The founder of Hopedale and our first minister, Adin Ballou, had an intense desire to put his religious faith into practice. He conceived and promoted the Fraternal Community No. 1, the forerunner of this parish. From 1842 to 1856, he and his followers lived on farmland that now is the town of Hopedale. It was here that they worked to embrace an ethical idealism. Although his experiment made a promising beginning, it eventually dissolved. Many who had taken part in the noble effort to live out the demands of Christian socialist principles continued to worship with Adin Ballou, thus establishing this Parish.
The Hopedale Unitarian Parish was formed October 2, 1867. The Parish accepted the remaining members of the Community, its Meeting House, Sunday School, Cemetery and Funds. Today, the Hopedale Unitarian Parish is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Association, which has headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts.