The Mayflower Congregational Church was organized over 100 years ago on November 29, 1891. Pacific Grove was largely a Methodist community at that time. The membership grew to forty people and was self supporting by 1893 when the first building was constructed. The first service in the building was on June 11, 1893. In 1909, the church obtained the first pipe organ on the Monterey Peninsula. The present structure was built in 1911 after a fire destroyed the original wood building on March 14, 1910. The first service in the new building was held on Nov. 13, 1910, and later a new pipe organ was installed. The inaugural recital of the new pipe organ took place on Sept. 1, 1916.
The congregation grew over the next twenty-five years and became a solid church body within the community, giving generously to mission work.
During the mid 1940's the church membership grew to approximately 350 members. The church withdrew from the Organization of Congregational Churches in 1953 and became a self-supporting, self-governing, non-denominational church, known as Mayflower Church of Pacific Grove. This membership remained through the 1960's.
A separate building was built for the growing Sunday school program in 1970, although, the decades of the 70's and 80's saw the church enter a time of gradual decline. In 1989, the church body voted to become a part of the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., and entered into the process of redevelopment. It eventually became an ECO church and began the replanting process in 2017. Today, we are Wellspring Church, leaning into God's good future.
1891, November 29: Mayflower Congregation Church CHARTERED1 24 members. Reverend I.H. Warren 1
1893: First Building constructed
1983, June 11: First service in new building
1908: Mayflower Women's Association organized
1909, June 29: New organ installed and dedicated. Destroyed when building burned
1910, March 14: Church burned down
1910, March 22: By this date, $10,000 pledged for new building
1910, August: Walls are covered with a veneer of buff sand-lime brick from Seaside plant
1910, Nov. 13: First service in new church
1916, Sept. 1: Inaugural recital of the new organ
1941, Nov. 29: Fiftieth anniversary celebrated
1953, Nov. 19: Withdraws from organization of Congregation church. Becomes known as Mayflower church of Pacific Grove
1954: Three of the four church towers were removed. One still stands today at 14th & Central Ave.
1970: Christian Education building is constructed
1989, Dec: Affiliated with Presbyterian Church USA
1990, Feb 3: Received into San Jose Presbytery
1992: Received Heritage Society plaque
2015: Affiliated with ECO Presbyterian
2017: Re-Plant Begins!
2018: Wellspring Church launches
In 1909, many years after its founding, the decision was made to purchase a pipe organ for Mayflower Church (then Congregational) of Pacific Grove, CA. This organ was purchased from the "Rolls Royce" of California pipe organ builders, the Murray M. Harris Co. of Los Angeles. The new organ was a donation to Mayflower from Silas Mack and Andrew Carnegie costing $3000. This organ had a tubular pneumatic action and was powered by a water operated blower.
This 10-rank organ was dedicated on June 29, 1909 by Benjamin Moore, then of San Jose, and was the first pipe organ in Monterey County. Literally a week later on July 6, 1909, a 14-rank Murray Harris organ was dedicated for the Pacific Grove Methodist Church that stood at Lighthouse and 17th.
The first-organ-title-for-Mayflower held its Monterey County record for only 8 months and 1 week when the church and the new organ burned to the ground on early March 10, 1910. Andrew Carnegie was visiting in San Francisco and made the trip to Pacific Grove three days before the fire to see and hear his donation.
The church building was rebuilt almost immediately. It remained without a pipe organ until 1916 when the present instrument, similar to the burned instrument, was purchased from the California Organ Company of Van Nuys, CA--successors to the Murray Harris Company. However, the new 1916 instrument was built with an electro-pneumatic action, electric Kinetic blower and with an 8' Vox Humana rather than the 8' Oboe in the original instrument's Swell division. The California Organ Company instrument was dedicated on September 1, 1916 by the organist of Stanford University Memorial Church, Dr. Louis H. Eaton (who played on a fine 3-manual 51-rank Murray Harris organ from 1901, still installed and playing in the Memorial Church.)
The 1916 pipe organ in Mayflower Presbyterian became the oldest originally installed pipe organ in Monterey County when the Pacific Grove Methodist Church built a new sanctuary in the early 1960s and massively rebuilt their original organ with about half of it remaining in their excellent new instrument.
In the early 1950s, Pacific Grove native, the late great concert and theatre organist G. Thomas Hazleton grew up playing both of these instruments with the Mayflower organ being an early favorite for its semi-theatrical ensemble.
The Mayflower organ is now the combination of its original, fully intact 1916 instrument and a 1911 Murray M. Harris organ. The "new" Murray Harris organ was given to Mayflower Presbyterian as a gift from the late Frank S. Caglia, and his family of Fresno, CA. The Murray Harris portion added in 2010 is the 19-rank Murray Harris organ from Saint James Episcopal Church in Fresno.
The Mayflower console dates from the 1916 instrument. The original combination action was preserved inside the console for historic purposes, however a new multi-level solid state combination action was installed in 2010 to bring the organ to modern playing standards.