History of SPCC

The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) was founded on the Allegheny frontier in the early 1900s and reached California in the gold rush years of the 1850s. The Reverend Sumner T. Martin, minister of the Pasadena Christian Church, and J. Walter Johnson, a gospel singer, held a series of evangelistic meetings in the Opera House Building on Center Street in South Pasadena in January 1906. Sixteen people attended the meetings and founded the South Pasadena Christian Church. The congregation formerly charted in February 1906, and the Reverend H.T. Buff became our first pastor.

Initially, the congregation met Sunday afternoons on Center Street in a little building used Sunday mornings by the Presbyterians. When Alexander R. Graham, a member of SPCC, finished his Alexander Building at Mission Street and Meridian Avenue, he let the congregation meet in two rooms on the second floor, above the post office.

Mr. Graham also gave SPCC a building site at the corner of Fairview and Oxley. The church later sold the land to the city for Library Park and bought the property where we are today, at Lyndon and Fremont. Here, they built a little brown bungalow that served the congregation from 1909 to 1962. On April 23, 1963, a new sanctuary was dedicated next door to the bungalow. The bungalow continued in use as a Sunday school until 1969, when it was torn down to make room for the parking lot and the Edna Gish Educational Building. This building was named after a retired missionary who also served SPCC as a Minister of Education and Visitation.

When the old bungalow was taken down, its wooden cross was preserved. It now graces the wall alongside the Lyndon Street entrance to the church.