Formed in 1957 from our predecessor denominations-Congregational, Christian, Evangelical, and Reformed–the UCC consists of over 6,000 diverse and unique congregations across America. Though the UCC is a young church, it carries on the rich heritage of justice and compassion found in its ancestral denominations.
IUCC originated as a new church sponsored by the Church Development Commission of the Southern California Conference of the UCC in 1979.
The Reverends Bill and Jane Moore were the co-founding Pastors who guided our early growth, and facilitated our Sunday worship services at the Culverdale middle school. With a congregation numbering in the mid 20’s, Bill and Jane set the course for who we are as an organization today.
The Reverend Fred Plumer was called as our pastor in 1984, under his leadership IUCC built our first building in October 1986. In 1991, IUCC became one of the first UCC churches to adopt an Open and Affirming designation. As membership continued to grow, it became necessary to build a larger sanctuary which was completed in September of 1996. Reverend Plumer retired in July of 2004 after 20 years of service to IUCC. His leadership and pastoral skills created a strong foundation on which to build our church’s future.
In February of 2006, IUCC called the Rev. Dr. Paul G. Tellström as spiritual leader. He continued the strong progressive leadership, and visionary thinking that has made IUCC an oasis of progressive theology in Orange County. During his 13-year tenure at IUCC, he helped the congregation grow both in size and in outreach to the community through a variety of social justice issues, most notably spearheading the No on Prop 8 campaign in Orange County. He and Carl Whidden were married in the IUCC Sanctuary shortly after marriage equality became possible throughout the U.S. In October 2018, IUCC celebrated the completion of new office and meeting rooms. His 13-year tenure at IUCC was celebrated in May 2019.
In June 2020, IUCC called its third senior pastor, the Rev. Dr. Sarah Halverson-Cano, who began in September 2020. Pastor Sarah grew up at IUCC and had been serving as the senior pastor at Fairview Community Church in Costa Mesa. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Pastor Sarah’s ministry – worship, pastoral care, administration – began completely online. Her first in-person worship service was outdoors on Easter Sunday. With California re-opening in June 2021, IUCC looks forward to Pastor Sarah’s in-person ministry and leadership.
Relying on God’s grace and the support of its members, IUCC is committed to being open and inclusive, welcoming everyone. We have put aside dogmatic doctrine to endorse and encourage a personal spiritual pilgrimage built on a foundation of an affirmative and supportive Christian family. Concerned and progressive, we are committed to improving the human condition both locally and throughout the world. You are invited to continue your faith journey and your ministry of service for others with us at IUCC.