History of St. Mark’s

Pastor Jacobson and his wife Myrtle undertook the task of creating a new church home in Chula Vista in 1954.  They started with those looking for a home church and went door to door to find others that had a need for or interest in a Lutheran community. They held their first church first worship service at Chula Vista Seventh Day Adventist Church, 4th & D Street. They had 64 families, 168 worshipers, 47 children in Sunday School.


The congregation purchased lot at corner of Hilltop & I Street for a church home of their own for  $18,000 .

They were concerned about building on the eastern outskirts of  Chula Vista as the population at that time was 15,000.

Charter membership = 231 members in January of 1955. The sanctuary was designed by Robert Des Lauriers and built in 1966; June of 1966 we held the Ground breaking for new sanctuary and in May of 1967 they held the dedication of new sanctuary where we are now.

Much planning went into choosing the windows for the sanctuary and each represents something special.

A happenstance you will notice the rabbit in one of the windows if you look for it.

The beautiful carving on the communion rail and the altar and in the entrance of the church were done by Elmer Marshall a member.

The hull of the ship behind the hanging cross reminds us of our voyage on this earth.

A hull is the body of a ship or boat. It is a central concept in floating vessels as it provides the buoyancy that keeps the vessel from sinking.   Bow is the front most part of the hull. The curved design of the wood over the pulpit was designed to naturally project the sound of the pastor’s voice.

Timeline of Important Dates

Earling R. Jacobson, Senior Pastor    (Jan ’54–Mar ’64)

March 7,1954   First worship service of St. Mark with 64 families, 168 worshipers, 47 children in Sunday School held at Chula Vista Seventh Day Adventist Church, 4th &D Street.

Purchased Lot at corner of Hilltoop & I street for $18,000

January, 1955 Charter membership = 231 members.  Budget approved $12,844

1956 Women’s Circles started

1957 First Potluck Dinner

1958 First Vacation Bible School (138 children)

1959 5 Year Anniversary – 750 members, 350 children in Sunday School, 50 teachers

1962 Membership of 1000 people, in July St.Marks joins ALC, American Lutheran Church

1964 Pastor Jacobson died of heart attack

1965 Pastor Lauren I. Egdahl, Senior Pastor (1964-79). The Crismons were made by St. Mark’s women for the Christmas trees.

1966 April 1st building named Erling Jacobson Memorial Hall

1966 June 26 Ground breaking for new sanctuary ($247,496)

1967 James M. Donald, Associate Pastor (1967-71) Prior Intern at St. Marks

1969 Dedication of Reuter Organ ($22,000)

1970 Co-sponsored missionary family in Japan – DeYoungs

1971 David G. Aubrey, Associate Pastor (1971-1975)

1975 Troy Mooneyham, Associate Pastor (1975-1979) Prior Intern at St. Marks

1975 John T. Beck, Associate Pastor (1975-1978)

1978 Richard Ellingson, Associate Pastor (1978-82)

1980 Robert S. Shofner, Senior Pastor (1980-81)

1981 Konrad Koosman, Interim Senior Pastor

1982 Charles W. Sundry, Senior Pastor (1982-2007)

1983 Martin N. Overson, Associate Pastor (1983-84)

1984 James A. Hanson, Associate Pastor (1984-88) Joel Smeby, organist

1987 Mortgage for sanctuary paid off!

1988 September Pastor Jan Brosen, hired part time  (1988-2007)

1988 ELCA formed from merger of ALC, LCA and AELC

1993 Hispanic Ministry Program started in Jacobson Hall  (1st time)

1994 Constitution rewritten

1995 Hand Bell Choir began

1996 Hand Chimes began

1998 1st Property Renovation

1999 Allison Embler, Intern Pastor

2000 Dan & Nele Smith, Intern Pastor

2003 Total renovation of Jacobson Hall kitchen

2004 50th Anniversary celebration

2005 Glory Lutheran begins worshiping in Jacobson Hall (Taiwanese)

2006 Pastor Chuck Sundry retires (after 25 years!)

2007 566 baptized and 481 confirmed members

2007 Dan Raaen, Interim Pastor, initiates Transition Process and Transition Team appointed  (2007-08)

2007 Pastor Jan accepts a call to Lord of Life Church in Surprize, AZ

2007 August 1st Million dollars paid off on property renovation loan Summer Insured property value $4,989,000

2008 January 20th Pastor Ron & Penny Hovick called as Lead Pastor for St. Mark’s

2011 Alicia Saenz begins a Spanish language service at St. Mark’s in September.

2011 We update to a full service website.

2015 Kylan takes over the Youth Program

2016 A memorial garden in the shape of a cross is built as an eagle scout project in front of the entrance to the sanctuary.

2017 We have a vote about whether or not to sell the church, we vote 89 to 23 to keep the church.

2017 September 3rd Pastor Ron Hovick, Melody Kohl the office manager and Kylan leave St. Mark’s. 

2017 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation

2018 June 1 Karin Boye, Interim Pastor, begins Transition Process with St. Mark’s. Esmeralda Gomez is hired as Administrative Assistant. Bobb Briggs is hired for Maintenance and Custodial Services.