Clayton Valley Presbyterian Church (CVPC) is sixty-five years old having received its charter on June 16, 1957 from The Presbytery of San Francisco. It all began in the summer of 1956 when a steering committee of local individuals held a series of meetings in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Don Medcalf where they prepared plans for the proposed church. The first meetings were held under the leadership of Mr Howard Robie from the Presbytery. The Rev. John Kinsey was called to head the new work in July 1956 by the Board of National Missions. In October 1956, the San Francisco Presbytery approved the plans.
The following December, a six acre site that included a house and swimming pool was purchased. It was, and is, located at 1578 Kirker Pass Road. With the help of a group of members, Rev. Kinsey supervised the remodeling of the garage to serve as a temporary chapel until a sanctuary could be constructed.
In October 1958, ground was broken for the first buildings of the new church. A concrete block and redwood multi-purpose room (known today as Fellowship Hall) to seat 250 persons and a Christian Education building (presently home of the Children’s Center) was begun.
By February of 1959, the congregation was able to occupy the buildings. Note that the Fellowship Hall is to the right in this picture and the Children's Center is on the left. The tall cross in the foreground was actually a telephone pole erected by a member who worked at P.G.& E.
The Fellowship Hall continued to serve as a multi-purpose room, as well as the Sanctuary, and it seemed that chairs and tables were always being moved to accommodate the event.
According to the laws of the State of California, the papers were signed to incorporate the church as a non-profit on the 18th day of November, 1960.
The congregation had tried for many years to find a way to build new Christian Education buildings and/or a new Sanctuary.
Once the concept of having a “God Built Sanctuary” came to fruition, it worked! In 1993, a parcel of land was sold and the money was used as seed money to begin the planning phase for a new Sanctuary.
Ground was broken on September 17, 1995. All members and friends of the congregation brought a small sample of soil. There was dirt from over half the 50 states, from childhood churches, from childhood states, and from several countries. Dirt was brought from states as far away as Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Dakota, Wyoming, and Hawaii, as well as from Mt. Sinai in Egypt, Romania, Germany, and Israel, to name a few. A small amount of water from Moses’ Springs in Egypt was added, too. All the dirt was placed in a container.
The container of dirt was saved until just before the foundation was to be poured . At that time, the container was emptied into the center of the foundation which was meaningful because the foundation is in the shape of a Celtic Cross. When we worship in the Sanctuary, we are there collectively, with our past under our feet, our being sitting in the chairs, and our future shaped by God.
The new Sanctuary was dedicated on September 9, 1997 at 4:00 pm, less than two years after the groundbreaking. The dedication was attended by our family, friends, community, and representatives of The Presbytery of San Francisco. In Scottish tradition, recognizing the roots of the Presbyterian Church, a bagpiper opened the ceremony. The congregation waited outside until the Pastor and the Clerk of Session opened the doors. The “Call To Worship” represented and represents our spirit.
Dear friends in Christ,
Enter this sanctuary in the name of God,
Creating, redeeming, sanctifying,
The Lord is here,
God’s Spirit is with us.
Let us enter the gates with thanksgiving
in our hearts.
Let us come into God’s presence with praise.
Joyfully, with thanksgiving, let us worship God!