Over a half century ago a group of families in this area came together to share their liberal religious beliefs. The nearest Unitarian churches were in Oakland and Berkeley. They wanted a congregation of their own. In 1951 the group officially became a Fellowship, with Dr. Glen Kent as President. When they outgrew meeting homes, then rented a little house on Pine Street, no longer in existence.
In 1959, the Fellowship became the Mt. Diablo Unitarian Church and called its first minister, Aron Gilmartin, from the University Unitarian Church in Seattle. They rented the basement of the Highland Building, for the minister’s office and space for church school classes. Services were held at the Walnut Creek Women’s Center, and as membership increased they met at the Red Cross Building, with two Sunday morning services.
Members dreamed of all being together. The Building Committee worked for a year to find a site. When they saw the hillside on which our church now stands they agreed, “this is the place.”
The property, almost 14 acres, was purchased and the congregation raised money to develop the site. In 1965 they engaged architect Frank Ehrenthal to build five buildings, a sanctuary on the hill and four for classrooms. Unable to obtain financing, members borrowed money from themselves to erect the first two buildings – for the office, minister’s study, and sanctuary; the other for religious education rooms. The others were a dream for the future.
For almost 25 years Beverly Scaff served the church, retiring as Church Administrator in October of 1990. The office building constructed by church members in 1986 is named in her honor.