Beginning in May 1985

Initially called Covenant Community Presbyterian Church, twenty-five people gathered for its first worship service in an elementary school in Tempe, AZ on May 5, 1985.

Six months later, 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. William Hayes was installed as the congregation’s first pastor.

  • First Years 1986 - 1988

    Over the next three and a half years, the congregation grew in spite of the obstacle of transporting all church necessities to the school each Sunday. An adult choir was formed, church school involved all ages, and the initial mission projects ranged from those in the Phoenix area to the Navajo reservation far north of the church as well as doing work in Agua Prieta, Mexico. 

  • Mission Hall Completed in 1988

    Plans were drawn and approved to construct Mission Hall in 1987. Construction of a multi-purpose building began on property previously purchased by the Grand Canyon Presbytery. The first service in the new building was a joyous one, on Christmas Eve, 1988.

  • Growth of Mission Del Sol

    This new phase of MdS of having a “home” was marked by growth. Members encouraged friends and neighbors to join us, with the happy result of increased membership. 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.

    By 1992, 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 handbell choir. 

  • Education Wing Completed in 1995

    Membership increased to 402 by 1994, and the Session approved the construction of a new education wing. Church school teachers and students of all ages celebrated when classes began in the new Christian Education facility in September 1995. 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.

  • Reverend Dr. Hayes Retired in 1998

    Dr. Hayes retired in May 1998. 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 Called in 2000

    The year 2000 brought our second called pastor, Rev. Dr. Arthur Campbell. Dr. Campbell’s energy prompted him to challenge our membership to think in new ways about worship, mission, caring for one another, as well as increasing our local missionary work with the Interfaith Hospitality Network (now known as Family Promise). Mrs. Judith Campbell joined the staff as Director of Christian Education. MdS also became involved in the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance during this time. Art enjoyed visiting the congregation, whether sick or well. His voice joined the choir as he embraced being our pastor. He, along with several members, owned and wore full Highland dress as we began to celebrate the “Kirkin of the Tartans” complete with the Mesa Caledonian band each year.

  • Sanctuary Dedicated in 2010

    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.

  • About Our Bell Tower

    The bell was cast at Buckeye Foundries in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1881 and served the Presbyterian Church in Barneston, Nebraska, (halfway between Lincoln, NE, and Manhattan, KS) until 2010. MdS learned about the bell from a member who used to attend the Barneston church, which is no longer functioning as a church and the building is now used as a Masonic Lodge Hall. The Lodge had no use for the bell and agreed to sell it to Mission del Sol. The bell was transported to Tempe in August 2020 where it was sandblasted and repainted. The bell is unique in that it has two clappers; one hangs internally for normal ringing and a second strikes the perimeter of the bell for use at the time of a memorial service to ring the number of years the deceased lived. Ask for a tour of the bell tower and the exhibit of installation photos. The weight of the bell is estimated at 500 pounds.

  • Reverend Dr. Arthur Campbell Retired in 2011

     - A Period of Transition

    Upon his retirement in May 2011, Rev. Dr. Campbell was succeeded by interim pastor, Rev. Dr. Larry Corbett. The PNC selected Rev. Stan Martin, who arrived in August of 2013 and served until June of 2016. Rev. Dr. Judy Winkelpleck was our interim pastor from the summer of 2016 until 2018. Reverend Dr. David Hodgson served as interim pastor from 2018 until 2020.

  • Reverend Kelsy Brown Called in 2020

    Rev. Kelsy Brown joined us at Mission del Sol in May 2020 after serving in two other churches for 9 years. She joined in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and was instrumental in leading a modern approach to worship and community connections when we could not worship in our building at the beginning of her service. Pastor Kelsy encourages us to know God’s love and mercy through the joys and trials of life.