Our Spiritual Leader
Elsie Huebner was born into a farm family in Clifton, Virginia, an easy commute to Washington, D.C. There wasn’t a lot of money, but milk from their own cows, fresh pork, eggs, and garden-fresh vegetables, grown right there on the farm, were in abundance.
When Elsie was six years old, her father died in an accident. Having six children, Elsie’s mother was forced to sell the 50-acre farm and move the family to Arlington, Virginia, where she and the older children found work. As in most large families, the children were responsible for taking care of each other, and Elsie, being the second youngest, was in charge of her little sister, Betty. Betty, who was 4 years younger than Elsie, tagged along everywhere Elsie went. To date, four of Elsie’s siblings have passed away.
When Elsie was 12 years old, her mother remarried a bachelor from Ireland. You can imagine what an adjustment this was for all the family, including this new man of the house! Since he was Catholic, Elsie and Betty were brought up Catholic. Elsie attended an all-girls high school in Georgetown, where the nuns were stereotypically strict and constantly reminded the students of their sinful nature. The discipline was strong, there was Mass every day, no talking between classes, and school uniforms. Elsie related that the nuns often reminded them that there were many girls waiting in line to get into Holy Trinity High School, and if students misbehaved, they would be suspended and replaced by those on the waiting list. Despite these circumstances and the fact that Elsie did not remain with the Catholic Church, she appreciates the good education and discipline that she received from her Catholic schooling.
After high school, Elsie was hired as an Administrative Assistant at the CIA and worked there eight years before taking time off to raise her two children. During this period Elsie also worked at various part-time jobs and did a lot of volunteering, such as Girl Scout Leader and officer of the PTA. In 1979 she returned to government work for eight more years, this time as an Intelligence and Security Specialist for two military organizations. Elsie had the very highest security clearance available; she gave intelligence briefings to high-ranking officers and security briefings to travelers regarding terrorist threats. Elsie was awarded the Defense Logistics Agency Outstanding Individual at the DLA Women’s Observance for serving as an example to women employees working at the agency.
The love of her life awaited Elsie! Shortly after the breakup of her first marriage, Elsie met Fred at a Parents-Without-Partners party. They were inseparable from that point on. Ironically, they worked at the same Government Agency, and soon were riding to and from their jobs together! Married in 1980, they bought a house, where some of their adult children and various other relatives lived with them from time to time.
When Fred was diagnosed with cancer, he and Elsie rendered their resignations and moved to Florida in 1987. Fred made his transition in 2001, and 21 years of happy marriage ended. Elsie says she will always miss him.
Elsie’s older daughter, Deanna, graduated from college at the age of 20 and began an impressive series of career moves. She currently is President and Executive Director of Mt. Carmel Hospital Foundation. She and husband Steve, their two children, and one grandchild live in Columbus, Ohio. Younger daughter, Nancy, graduated from West Virginia University, and worked in law offices for several years before marrying John. They live in Dunkirk, MD and have three children. After years of being a full-time Mom, Nancy is now an artist, who also enjoys gardening and keeping fit with exercise, kayaking, and yoga. Elsie has four step-children, plus a whole bunch of step-grandchildren. The bond between Elsie and step-daughter Kathy remains strong. Kathy visits Elsie almost every year; the two of them have fun together and enjoy reminiscing about Fred (father and husband), thus keeping his memory vitally alive.
Having searched many years for the Truth, Elsie says the truth of Unity found her! It happened during a stressful time when Fred was in Morton Plant Hospital with a life-threatening illness. A man Elsie had worked with at Defense Logistics Agency called while visiting in Florida, wanting to see her. Elsie hadn’t talked to him since moving to Florida and tried to discourage his visit, because of Fred’s condition. But he insisted that he and his wife would only stay a little while. It seems the main reason for his visit was to give Elsie a message! He said, When Fred is better, you and he should find a Unity Church.” Since they had never discussed religion even once during their years of working together, Elsie felt this was a divinely guided message. She had never heard of Unity, but when Fred got out of the hospital they attended a service at Unity in Clearwater. Elsie says the minute they walked in the door and heard the first lesson they felt certain that the Unity way was their true spiritual path. She and Fred then dedicated their studies, tithes, and efforts to promoting Unity.
When asked which of her accomplishments she is most proud of, Elsie’s answer was “That’s a tough question!” She stated that she tries to accomplish something to be proud of every day! Elsie feels that it’s not always the big things, but rather the little things that no one ever hears about, which make the world a better place. She went on to share some of the accomplishments in her life. For years, she and her sister, Betty, did craftwork and sold their creations at shows in Florida and Alabama. Eventually they earned enough money to pay for a two-week trip to Europe for both of them and their husbands.
Elsie and Fred were two of the seven founders of Unity Community Church. She graduated from Unity School of Christianity in 1996 and earned her license as a Unity Teacher in 1997. She was ordained as a Non-Denominational Minister in 2002. Elsie stated that it has been her privilege to serve as Spiritual Leader at Unity Community for 19 years. She says she is proud that the church, which began so modestly with seven people meeting once a month for Bible study, has developed into a loving Full-Status Unity church, which is debt-free! In December 2019, Unity Community members and friends celebrated their community’s 25th Anniversary.
Elsie is proud of her membership in Toastmasters International for 20 years, where she reached Advanced Communicator-Gold status. Though not currently active, she served in various officer capacities, including president, over the years.
Elsie’s hopes and goals for the future include remaining healthy and active until “I leave the planet.” She wants to read, study, and teach spiritual principles as much as possible, and to express the Truth in her thoughts, words, and actions. Her dream/vision for Unity Community is that it will be filled to over flowing with like-minded Truth seekers, all actively engaged in creating a future designed by the Holy Spirit.