Sunday, October 16, 2011

                                                                                                                        October 16, 2011

St. Margaret's Episcopal Church
Palm Desert, California

The first St. Margaret's Episcopal Church began in 1962.  70 people formed the congregation when they met for the first Eucharist in 1964 at the Fairway Cafe on Highway 111.  Later the congregation paid $50 a month to meet at the Silver Spur recreation building. A  new church was consecrated in 1965 with master plans for a large church building  just about where the current sanctuary now stands. Additions were made in 1971.  In 1991 this building was converted into a Parish Hall with a stage and kitchen. (REF.)

A new church was planned and former President Gerald Ford participated in  the ground breaking.  "On 'St. Margaret’s Sunday', November 19, 1989, the new (current) sanctuary (at 47535 Highway 74, across the parking lot from the Palm Desert Community Presbyterian Church attended by President Eisenhower-see April 17, 2011 Blog Post) was consecrated..." (Link)

The first St. Francis statue was sculpted by Frances Rich, and stood in front of the church. In 1987  when the present sanctuary was dedicated it was moved to the north side of the patio and then in 1995 moved again to in front of the Nordstrom Campus of St. Margaret's Episcopal School.

The bell tower holds a C bell that was cast in 1908.

"While President of the United States, Gerald and Betty Ford attended services here. Later the Fords became Seasonal Members of St. Margaret’s," (Link.)and their daughter Susan was married there in 1979.  President and Mrs. Bush have also attended services. (REF.)

In 1994 St. Margaret's School opened its doors adjacent to the church.  The original attendance was 25 kindergarten and 1st grade students.  Today the school serves preschool, elementary, and middle school students.

Photos: Taken in 2010 by SW.
REFERENCE: "A Brief History" pamphlet available at the church. 
Note: For information about Palm Desert see Blog Post April 17, 2011.



God, be with the persecuted Christians through out the world. Amen (SW.)

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