Our congregation is very much like an old home that is being remodeled. Although the congregation was first founded in 1910, it is still as new as our most recent guests and new members.
Back in 1910 the small congregation was meeting in East Oakland and wrote their first constitution. (If you can read German script we would be glad to let you read it.) This was under Pastor John Guttlaben. The congregation spoke German which apparently was not too popular around World War I. Our understanding is that the pressure was too great and many of the members returned to Germany.
The only continuously functioning group was a women’s group that still meets monthly. In 1930 Reverend Hermann Theiss came to the area to start a mission congregation. Because of the existing women’s group it was considered a good idea to continue with the name St. Peter’s.
The congregation was meeting at 84th and Plymouth. The building is still in use. The congregation moved to meet upstairs of Guerrero Mortuary in San Leandro.
The congregation moved to our present location soon after the World’s Fair on Treasure Island in the 1930’s. The site where the school building now stands was used by Luther Burbank as a nursery for the fair. One tree planted by Burbank still stands on the corner. It is an Arizona Juniper. You should come by and see this most unique tree! It is beautiful! (Also about 100 feet tall.)
During different periods the school site housed a parsonage, trailers and now the school building and fellowship hall. The school has four very large classrooms and was home to an eight grade school for over forty years. The fellowship hall served multiple purposes ranging from a church to a gym. It now has a large kitchen and a fair sized meeting room.
In 1962 the congregation dedicated our newest building. The church sanctuary is dedicated to the glory of God and is reserved to hear His Word and to praise Him. The ‘A’ frame shape which faces the street offers a deceptive view of the church. From the street it looks like a small, quaint structure. But when you get inside you find that it is far bigger! The walls were designed for sound and so they actually are further apart as you go away from the street. What seems to be a small building will seat more than 400 people!
We have a very fine pipe organ which was built for the church and dedicated along with the building. We also have a fine grand piano for music. Behind the altar is a magnificent mosaic depicting the Lord’s Supper. This work of art is made up of thousands of tiny fragments of pottery with each piece cut to fit the need. The color selection to achieve a nearly three dimensional impression is masterful! It was made by a woman in Mexico City and completed here in San Leandro from three sections.