The Methodist Episcopal Church (South)
The first Methodist Episcopal Church (South) building in Santa Rosa was built in 1868 on the property of Judge W. Churchman, at the corner of 5th and B Streets. We don’t have any photos of the church at that location, but the building can be seen in the drawing of the 1894 church at the far right.
Sixteen years after it was built (1884) the first building was moved down Fifth Street to the corner of 5th and Orchard, the site of the present day Pedersen’s Furniture store. At first it faced 5th street, but in 1894 it was pushed to the back of the lot and turned sideways. A new sanctuary and front section with steeples, stained glass windows and a new entry was built onto the existing structure.
This block print was used in the Santa Rosa “Republican” newspaper following the church’s dedication service by Bishop Fitzgerald on Sunday, October 21st, 1894. The paper reported “The decorations were simple, a number of beautiful boquets being on the pulpit, boquets of chrysanthemums and red roses. On the rostrum with Bishop Fitzgerald sat the ministers of other churches in Santa Rosa and a number of ministers of the conference. The choir had been strengthened by the singers from some of the other churches and the music was full and sweet. After singing the coronation hymn, Bishop Fitzgerald offered a fervant prayer. There was more music and then Bishop Fitzgerald began his sermon. About this time, the white, fleecy clouds which had shadowed the earth at intervals during this forenoon parted and let in a flood of sunshine. It illuminated the noble countenance of the grand old man and cast a halo of glory all over the congregation.”