On May 5, 1985
a new church development, unofficially called Covenant Community Presbyterian Church, held its first worship service in the cafeteria of an elementary school in South Tempe, Arizona. Twenty-five people attended the service led by the founding pastor, Dr. William Hayes. Within the first six months the new congregation began its tradition of a monthly food collection for a local food bank and participated in an interfaith Thanksgiving Eve worship service in Tempe.
In February 1986
the name Mission del Sol was selected by the congregation, expressing a clear intention of being a people who would carry Christ’s mission into the world. Mission del Sol was chartered on May 4, 1986, with 108 members, and Dr. Hayes was installed as the congregation’s first pastor.
The next 3½ years required transporting church possessions in a donated trailer to and from the school weekly. Members of all ages attended church school classes; adults formed a choir for worship services; mission projects stretched from the Phoenix valley to the Navaho Reservation in northern Arizona and to Agua Prieta, Mexico, on the southern border of Arizona.
In May of 1998
Construction of a multi-purpose building began on property previously purchased by Grand Canyon Presbytery. The first service in the new building took place on Christmas Eve, 1988. This new phase of the life of Mission del Sol was marked by growth. Worship expanded to two Sunday services. A mid-week education and fellowship program began for youth in grades 2 – 9. The church’s mission work stretched further into volunteers for Habitat for Humanity projects, staffing a homeless shelter, and sponsoring first of several refugee families. Weekly Bible studies and a variety of fellowship opportunities filled the spaces of the building.
the church had 360 members and a new Christian Education Director. Youth began participating in worship, and musical offerings grew with the addition of a hand bell choir. Membership increased to 402 by 1994, and the Session approved construction of a new education wing.
In September 1995
Church School teachers and students of all ages celebrated when classes began in the new Christian Education facility. Once again there was space to grow. Both the pastor and the church leadership emphasized the development of small groups as the means to keep the members of the congregation actively engaged in the ministry, education and fellowship of the church.
The first mission trip to Honduras by a team from Mission del Sol.
In May 1998
Dr. Hayes retired. The Reverend Roy Schlobohm served the congregation as the interim pastor for the next two years, providing pastoral care to members and guidance during this transition period, while supporting the mission work and education of the church.
Reverend Dr. Arthur Campbell was called to be pastor at Mission del Sol, bringing a spirit of adventure that challenged members with new ideas for worship, music and mission. Mrs. Judith Campbell joined the staff as Director of Christian Education. The church became a regular host to homeless families through Interfaith Hospitality Network, now known as Family Promise.
In April 2003
The first annual Kirkin’ O’ the Tartans service celebrated the Scottish heritage of the Presbyterian Church. Mrs. Campbell’s experience brought new energy and ideas to the education programs.
Under Dr. Campbell’s leadership Mission del Sol expanded its national mission work and began planning for the construction of a sanctuary.
the church joined Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) in their relief and restoration work along the Gulf coast following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Working through PDA in places of need has become an annual mission project.
In December 2009
The new sanctuary, which seats over 400 people, was completed and dedicated in February 2010. It has room for choir rehearsal and storage, a meet-and-greet room, a sacristy, and a columbarium along one exterior wall. The construction completed the parking areas and landscaping for the property. Many members put their talents to use furnishing the sanctuary and the grounds. The gifts of talent included chancel furniture, interior and exterior crosses, landscaping appropriate to the desert environment, interior décor, and an outdoor labyrinth for meditation adjacent to the plaza between buildings.
Education Director, Kellie von Borstel
Interim Pastor, Larry
Pastor, Stan Martin
In Spring of 2016
Mission Del Sol Celebrated 30 years of love and mission. We are blessed to be joined by our current interim pastor, Judy Winkelpleck. She is a go getter with innovative ideas.