HISTORY


FCC Sonoma was founded in 1871 and grew up alongside the town of Sonoma. Both church and town have a long rich history. The church started with the establishment of a Sunday School by a few pioneer settler families, including the Dunns and the Coopers. Our first church building was on Broadway Avenue, where the Shell Station now stands. 

Early members of our congregation were involved with the founding of the first public Library in Sonoma as well as the founding of the Sierra Club. Carrie Burlingame, for whom our social hall is named, was an early member of the Sierra Club.  In fact, she wrote a book of poetry about the Sierras and the proceeds were used to help establish the Sierra Club. Ms. Burlingame was also a friend of Jack and Charmian London. 

Our church building on Broadway also housed the Sonoma Vintners Association in the basement. Our current sanctuary on West Spain Street was the main floor of the original church. In 1960, the building was put on the back of a truck and moved to our current campus near the Vallejo Home State Park in order to get out of the commercial district and enjoy the natural setting.

 

We enjoyed 25 marvelous years with Rev. David McCracken as our minister. David brought people together and was a deeply spiritual leader. He stood with protesters at the Plaza denouncing war and injustice. He also allowed the city to place the Christmas Nativity on our property when it became too contentious for the city to display it. 

 

Following David’s retirement, the Rev. Nancy Taylor served as our pastor for nine years. Nancy led us to become an Open and Affirming Congregation, welcoming all persons as equals in our church. During this time, we created an ever-popular group to march in the annual San Francisco Gay Pride Parade, known as the Church Ladies (and Gents) for Gay Rights. 

 

In recent years, we have become a Creation Justice Church, affirming our stewardship of the earth. Earth Advocacy is a central part of who we now are as a church and we supported the youth who sued the federal government to ensure a sustainable future. Our campus is all solar and we have a Monarch Butterfly Garden on campus.

 

Our wonderful current pastor, the Rev. Curran Reichert, has been with us for four years and has moved us forward with her tireless work on social justice issues and by involving us more closely with the needy within our geographic area. Our church was founded on fellowship and caring for each other and the community at large, as we continue our efforts to make the world a better place.

 

Our Pastors Since 1950 

  • Curran Reichert  2016-present
  • Nancy Taylor 2006-2015
  • David E. McCracken 1984-2004
  • Winthrop B. Yinger 1978-1983
  • Harold W. Heckman 1965-1978
  • John Hoff 1960-1965
  • Baron McLean 1956-1959
  • Ernest Morrill (with Methodists) 1952-1956
  • Olan A. Terrell (Methodist) 1950-1952