The Yuba City Adventist Church began in home meetings in 1912, in the McMain or Rose homes for Sabbath service. Furniture was moved back in the parlor, chairs lined up, and improvised benches made with planks and boxes. An August 11, 1915, a meeting was held with northern California Conference Education Director J. W. Rich to determine the viability of a church school for the Yuba City area Adventist students.
The minutes of the original documents indicate a unanimous desire for a school. The discussion included familiar themes: finances, academic standards, teacher qualification and procedure. Objection was expressed to having a teacher with little experience and the preference stated for a man rather than a woman teacher. The group was encouraged by Conference leaders to press ahead in the Lord’s leading.
A three-member school board was chosen: A. J. coffer, chairperson, Marie Harwood, treasurer, and Fred S. Jaques. The expected salary was $30 to 35 dollars per month and a Miss St. Johns mentioned as the possible teacher. There seems to be no record of who in fact was the teacher, the number of students or the tuition rates.
Two months later, on October 1, 1915, the Yuba City Adventist Church was organized. George Sims was appointed as the first pastor. There were 27 charter members. The first baptism in the newly organized church was November 27, 1915, with five persons.
On February 11, 1918 property was purchased for the construction of a church building, which would also house the school. The property was located at the southwest corner of Plumas and Church. Church Street was named for that first, small Adventist church. The purchase price was $10, paid in gold coin. The small church that was soon built served as the school during the week and as the sanctuary on Sabbath. A restroom added in 1922 for $53.95, including city sewer connection.
In the next decade, a larger building with a separate school was desired. Martin Sullivan, a Yuba City businessman, offered to give the church a lot on Sierra and Summer Streets if they would buy another lot from him. That double lot is located under the west bound Sutter Street off-ramp at the west end of the 10th Street Bridge on Highway 20.
February 1940 – The Last Shall Be First – by Eric Hare “We’ve nearly got 200!” Raymond grinned, as we peeped into the schoolhouse for just a minute on Friday, “and we think we will have them when you come on Sunday. If we do will we be the first?” “You surely will, my boy,” I replied. When Brother Ashbaugh and I arrived for our Missionary volunteer convention Sunday night, sure enough, there was the Investment box in a prominent place. The meeting was no sooner over than I saw Sister Leer, the Sabbath school superintendent and sister Harwood with beaming faces making their way toward us.
“We’ve got it, we’ve got it,” said Sister Leer. “now you can’t say Yuba City is always at the end.” Added Sister Harwood. “Fine, fine Congratulations!” I replied as on behalf of the Loma Linda Food Company I handed over the first box top investment Dollar since the plan was suggested. So Yuba City, the last in line of our 87 Sabbath School is first in the list for the box top investment fund.
March 1942 – (Camp Beale opened in 1942) A number have expressed the desire to help the boys in the army to receive the little book, “Steps to Christ”. We have already given out hundreds of these it is our hope to place in the hands of every soldier or sailor who shows an interest in religious things a copy of this splendid soul-winning book. Just think of it! $10.00 from you will place this splendid book in the hands of 100 boys.
May 1942 – Because the State Highway Commission has decided to build a new highway through Yuba City that cuts right through the middle of our church, it was necessary to purchase a new church site. The new location is within a block of the old one and soon the church building will be moved to its new site.
September 1942 – The Yuba city church school is opening this year. The church and school have been moved to a new location and a large playground has been provided.
During WW II many Adventist serviceman came to the community assigned to Camp Beale. The church was many times full to capacity for Sabbath services with soldiers and their wives. The church basement was often used to shelter G.I. families until housing was obtained. On Sabbath, meals were often served in the basement to the G.I.’s.
September 1949 – “Advertisement : Wanted – SDA graduate nurse for doctors office in small northern California community. Also a good opportunity to be of help in the church. Drs. Lindsay and Whiteney.”
1950 – Sunday evening marked the opening of a series of evangelistic meeting in Yuba City. Elder Robert F. Thompson and George Jensen are conducting this series. Approximately one year ago an extensive house-to-house literature crusade was sponsored by the Yuba City church and a large interest was awakened.
1954 – Elder S. L. Folkenberg sends a most interesting report on his evangelistic effort at the Fair Grounds in Yuba City.
He has already baptized seven and in a letter we received from him he says, “two of these ladies represent a wonderful and startling experience as I have ever had in working for souls- real thrilling conversions. We called for those who wished to be ready for the next baptism and some 15 more stood up, so we shall have at least another 10 by the time, with another baptism following later”.
On Christmas Eve in 1955, the Yuba River overtook its banks, as well as the Bullards Bar and Englebright Reservoir dams. The river destroyed much of Yuba City, nearly destroying Marysville as well. The flood killed 38 people, and 30,000 more were forced to flee.
January – 1956 “Clean-up crews from a score of SDA churches were on hand early Sunday morning, New Year’s Day to join forces with Yuba City’s people in helping to get started on the stupendous home rehabilitation job. The SDA relief set up head operation quarters in the church and the church school building and was swarming with workers when we arrived. While it was difficult to quickly get the over-all picture or details, one could feel the situation and the sense of what preparedness means in a time of disaster grew upon us.”
The church building on Alturas was stretched to capacity and in need of costly repairs. The desire for a sounder and more representative building was growing. February 1966, the building was abandoned for safety reasons, primarily a sagging roof and inadequate exits from the basement. Subsequently, the Yuba City Fire Department conducted a practice burn on the old building.
In immediate need of a building, the Marysville First Christian church befriended the church family. That facility was rented as a transitional church home from 1966 until the present building was occupied in 1969.
The present school building on Harding Road was constructed in 1962 as a 10 grade school. The eastern classrooms were added in 1967, and the gym completed in 1977.