History of University Covenant Church
October - Dick and Barbara Lindholtz, and seven other Davis residents begin a mid-week Bible study in Davis, encouraged by Dick Sandquist, pastor of First Covenant Church in Sacramento, the Lindholtz’s and seven other Davis residents began a mid-week Bible study in Davis. Pastor Sandquist shares with them a vision: that these nine who love the Lord would begin a work that would evolve into a Covenant Church in Davis.
The group grows to 17 participants, among them students and employees of the university. Sandquist gives the church the name it still uses today – University Covenant Church. University Covenant Fellowship is officially formed.
1963October 13 - The first Sunday worship service of University Covenant Fellowship is held in the Roundhouse, a small building on North Street (now called Chestnut Street). Thirty-five people are present.
1965January 10 - The fellowship outgrows the Roundhouse and has its first service at the meeting place of the International Order of Odd Fellows. Eighty-five people are in attendance. Spring - 2.8 acres on Anderson Road is purchased, an alfalfa field sold to the University Covenant Fellowship for $45,000, barely more than what the owner had paid for it. May - The church calls Randy Klassen, a pastor from a church in Manitoba, Canada, to serve as their pastor. Dr. Paul Johnson serves as interim pastor until the arrival of Randy Klassen.
1966January 30 – Randy Klassen designs a beautiful charter, which marks the beginning of University Covenant Church. Plans are draw up for a new facility on Anderson Road.
Summer - Construction started on the church sanctuary and the student center "The Lamp," which throughout the years became a multipurpose building.
October 13 - University Covenant Church moves from the Odd Fellows Hall to Anderson Road for its first service,five years to the day after their first service in the Roundhouse.
Upon Pastor Klassen’s departure, Pastor Ron Lagerstrom and his family arrive before the end of the summer. Pastor Lagerstrom comes with new ideas and vision. Believing that the direction of the church is tied to the training and inspiration of younger generations, he begins an internship program for new college graduates.
UCC now has 149 members and attendance is well into the 200s. As the church continues to grow, there begins to be a pressing need for additional staffing.
By now, there is a space crisis for the Sunday School programs. The church decides to purchase a duplex on Radcliffe Dr., adjacent to the church property, to use as additional Sunday School space, as well as meeting in homes of those who lived nearby.
The church begins a Building and Facilities Committee that recommends the building of two additional buildings at the facility on Anderson Road. By this time, University Covenant Church has 298 members and nearly 400 in attendance at worship each week.
Ron Lagerstrom is called to serve as Associate Superintendent of the Pacific Southwest Conference. Afterwards a succession of pastors serve at UCC:
- Interim Pastor David Gill, 1990-92
- Pastor Jeff Chapman, 1992-94
- Interim pastor Bill Pruitt, Jr., son of founding members Bill and Ada Pruitt
- Interim Pastor Ray Johnston for a 3-month period while he was planting Bayside Covenant Church in Granite Bay.
- Interim Pastor Bruce Giles.
- The 1990s are characterized by major changes in the music and worship ministry at UCC. Vivian Meyer provides outstanding music leadership for over 30 years she directs the choir and establishes a thriving teen choir.
1995As the culture in Davis begins to long for contemporary expressions of worship, UCC becomes one of the first Davis churches to start a contemporary worship service. By the end of the 1990s, there are three services all being held in the main sanctuary, two of which were contemporary services.
The long search process for a new Senior Pastor ends when Jamie Crook is hired.
A “Vision to Action” weekend results in the formulation of a purpose statement for UCC and plans to put that statement into action. Attendance begins to grow once again, from an average of 340 in 1998 to 710 in 2001.
2001Services are bursting at the seams, as are children’s classrooms. A committee proposes a purchase of 9.8 acres of prime land on the east side of Davis for three million dollars. The congregation votes overwhelmingly for the move.
March 30 - several hundred members and friends of UCC gathered at the new location on Mace Boulevard for a groundbreaking celebration. Construction begins.
February 22 - The first service is held in the new facility. Concurrent with the move are continued changes in staffing at UCC as the church struggles to meet the demands of a growing congregation. Pastors and staff are hired with the vision of equipping the church to accomplish God’s vision. The church is not about "ministry professionals" doing the work while everyone else receives the benefits. Rather, ordinary people are involved at every level of ministry, from the Elder Team to preschool volunteers to Bible study leaders to baking cookies to preaching. UCC continues to be a church led by the people, as each part of Christ's body does its work
2010With a desire to help expand the opportunities to worship, the 5:30 evening service is started. This service has a contemporary style and draws people who are unable to attend Sunday mornings due to work or travel.
January – After fifteen years of ministry as Senior Pastor, Jamie Crook steps down and UCC enters into a season of transition. UCC’s Sunday gatherings have increased to 800 in attendance, with four services offering both classic and contemporary worship styles. Dozens of small groups gather regularly to study the Bible and encourage each other. Men’s, women’s, adult, children, youth, and college ministries reach people of all ages and ethnicities.
As we look to the future, we eagerly anticipate seeing God at work and joining with His work in the world.