Holy Cross United Methodist Church was conceived early in 1957 and officially born on Sunday, September 8 of that year with the blessing of Bishop Donald Tippett, having received substantial support from two other area United Methodist Churches: Grace and Central.
The earliest worship services and Sunday School classes were held at various sites, including the Stockton Ballroom, the Episcopal Church of St. Anne’s, Morris Chapel at then College of the Pacific, and even at a member’s home while the new faith community made plans and raised building funds. The first service at the current location of 1200 W. Hammer Lane was held on Sunday, December 25, 1960.
From 1960 – 1965 the focus was on growth and building. Reports from 1964 confirm worship and Sunday School attendance each to be near 200 per week. By 1965 the educational building was completed and consecrated.
Throughout the years the time, talents, and treasures of the people of Holy Cross have demonstrated service to others, openness to racial integration, and a priority of education for all. A Lifeline Telephone Counseling ministry was provided to the community from 1963-1966, a minority seminary student was hired to work with youth across the summers of 1965-66; a Cambodian refugee family was sponsored in 1979, and an ESL class was created for Hmong refugees in 1981. Service projects in Mexico and Appalachia spanned a total of 25 years.
Since 1981 the church grounds have been the site for a Hmong community garden. Since 1997, faithful people have produced and distributed over 2,000 sleeping bags for the area homeless population. Holy Cross has also generously supported the Emergency Food Bank and St. Mary’s Dining Room and is eager to become one of the churches who house homeless families as part of the Family Promise effort getting underway in San Joaquin County.
Beginning in 2005, the church has been—at times—the home for Pacific Islander worship, with a large contingent and a Tongan language pastor restarting that ministry on Pentecost Sunday in 2018.
In recent years, Holy Cross has been very involved in essential outreach to Uganda, organizing multiple service project trips, funding the building of a women’s center, helping support a school for deaf students, while sponsoring a series of orphans across the last 15 years.
Our small congregation with a big heart might be the place you have been looking for to experience the love of God and discover ways of sharing that love in world-changing ways.
Our hearts, our minds, and our doors are always open: join us!
*The United Methodist Church is a "connectional church," which means our churches are connected by a system to guide our work and govern our policies. This also allows us to pool our resources so that we may more effectively work together and be in ministry throughout the world.