150 Years of History

June 12, 1865 – “Congregational Society” founded First Congregational Church of Antioch.

  • A meeting was held where a constitution was adopted as presented. Following the Constitution are the “Ecclesiastical Principles” that state “A Christian church we understand to be properly an association of professed believers in Christ for the better promotion of His cause in the world, for mutual watchfulness, for the enjoyment of Christian ordinances, and maintenance of the worship of God. We accordingly declare this church to be such an association, to be known as “The Congregational Church of Antioch.”

February 28, 1875 – Thomas Gaines became a member of the church on profession of faith.

  • Thomas Gaines – an African-American – became a member of the church by profession of faith.  He was the only African-American allowed to live in Antioch, and he lived in a red brick shack on the waterfront in back of the Antioch Lumber Company. The shack was formerly part of the Joost Distillery.

1875 – The church was used as a school for children of Chinese laborers building the Delta levees.

August 20, 1876 – First Baptism by immersion in the San Joaquin River

1877 – Met to find a basis of union between the Congregational Church and Christian Church.

  • It was decided that the church should not disorganize but the two societies should work together. Mrs. Clark was invited to preach for 6 months – then amended to an indefinite time.

1891 – Sanctuary at Sixth and F Streets constructed.

  • The Antioch Ledger reported on August 16, 1891: “Last week the contract to build a new Congregational church was let to Contractor McKenzie. Rev. Oviatt preached his farewell sermon in the old church and on Monday morning workmen began to dismantle the old building and the contractor expects to have the church ready for dedication on Thanksgiving Day. The church, when complete, will cost between $5000 and $6000 and it is expected that there will be no more convenient and handsome church edifice in the county. Everyone who has seen the plans and a picture of the elevation goes into rapture over it.”

1918 – Membership was 62.  A gold str was placed on the service flag in remembrance of a member who was killed in World War I.

1921 – Second woman pastor, Rev. Bertha Harris served for six months “during a time when finances were bleak and there was very little interest in the church affairs.”

1938 – Precarious condition of finances opened a discussion about the church’s future.

  • Several solutions were recommended and discussed including Federate with the Methodist Church, close our church completely, conduct a drive to solicit donations, send out a questionnaire to church members, have a part-time minister and others.

1944 – Week day ecumenical Bible Study instituted which involved four churches and 135 pupils.

1948 – 203 food packages were sent to Germany and considerable clothing was sent to Hungary.

June, 1950 – Sponsored Displaced Persons who lived in the parsonage.

1952 – Children of the church raised $50 to send a goat to Korea in cooperation with Heifers for Relief Project. They also collected gifts for the boys and girls in the County Juvenile Hall.

December 31, 1955 – membership was 274

1957 – Rose Window installed in the Sanctuary.

January 9, 1961 – Became part of the United Church of Christ.

1961 – Hagop Janbazian, an ordained minister from Lebanon, taught Sunday School and later went to Hawaii to work with the lepers.

1968 – Gary Sledge was taken in Care of the Church while attending Union Theological Seminary in New York.

February 9, 1969 – Following the last service at 6th & F Street church building, members processed our sacred implements out, walking to the new building on Tregallis and processed them in.

February 16, 1969 – Dedication and worship at 620 E. Tregallas Road.

1976 – Bell Tower was completed.

1977 – Special “mortgage burning,” church was completely out of debt and had a savings account.

1982 – William Moore was ordained.

1991 – First “Feast of Lights” Advent program presented under the direction of Lucille Vinke Broderson.

2007 – Voted to become an “Open and Affirming” congregation. Also voted to sell the building.

2009 – Opened dialog with Community Presbyterian Church of Pittsburg about shared ministry.

June 20, 2010 – Members voted to accept an offer from the Salvation Army to buy the church building and grounds.

November 21, 2010 – At the beginning of the 1st East County Shared Ministry worship,  our members processed our sacred implements into the Camp Stoneman Chapel, as Community Presbyterian members stood in welcome.

December 27, 2010 – sale of East Tregallis property finalized.

February 7, 2011 – Beede Rose Window removed from East Tregallis building.

September 14, 2011 – Beede Rose Window (now framed and backlit) hung in the Camp Stoneman Chapel

November 20, 2011 – Celebrated 1st anniversary of shared ministry, East County Shared Ministry, with ecumenical Thanksgiving dinner.

September 21, 2012 – East County Shared Ministry celebrated gift of Peace Pole and celebrated with an Interfaith Peace Concert

July 19, 2014 – for 2nd year East County Shared Ministry sponsored a team in Pittsburg’s Relay for Life