he left that denomination and attended the Pentecostal Churches in the area. Through this church he married his first wife Nora and they had two daughters. He pastored in Oklahoma and California.

Hensley soon divorced Nora and moved to North Carolina, where he met his second wife Lida. During their forty-six-year marriage they had one daughter and two sons.

It was shortly after returning to California with his family that he started to work with the idea of forming a church for all people. The one overruling principle guiding the ULC was to have respect for all faiths.

He created the Universal Life Church in 1959 and felt that everyone's beliefs should be respected and welcomed. He fought for his convictions in the courts, eventually getting ULC established as its own denomination.

Rev. Hensley ran for President of the United States as a third party candidate under the third Universal Party in 1964 and 1968.

Hensley remained as President of the church, and regularly preached his beliefs across the country until his death on March 19, 1999. After his death, Lida Hensley served as the President of the headquarters, with Andre Hensley, his son, as the headquarters manager, until her late passing.

A memorial service will be held for her at the Modesto headquarters of the church on 1/14/2006 at 10am. Everyone is welcome.

Please keep her, and her family, in your prayers.

posted by the Editor | 12:23 PM
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