The land that Santa Clarita United Methodist Church is built on was donated by the Bonelli Cattle Company and selected by our first full time Pastor, Rev. Charles Dennis in 1959. Groundbreaking for the first building took place in June of 1960. The cost of phase one of construction was $65,000. Our Fellowship Hall was completed in 1965 at a cost of $100,000 and served as our sanctuary for the next 23 years. Our Youth Building was built in 1974. The planning for our final building (the sanctuary) began in 1985 and was completed in time for Easter Services 1988 with a cost of about $1,155,000.
Santa Clarita UMC started as a mission of the Palmdale UMC. Since its official chartering on December 8, 1957, the church has had only seven senior pastors. Worship transitioned from in someone’s home to a school building and then to a community building until we had our own building. Music has always been vital to our celebration of worship. Some important memories to note are musical plays written by Al Rhodes-Wickett, youth and adult choir tours, and celebrations of music through concerts.
Spiritual formation and discipline has been integral to the ministries at Santa Clarita UMC. Pastor Dennis led a month long mission trip to Pakistan. Our church founded Small World Preschool and the Laubach Literacy Center in 1969. The Northridge earthquake of 1994, while damaging our buildings, did not damage our spirit of community. Our buildings became a site of relief, food and supply distribution, and rest for those who needed it. We began several programs to meet the needs of our children and youth, including Camp 91350, Childrens Fellowship, UMYF, annual Youth Service Projects, and National Youth Gatherings. Church family gatherings were frequent with activities such as Luaus, Fiestas and Picnics.
We now gather for worship with two different worship services in English and one in Korean to meet the various needs of our church family. We were so excited to have the Korean Congregation take up roots at Santa Clarita UMC in 2005. The Multiple choirs and bands that are a part of our worship add to the praise and glory of God.