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Stone Church History

History Links:
Beginning: 1944-47
First, the Chapel
Building, 1948-57
Next, 1958-67
Later, 1968-87
Recent, 1988-2007

The Middle Years: 1968 - 1987

In November 1968, Dr. Perdue formally resigned. He left in March 1969, becoming head pastor at First Church, Tiburon. Subsequently, on June 1, 1969, Revs. Beamer and Cummins were installed as Co-Pastors, sharing the pastoral leadership of Stone Church. In 1974, Sherwood Cummins resigned, and David Beamer became Pastor. To assist Rev. Beamer, Robert Bowles was called from First Church, Sunnyvale, as Associate Pastor in December 1975.

A major renovation of the Church School basement rooms was conducted in 1975 using part of the moneys from the sale of three nearby houses owned by the church. The renovation included the creation of a Media Center for the teachers, fluorescent lighting in all rooms and the hallway, and fresh paint and carpeting everywhere. The Kairos Counsling Center was established in October 1978 as one facet of the healing ministry of Stone Church. The Center was created in response to a need for counseling provided by professional therapists who honor the spiritual as well as the emotional/psychological dimensions of lives. Mary Alice Collins, Carolyn Foster and Connie Pearson, Licensed Marriage Family Child Therapists, founded the Center. Carolyn left in 1984 to focus on teaching and writing. Mary Alice and Connie continue to offer counseling on a sliding fee basis for individuals, couples and families.

David Beamer resigned in November 1980. Robert Bowles was called to be Pastor, and was installed in December 1981. It is noted that Bob Bowles was the last minister in the national church to move from Associate Pastor to head Pastor of the same church; procedural rules passed in 1981 have made this impossible.

At the Session retreat in January 1992, it was decided to call a clergy couple rather than the traditional male Assistant or Associate Pastor. Thus, in August 1982, Gene and Joan Huff were called as Assistant Pastors; their positions were upgraded to Associate Pastors in March 1984. The Huffs resigned in November 1985, Gene having been offered a Head Presbyter (administrative) position in Cincinnati, Ohio. To fill the resulting vacancy, the San Jose Presbytery, in March 1986, assigned Betha Hoy as Interim Associate Pastor.

Because of the success of the clergy couple concept at Stone Church, and in particular the rightness of a woman pastor on staff, Stone Church in late 1985 began the long process of searching for another clergy couple. This culminated with the installation of John and Paula Kelso as Associate Pastors in February 1987.

Originally, an electronic organ was used in the Sanctuary. In 1985, Emily Elliot (Kusak) led a campaign to raise money for a new church organ. The pipe organ was dedicated on January 19, 1986; it is a sixteen rank instrument custom-built and installed by Schoenstein and Co., the largest and oldest pipe organ firm in the West, being established in San Francisco in 1877. Over the years, we have been blessed with excellent organists, Joyce Rhodes and Don Foster, who have created wonderful music on this excellent instrument.

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