Central held its first worship service on September 15, 1849, the year before the City of Stockton was chartered and California became a state, in a tent at the corner of Miner Avenue and San Joaquin Street. The first building, constructed at a cost of $12,000, was dedicated on July 28, 1851.
Central’s home from 1851-1958
The fourth structure the church occupied (including the tent) was a magnificent brick structure dedicated on April 5, 1891. It was built on the site where the first tent meeting was held. The building seated one-thousand and was built at a cost of $86,000. On July 20, 1958, the last service was held in “Old Central”. The stained glass windows that grace the narthex of the current church were brought from the former church building.
Central’s new home 1964
On June 7, 1964, Central consecrated its new sanctuary and Fellowship Hall at Pacific and Fulton Avenues, across the street from University of the Pacific. Worship services were celebrated in Morris Chapel on the University campus during construction of the new sanctuary. The contract cost was $680,000!
One finds a feeling of openness within the sanctuary. As one looks out the windows, no cars are visible, but only a view of the surrounding trees. The vista communicates the image of a “garden”.
Central’s exterior cross rises 130 feet into Stockton’s skyline. The building has 30,818 square feet, with a roof area of 44,000 square feet (more than an acre)! The interior cross behind the Chancel area is the visual center of the sanctuary and also the structural component that holds up the roof.