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santa cruz church's 130th anniversary

The Santa Cruz Church was founded on March 31, 1894, making this year a milestone. Celebrating its 130th anniversary, three of the former pastors attended this event and helped with the service. Doug Motsenbocker, Joe Reynolds, and Thom Garner all helped by offering prayer, acting as elder, and presenting a history of the church. Pastor Jireh Yi, current pastor of the church, spoke for the event highlighting the sanctuary and God’s message through it—the symbolism of the sanctuary and how it is applied to us today.


Normally about 50-60 people attend the Santa Cruz Church on a weekly basis. But for this event, 124 people came to celebrate the church’s anniversary. Invitations were sent to current and prior members, encouraging them to help celebrate this milestone. Ken Sjoboen, head elder of the church, said, “We got a great response and a few from out of the area came and shared the day with us.”


A planned lunch was held after the service, and of those who attended, Sjoboeb said that about 80 stayed to eat and visit. “The weather cooperated and only a short burst of rain fell during the church service, so we all stayed dry,” added Sjoboeb.


Santa Cruz Church was started by a colporteur named Saunders, who arrived in the area in 1894. He came in contact with Mrs. Howell and Mrs. Annie Rowe, who wanted to start a church in Santa Cruz. Along with the help of the conference president, Elder D.C. Hunter, the church was formed. Their first church service took place in downtown Santa Cruz on Lincoln Street, and 14 members signed the church charter, promising to proclaim “the everlasting gospel, God’s message of warning, hope, love and comfort to all the world in the power of the Holy Spirit in the earth’s final days.”


“Another milestone we have is for the church building itself, it will be 70 years old in June,” added Sjoboeb. In 1949, the congregation voted to find a new location and build a new church. This was completed in 1954, completely debt-free, giving Santa Cruz Church its current location and building.


Written by Brennan Hallock of Exploring Creative, LLC |


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