Community Church of Mill Valley has a history of over 90 years of service to the community and the larger world
The Community Church of Mill Valley (CCMV) is nearly as old as Mill Valley itself. While the town was incorporated in 1900, the church that we know today was established in 1925. It was founded by two groups: the Congregational Church of Mill Valley (founded in the late 1890s), and a group of people looking for a new place to worship “which would lay aside differences of creed.” The building we occupy today was built, in the style of Bernard Maybeck, by students at Mt. Tam High School and completed in 1930. What those first members created inside that building was a new and active vision of the possibilities of what church could, and must, be.
The church, from the beginning, embraced an academic focus, naming as their first leader Lynn Townsend White, a professor of Social Ethics from San Francisco Theological Seminary. Early on, the church hosted forums to discuss controversial issues of day. From its first days, the church celebrated knowledge and thought as it was employed to bring justice to the world.
This approach to engaging the world continued. During World War II, the church reached out to interred Japanese Americans. It vigorously debated entry into the conflict. In the 1950s, the church was attacked by some in the community for its opposition to “red scare” tactics of virulent anti-communists. In the 1960s, the church became a leading force in the community for civil rights and fair housing legislation. And when housing prices skyrocketed and affordable housing for seniors was in peril, the church helped begin The Redwoods retirement community, which continues today to serve seniors in the region. This commitment to progressive social justice and economic justice remains in the church today.
In 1962, the church decided to affiliate with the United Church of Christ, which it remains affiliated with today. The church maintains a progressive theology, allowing for a multiplicity of viewpoints and much discussion of the response of concerned Christians for building the society that seeks to “do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly” with a God we are seeking each day to understand more fully.