Our History -
We are Rooted
Valley Presbyterian Church has been at its current site since early 1965, though its roots go back to when the San Francisco Presbytery elected Rev. H. George Vorsheim was elected organizing pastor in 1957. The congregation began with a small group who met for Bible study and prayer at the Woodside home of Dwight and Eleanor Johnson, and quickly grew to the point where it outgrew the space and met at the Portola Valley School for regular Sunday worship.
In 1962, San Mateo County granted a permit to build a church at its current site and the church bought a 2.7-acre parcel for $60,000. In 1965, the church held its first worship service in its new, permanent sanctuary, where an all glass wall behind the chancel looks out onto a grove of redwood trees. In recent years, a simple memorial grove has been added, as well as a walking labyrinth where church visitors, passing cyclists, and anyone who wants to enter into a spirit of beauty, peace, and prayer may pause and reflect.
Rev. Mark Goodman-Morris, pastor, and Cheryl Goodman-Morris, assistant pastor, served Valley from 1987-2016. They brought new perspectives, including an emphasis on the arts – the most notable of which is the use of theater in worship and through the Portola Valley Theatre Conservatory. Other areas of emphasis include RISEN (Redwood Institute for Spirituality, Education, and Nurture) and spiritual direction; a Parish Nurse program; and international mission partnership with Monte de Sion in Tekax, Yucatan, our sister church in Mexico.
June 18, 2017 was a milestone in the history of our church. We were honored to welcome our new pastor, the Rev. Jenny Warner, to the VPC family! We believe this is a season of fresh vision and bold action.
To read a detailed history, download this PDF.
Founding Pastor: Rev. H. George Vorsheim
Rev. Donald Peterson, Pastor 1966 - 1971
Rev. Flagg, Asst. Pastor 196x-
Rev. Lloyd D. Auchard, Pastor, 1971-1985
Rev. Keith Wintermute, Asst. Pastor, 1981 - 1985
Rev. John Snyder, Interim Pastor, 1986 -1987
Rev. Mark Goodman-Morris, Pastor 1987-2016
Rev. Cheryl Goodman-Morris, Asst. Pastor 1987-2016
Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow, Carla Christensen, and Mary Jo Alderson
Pastoral Staff 2016-2017
Rev. Jennifer Warner, Pastor 2017 - Current