Rev. Dr. Dorsey O. Blake, Presiding Minister
Rev. Dr. Kathryn L. Benton, Co-Minister
Rev. Martin Todd Allen • Rev. Elizabeth Olson, Minister-at-Large
Rev. Suzi Spangenberg • Rev. Elena Rose Vera
Dr. Carl L. Blake, Director of Music
Pianists: Gregory Lawrence • Carolyn Monk • Dr. Karen Melander-Magoon •
William “Bill” Quist • Organist: Lawrence Sumpter
Board of Trustees
Bryan Caston, Board Chair • Michael Brown, Vice Chair, Membership and Facilities Committee Chairs • Courtney Brown, Tech Committee Chair •
Steve Leeds, Treasurer • Rev. Elizabeth Olson, Ministers’ Advisory Committee • Brenda Reinertson, Secretary • Rev. Elena Rose Vera
Late in 1943 Dr. Alfred G. Fisk, a Presbyterian clergyman and professor of philosophy in San Francisco, met with a few persons of various races and faiths who were deeply concerned with the absence of bridges of understanding among the varied races, cultures, and faiths presented in American society. Their desire to found an interracial fellowship led them to Dr. Howard Thurman, who left his position as of Dean of the Chapel at Howard University to join Dr. Fisk in a team ministry.
The formal inaugural service for The Church for The Fellowship of All Peoples took place on October 8, 1944 at the First Unitarian Church in San Francisco. Among those participating in this inaugural service were: Dr. Ezra Van Nuys of the San Francisco Presbytery; Dr. John Leffler of the San Francisco Council of Churches; Rabbi Eliot Bernstein of the Northern California Board of Rabbis and Cantors; Dr. Buell Gallagher co‐pastor of the South Berkeley Community Church; Bishop Edward Parson of the Episcopal Diocese of California; Dr. C.F. Dutton of the First Unitarian Church; Joseph James of the San Francisco NAACP; and Ira C. Lee, Director of the Chinese YMCA.
In October 2019 we celebrated the 75th Jubilee Anniversary of the church with the inaugural Dorsey O. Blake Forum for Social Transformation as well as our annual Howard Thurman Convocation.
CATCH THE VISION
The vision of The Church for the Fellowship of all Peoples in the 21st century is to continue as a place of worship where all people are affirmed as children of God.
The vision that impelled our beginnings has been described by Dr. Thurman in the following manner: “The movement of the Spirit of God in the hearts of [people] often calls them to act against the spirit of their times or causes them to anticipate a spirit which is yet in the making. In a moment of dedication, they are given wisdom and courage to dare a deed that challenges and to kindle a hope that inspires.”
In a real sense, we are trying to live and experience for ourselves whether or not it is true that experiences of spiritual unity and fellowship are more compelling than the fears and dogmas and prejudices that separate us, and if these experiences over time would be able to undermine any barrier that separates us from the “other”?
That legacy is being extended in creative and profound ways today. Join us in exploring the growing edge of spirituality and social transformation so that, in the words of Sue Bailey Thurman, “there will be no past greater than our future.”
We hope that you will Catch the Vision by joining us for any and all of the following: worship, our monthly Engaged Spirituality, Social Justice Film Series, and our annual Convocation each October.
The membership of the Church is open to any person who is willing to accept its commitment, to participate in its programs, and to share in its responsibilities.
Using the terms interchangeably, dual membership and member-at-large makes it possible for a person to become a member of Fellowship Church, and at the same time hold his or her membership in whatever faith or practice that gives meaning to their own life. It is also a way for some people who live in other parts of America and the world to help sustain the legacy of this fellowship.
To become a member-at-large, and perhaps hold a dual membership, a person would have to communicate his or her understanding of the four guiding principles [the declaration, the commission, the commitment, and the membership] to the ministerial staff. In addition, we would like for the person to visit our church in San Francisco. After the visit, he or she would sign a commitment to become a member of The Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples.