History

Faith Presbyterian Church is one of the youngest churches in the San Diego Presbytery, created as a merger of two existing congregations in the area – East San Diego and College Park. Both congregations were of similar size and both church buildings and facilities were aging structures with mounting maintenance expenses and shrinking membership. Merger talks began in February of 1993. In July of 1993, officers from both remaining congregations were elected to serve on a joint Merger Committee to hammer out terms. It was decided that the College Park Church campus would become the site of FPC. Because of College Park Preschool’s pre‐existence (it was founded in 1962) long before the merger was even a dream, the preschool chose to retain the College Park name.

The Merger Committee had many issues to discuss and work through and toiled diligently to complete the process. The first worship service at FPC was finally held on March 5, 1995. Reverend Chris Lenocker accepted the call from the Pastor Nominating Committee and preached his first sermon in the new church on April 1st, nearly a month after the first service.

Just over two months later, he was joined on staff by Robert Plimpton as music director/organist. Mr. Plimpton was already widely known and respected in the San Diego area as Civic Organist for the famous Spreckels organ in Balboa Park – a post he held for many years. His reputation and popularity drew many new members to FPC, most of whom stayed even after he moved on to serve as organist at another local church in November of 2000. A highlight of his music ministry at FPC was when he helped organize and lead a church choir tour to Europe in the summer of 2000 – where he had also arranged to play some of the organs in various historical churches along the tour route.

An association from the East San Diego Church that carried over to FPC shortly after the arrival of our new pastor was their affiliation with the Sudanese immigrants and their efforts to establish their own church in the area. They had already been holding Nuer services at East San Diego Presbyterian on Orange Avenue in City Heights prior to the merger. Afterwards, FPC allowed the Sudanese to hold services at FPC and worked with the Presbytery to conduct a three‐year fund‐raising campaign for a new Sudanese church at the old East San Diego PC site. FPC contributed $50,000 per year for a total of $150,000, which the Presbytery matched for a total of $300,000. That amount, combined with other donations, led to the building of the Sudanese American Church, which is still an active church today. Other FPC contributions to the Sudanese community helped establish a medical clinic, located next to the Alliance for African Assistance on El Cajon Blvd. It started as a walk‐in medical clinic for immigrants and was recently upgraded to an urgent care facility. FPC also donated over $50,000 in educational scholarships to the Sudanese, so has touched many lives with our connection and caring.

Probably the major event in FPC’s short 22‐year history was the Building Project, which covered a span of five years in total. Although it had earlier been determined that this facility was in the better condition of the two merging churches, improvements and expansions were vital for a growing congregation. The Building Committee first convened in 1999 and met almost weekly, with monthly congregational meetings after worship to keep the congregation informed. Input from the congregants was very important to this committee! The sanctuary was remodeled first, in 2002. Worship services took place in the old Fellowship Hall during this time. In early 2003, a house on Linda Paseo became the new church office while the old administration building and preschool were demolished. Members had to park on the street when our parking lot turned into a construction zone. In October of 2003, the preschool re‐opened and the following month the Education Building was finished and started to be used for Bible studies, choir practice, Sunday School, etc. On March 7, 2004, FPC celebrated the completion of the Building Project during and after our worship service.

After the departure of Bob Plimpton and in the early stages of the building project, FPC had a couple of interim music director/organists, but decided to seek a permanent director through an application and auditioning process. The church was fortunate to hire Joe Rodriguez for the position and his first Sunday in his new role was April 14, 2002. Joe, known to local organists as Director of Operations at Spreckels Organ Society, was (and still is) the director of Harmony Ringers, an advanced group of handbell ringers from all over San Diego.

Dr. Lenocker served as the pastor of FPC until his retirement on January 1, 2017, after twenty‐one years.

On April 7th 2019, FPC welcomed Rev. Sam Codington as our new pastor.

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