Sun City United Church of Christ to Celebrate 50th Anniversary

United Church of Christ in the Sun City community of Menifee will celebrate its 50th anniversary on ...

United Church of Christ in the Sun City community of Menifee will celebrate its 50th anniversary on Sunday, Nov. 4. This is the oldest church in the Menifee area and will celebrate this milestone with special festivities.

Located in the Sun City Core at the corner of McCall and Sun City Blvds., United Church of Christ will commemorate the historic date with a special service starting at 9:30 a.m. Everyone in the community is invited to attend.

The program will include special guests and former pastors Rev. John Will and Rev. Hal
Lingerman, who will speak on their most memorable experiences at UCC. In addition, Rev. Libby Tigner of the Southern California-Nevada UCC Conference will address the group and perform a rededication of the 350-seat sanctuary.

An informal reception including light refreshments will follow in the recently redecorated Fellowship Hall. A short musical program is planned, featuring the church’s choir, led by
music director Eckart Seeber. The children’s choir will also entertain the group.

Clara Fredenberger, the only surviving charter member of the church, will be honored for her years of service. She turns 98 in early November.

“I served on most of the committees over the years, and was the first organist,” Fredenberger recalled. “The women all wore hats and gloves, and we took turns greeting each Sunday.”

Several of Fredenberger's relatives plan to help her celebrate the special day.

On Nov. 24, 1962, 117 people from various Congregational, Evangelical and Reformed
Churches met at the Sun City Civic Association’s Webb Hall for the first service of what is now the United Church of Christ. It was the first Community Church to be organized in Sun City, a
master-planned community developed by Del Webb for active 55+ seniors.

As people from various religious denominations moved to Sun City, the membership grew to 204 individuals, who would become the “charter members” of the United Church of Christ. Fredenberger fondly remembers being “member number 130.”

Throughout the years, more than 1,500 people have affirmed their membership to UCC. Pastor Teo Tawagon, acting senior pastor, is excited about the prospects for growth of the
church now that Sun City is part of Menifee.

"We have seen a recent increase in membership of both families with children, as well as seniors who are looking for a new church home," he said. "The UCC denomination is an ‘open and affirming’ church that welcomes all peop