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East Meets West: 1952-Present

By the 1940’s, the church had long outgrown its outmoded building and inadequate facilities. According to the church's Book of Remembrance, the Methodist Church's Week of Dedication, a nationwide offering of Methodists in anticipation of church extension following World War II, named our church as one of its projects.  The Board of Missions offered a dollar-for-dollar matching grant of $25,000.  With this inducement and Rev. Edwar Lee’s vigorous advocate and strong leadership, the church solicited local businesses and scoured the country in search of funds.  Through this financial camapign, the church raised an amount in excess of $30,000 and the Board granted a total of $39,500, making way for the construction of the new church building.  With Mr. Earl D. Minton, a retired contractor on the Board of Missions charging a dollar-a-year (i.e., essentially donating his service gratis), construction began in early 1952 and was completed just before Christmas.  A consecration service was held on December 14, 1952.

“’In Christ now meet both East and West,’ declares the architecture of the Chinese Community Methodist Church, Oakland, California. The pastor, Dr. Edwar Lee, desired ‘a sanctuary of cloistered quietness in the midst of noisy traffic in Oakland’s Chinatown, a structure distinctively Chinese and distinctively Christian.’” [Church Management, 1963]  The present edifice, completed in 1952, with its Chinese style architecture reflected the unique cultural and spiritual heritage of the community.  Each room and feature was designed with a specific purpose in mind.

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church front 1950s
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New Church Building - 1952






church management
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Palace of the King, Church Management 1953

With completion of the new church building in 1952, the church experienced immediate growth in membership and activities in the church.  The church embarked on a plan for expansion by purchasing the two adjacent buildings.  When the church planned its Diamond Jubilee celebration in 1920, it adopted the slogan "$75,000 for the 75 Anniversary" with explicit aim of building the Annex.  It was met with enthusiastic and financial response.  Mr. Dartmond Cherk, an architect, was engaged to draw up plans for the new building and construction began shortly thereafter.  The social hall and educational annex was completed in early 1970.


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Annex Photo
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Social Hall and Educational Annex - 1970


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Chinese Community United Methodist Church - 321 8th Street Oakland, CA 94607 - (510) 452-1020   [ directions & map ]