1900 2

The Second Congregational Church was organized May 31, 1868. It was later sometimes known as the Chase Street Church.

A small church building on the southeast corner of Wood and Goss Streets was dedicated August 31, 1868. The 1869 directory lists Rev. Eli Corwin as pastor, and the following as trustees of the Religious Society: James A. Folger - moderator; P.W. Fonda - treasurer; O.P. Truesdell; H.G. McLean; Charles C. Fisher - secretary.

Chase Street

About 1875, they constructed a new church building on Chase Street. Unfortunately they accumulated a large debt in doing so. In 1876, Rev. C.H. Pope resigned as pastor, with finances being a factor. 1 The 1877 directory mentions the new building, and notes that pastorate was vacant. Donations from the First Congregational Church and John W. Pearson helped pay off most of the debt in 1877. 5

Peralta Street

In 1900, they moved the building to 10th and Peralta where St. Patrick Catholic Church is now. Repairs and alterations were made to the building; the Sanborn maps suggest the new spire was 40' shorter than the old spire.

1900 21902 Sanborn excerpt

The End

Rev. Leslie B. Briggs resigned in 1909 to work in San Francisco. The church made no immediate action to call a new pastor, and it was reported that the trustees were considering selling the propety. 3

In 1911, Rev. J.B. McNally announced that St. Patrick Church had purchased the property. They intended to tear down both their existing church and the Second Congregational building, and build a "handsome new structure." 4


Over the 41 years of the church, there were many pastors. The below list does not include guest pastors or temporary ones (unless they went on to become full-time.) The reasons given were varied, but the result was that few pastors served more than a year or two. A string of turnovers in the early 1890s and the resulting newspaper coverage prompted one parishioner to write to the Tribune and explain that things had been "settled in perfect harmony." 6

Years Pastor Notes
1868-1870 Rev. Eli Corwin  
1870-1873 Rev. David B. Gray 1872 directory
1874 Rev. J.T. Wills 1874 directory
1875-1876 Rev. C.H. Pope 1875 directory
1877 -vacant-  
-1878 Rev. W.L. Jones ref
1878- c.1880 Rev. J.T. Wills 1880-1881 directory
1882-1886 Rev. Walter Frear 1884-1885 directory
1886-1888 Rev. Walter Hamlin ref
1888-1890 Rev. G.W. Bothwell 1889-1890 directory; ref
1890-1891 Rev. J.H.J. Rice ref
1891-1893 Rev. Joseph Bacon 1892-1893 directory; ref
1893; 1894 Rev. George W. Henning ref; ref
1894-1896 Rev. Frank E. Hinckley ref
1897-1903 Rev. J.W. Phillips 1898 directory
1904- Rev. W.J. Speers 1904 directory
1906- Rev. H.F. Burgess 1906 directory
1908 -none listed- 1908 directory
1908 -1909 Rev. Leslie B. Briggs  

Links and References

  1. West Oakland Items Oakland Tribune November 25, 1876
  2. Second Congregational Church In A New Location Oakland Enquirer October 6, 1900
  3. Minister Resigns; Trustees May Sell Property Oakland Enquirer November 25, 1909
  4. Cathedral To Be Constructed Oakland Tribune February 25, 1911
  5. A Prosperous Society Oakland Daily Transcript January 21, 1877
  6. Perfect Harmony Oakland Tribune January 28, 1893