Union Presbyterian Church in 1957
A vigorous search brought the Reverend Stewart Harro to the Union Church of Los Altos in 1952. He would oversee major changes in the next three decades.
Having outgrown the downtown site, the congregation purchased six acres of land on University Avenue on April 9, 1953. First, a house for the pastor was built. Then the sanctuary was constructed. Selling the old property for $65,000 and raising bonds for $92,000 met the cost for the land and buildings. In addition, Rev. Bailey had left a bequest of $80,000 to the church to build a new fellowship hall beside the sanctuary. This fellowship hall is now known as Bailey Hall. Many other cash contributions and item donations furnished the new buildings. The sanctuary was completed in 1957 and dedicated with a worship service on September 8, 1957.
For many years, other church denominations had come to the Union Church of Los Altos and had asked for help in beginning new churches in the area. Small to large contingents of Union Church members went off to help establish a core of committed members for each new church. Despite this multiplication of churches, Union Church continued to grow. In 1964, the church numbered 648 members. The new site provided the space for growth in programs and ministries. The first associate minister began work in 1959.
Then, in 1962, the second major change occurred. With so many other denominations in town, Union Church of Los Altos affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. With a vote on January 19, 1962, the congregation became the Union Presbyterian Church of Los Altos. Yet, the church continued to be, and is still today, a community-oriented church. Rev. Harro served the church for 25 years until 1977. The Reverend Kent Meads, who held the position of Pastor and Head of Staff for over 12 years, followed him until 1992. The Reverend Mike Clark served as pastor at Union Presbyterian Church from 1994-2008. Dr. George Gilchrist assumed the role of Interim Pastor in the Spring of 2008.