Our Roots

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history of parkside

Parkside began in the garage of Rudy and Ann Volz as a community church for the newly developed suburb (South Land Park) of Sacramento in 1957.  It was formed as a progressive church before we started calling churches progressive!  The visionaries of Parkside wanted a church in which anyone could attend regardless of their religious background or ethnic heritage.  Founded as a multi-racial congregation in the late 50's, Parksiders have remained diverse, welcoming, and committed to social justice issues of equality.

At approximately the same time, a new denomination was forming called the United Church of Christ.  The early church leaders wanted the congregation to be part of a denomination and found in the UCC shared values and vision of continuing God's work in our world.  So, the newly formed little church in South Land Park and the new denomination, the United Church of Christ, "grew up together".  We have enjoyed the last 50+ years of mutual support and working side-by-side to accomplish God's mission of justice for all people.

The first building project of Parkside was the parsonage for the first pastor, Lew Knight.  The congregation met in the garage of the parsonage while the new chapel was being built. Later, when I-5 was constructed, the parsonage was torn down in its wake.  The 1st phase of Parkside's building project was complete by then and included the Chapel, Fellowship Hall and classrooms.  Phase 2 - the building of the main sanctuary - took another 50 years to accomplish having been finished in time for Easter of 2009.

In 1995, the congregation called, for the first time, a woman as its senior pastor. The first female pastor to serve a Sacramento-area UCC church, Rev. Dr. Susan Hamilton brought creativity and vitality to Parkside.  She also helped start a Health Ministry, and the congregation called Becky Anton to serve in the role of Commissioned Minister for Congregational Health and Faith Community Nurse. 

In 2013, after Rev. Hamilton had accepted a call to a different ministry, Parkside called its second female senior pastor, Rev. Elizabeth Griswold. Since her arrival in July, 2013, Rev. Elizabeth has been actively working with the congregation on church growth, community outreach, and social justice issues. Then in 2017, after Becky retired, Parkside called a second pastor, Rev. Bonnie Rambob, who has done miraculous work especially with our children and youth . Now the congregation is delighting in the co-pastoring model of service as these two lead the church.