It all began in 1961 when Moraga was becoming a new residential community. First meeting in a school, then acquiring the unique hillside property, MVPC in its first ten years became a vital congregation of several hundred members. It was during this decade the chapel (now Fellowship Hall) and a wing of classrooms were built. Through the next ten years MVPC further developed its ministry to children and youth, building the Fireside room in 1975 and remaining steady in its membership through several pastors.
In 1982 MVPC called its fifth pastor, Jim Rueb, with timing that coincided with God’s readiness to significantly expand the church’s life and ministry. With a renewed focus on Christ, proclamation of God’s Word, and a greater vision for reaching Lamorinda area, MVPC began to deepen its spiritual life, grow its membership, and expand its programs to meet the spiritual needs of the community.
In 1987, with a membership now passing five hundred members, plans were laid for the development of the church campus, beginning with a new worship center which would be the center of MVPC’s life. After years in the town approval process, two capital campaigns, and five community Easter services in the Rheem Theater, MVPC completed and dedicated its beautiful new worship center in spring, 1992.
The 1990s was a decade of further growth for MVPC, powered in part by the development of unusually large and very dynamic programs for children, youth, and young families. During this time, God’s reach through MVPC also began extending further into the greater world. Partnering with such urban ministries as World Impact in West Oakland and the Bay Area Rescue Mission in Richmond, the church responded in a significant way with both people and funding. Along with growing partnerships with ministries overseas, the ministry of MVPC continued to expand.
The New Family Ministry Center and New Home of The Nurtury
In 1997, a campaign called, “Opening the Door to the Future,” raised nearly $7 million to completely underwrite a new Family Ministry Center. Believing the future is the next generation, the congregation joyfully and generously gave to open the door to greater ministry. This now much-utilized complex provides space for our children and student ministries as well as our Christ-centered preschool call “The Nurtury.” Dedicated in fall 1999, the Family Ministry Center has become a second home for hundreds of young people.
Programs and Groups for All Stages of Life
At the turn of the millennium, MVPC had become a congregation of over 1000 official members and some 500 friends who called MVPC their church home. Programs especially for women, like Mom’s Council and Women’s Bible Study continued to grow. MVPC men met together early on Saturday mornings for Men’s Bible Study and in community groups before work on other days in the week. Parent education and marriage enrichment classes complemented biblical study seminars and an increasing number of home groups meeting for personal growth, prayer support, and meaningful fellowship. In spring 2004 over 700 people met for six weeks during Lent in The Purpose Driven Life program. One of these groups became Soul Mates, a growing fellowship for young married couples.
In May 2011 Pastor Jim Rueb retired after almost 29 years of ministry at MVPC. Rev. Dr. Geoff Brown served MVPC as Interim Pastor from October 2011 to June 2013. Pastor Rob Perkins began his service to God and His people gathered at MVPC on July 1, 2013. His installation service was held Sunday, September 15.
On January 12, 2020, Pastor Rob Perkins announced his departure as Senior Pastor. On Sunday, February 23rd, a celebration was held to recognize his years of service to MVPC and the Lamorinda community.
In late 2020, Vital Church Ministries was retained by MVPC to conduct research and interviews to determine the readiness of the church to grow in outreach to young families and to the greater Lamorinda community. On June 21, 2021 Interim Pastor Dave Miles preached his first sermon at MPVC followed by Interim Pastor Rick Foster.
A New Season, a New Vitality
The Pastor Search Committee was approved by the Congregation on June 6, 2021. The committee found their ideal candidate in Pastor Brandon Morrow. Moving from a successful pastor and leadership role at Good News Community Church, that church joyfully released and affirmed the call of Brandon and the Morrow family to California and MVPC. In January 2023, the congregation wholeheartedly approved the nomination of Brandon, and he was ordained by the Evangelical Presbyterian Church denomination. This moment marked not just the beginning of a new chapter for the church but also a testament to the congregation’s unwavering faith and determination throughout their journey. On March 5, 2023 Pastor Morrow was installed as MVPC’s Senior Pastor. Friend and mentor, Pastor Paul Hill preached from Genesis 12:1-4 during the installation and worship service. Brandon received his Masters degree in Theological Studies from Rawlings School of Divinity and completed his Doctor of Ministry at Portland Seminary. His personal history has shaped him to be a deeply compassionate and humble servant leader. He has a particular passion for reaching those who don’t yet know Jesus. He is deeply committed to reaching the Lamorinda community and growing disciples of Christ. With a joy to share the redeeming aspects and joy that comes with knowing and growing in knowledge of Jesus, Pastor Morrow invites everyone to MVPC who desires to engage with the risen Savior.
The Westminster Confession of Faith is a confessional statement of orthodox Presbyterianism, our standard of doctrine as found in Scripture. The “Essentials of Our Faith” document compiled by the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) distills from the Westminster Confession core beliefs of the Christian faith common to believers and churches throughout the world. MVPC affirms these essentials to be, truly, essential statements of faith. We also agree with the EPC motto: In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.
Essentials of Our Faith
All Scripture is self-attesting and being Truth, requires our unreserved submission in all areas of life. The infallible Word of God, the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, is a complete and unified witness to God’s redemptive acts culminating in the incarnation of the Living Word, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible, uniquely and fully inspired by the Holy Spirit, is the supreme and final authority on all matters on which it speaks. On this sure foundation we affirm these Essentials:
- We believe in one God, the sovereign Creator and Sustainer of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. To Him be all honor, glory, and praise forever!
- Jesus Christ, the living Word, became flesh through His miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit and His virgin birth. He who is true God became true man united in one Person forever. He died on the cross a sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures. On the third day He arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven, where, at the right hand of the Majesty on High, He now is our High Priest and Mediator.
- The Holy Spirit has come to glorify Christ and to apply the saving work of Christ to our hearts. He convicts us of sin and draws us to the Savior. Indwelling our hearts, He gives new life to us, empowers and imparts gifts to us for service. He instructs and guides us into all truth, and seals us for the day of redemption.
- Being estranged from God and condemned by our sinfulness, our salvation is wholly dependent upon the work of God’s free grace. God credits His righteousness to those who put their faith in Christ alone for their salvation, thereby justifies them in His sight. Only such as are born of the Holy Spirit and receive Jesus Christ become children of God and heirs of eternal life.
- The true Church is composed of all persons who through saving faith in Jesus Christ and the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit are united together in the body of Christ. The Church finds her visible, yet imperfect, expression in local congregations where the Word of God is preached in its purity and the sacraments are administered in their integrity; where scriptural discipline is practiced, and where loving fellowship is maintained. For her perfecting, she awaits the return of her Lord.
- Jesus Christ will come again to the earth—personally, visibly, and bodily—to judge the living and the dead, and to consummate history and the eternal plan of God. “Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20).
- The Lord Jesus Christ commands all believers to proclaim the Gospel throughout the world and to make disciples of all nations. Obedience to the Great Commission requires total commitment to “Him who loved us and gave Himself for us.” He calls us to a life of self-denying love and service. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).
- Glorify God
- Gather in community
- Grow as disciples
- Give of ourselves
- Go into the world with the gospel
We see a praying, celebrating, gathered, faithful, outward-reaching multigenerational church community that surrenders all of life to making disciples for the glory of Jesus Christ in our changing world.
Our Strategic Priorities
Strategic Priorities (2-3 years)
Belong: Creating entry points for people to join our church family
Engage: Mobilizing our congregation to reach our community (Lamorinda & East Bay) and multiply gospel impact
Transform: Helping people grow as disciples through prayer, evangelism, equipping and next gen ministries