Soquel Church celebrates 150 years

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SOQUEL — Members of the Congregational Church of Soquel are celebrated 150 years of their majestic white steeple church in the heart of Soquel Village with an “Art and History Weekend.”

Extensive displays of historic photos, some from the late 1800s, newspaper clippings, post cards and memorabilia were exhibited around the church’s campus May 19-20. The event featured several speakers, including historians Ralph Gibson and Geoffrey Dunn, as well as art, live music, games, a Sunday brunch and worship, a “timeline walk” and historical re-enactments. The Soquel Pioneers also played a role in the various presentations.

The landmark white church itself was built in 1870 on land that was donated by Joshua and Narcissa Parrish. The couple had built a large home on the same property, which was then North Main Street and Parrish Lane. There, they planted wheat and potatoes. Since there were no churches in Soquel around the time Narcissa Parrish invited community women to attend weekly prayer meetings in her home.

In 1868, Lulu Hall, a schoolteacher, started a Sunday School in Soquel’s one-room schoolhouse.

“From these prayer meetings and the Sunday School emerged a ‘society’ that led to the organization of the Congregational Church of Soquel and its ultimate construction in 1870,” church organizers said.

Mark Fountain is the current minister.

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