The Unitarian Church of Westport has named the Rev. John T. Morehouse as its new senior minister.

Morehouse received an "overwhelming" vote by the 500 member congregation during a meeting May 3, according to a press release.

Morehouse has been the lead minister of Pacific Unitarian Church, Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. He will move to Westport to begin his new ministry in August. He is the sixth senior minister since the Westport congregation was founded in 1949.

He succeeds the Rev. Frank A. Hall, who was served as the congregation's senior minister 29 years before his retirement in 2013.

Since Hall's retirement, the Rev. Roberta Finkelstein has served as interim senior minister. Her last worship service at the church will be on June 21.

Morehouse was chosen by a nine-member search committee, elected by the congregation, which began its search about a year ago.

Morehouse's first ministry was at First Unitarian Church, South Bend, Ind. From 1994-2005, he served as senior minister of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Frederick, Md. Since 2005, Morehouse has been senior lead minister of the Rancho Palos Verdes church.

Under his leadership, the congregation grew in size more than 50 percent, according to the press release. In 2008, it was recognized by the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations as a "Breakthrough Congregation," the release said.

Morehouse is an adjunct professor and teaching pastor at Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago, where he has taught courses in congregational polity and actively mentors intern ministers. He has completed his doctorate of ministry (graduating in May), and his thesis, "Creating Theology Together: A Curriculum for Spiritual Leadership," is focused on helping church leaders develop their shared theology.

He is also board president and senior consultant of the Chalice Oak Foundation, an organization he founded to develop Unitarian Universalist social justice programs.

Morehouse and his wife, Francis, have been married for 30 years. They have five daughters and three grandchildren.

The Unitarian Church, located at 10 Lyons Plains Road, holds services at 9 and 11 a.m. every Sunday and visitors of all backgrounds and beliefs are welcome. There is one Sunday service at 10 a.m. for the summer season as of May 24.

For more information, call 203-227-7205 or visit the church website at