The University Church of Christ: A Brief History
by David Baird, Elder
The University Church of Christ had its origin in late February 1970. Intending to establish a local presence prior to the construction of the new campus of Pepperdine University’s Seaver College, five to six families gathered for worship services in the basement of the Los Angeles County Court House on Civic Center Way in Malibu. The following year, the congregation held its worship assembly in the court chambers on the first floor, converting the basement into classrooms.
Among the pioneers of the new fellowship were the families of Bill Banowsky, Bill Brown, Ansel Buchanan, Bob Gilliam, Walter Glass, Grover Goyne, Dude Higgins, Jerry Hudson, Norman Hughes, John Nicks, Ken Perrin, Edward Rockey, Jere Yates, and Norvel Young.
In the fall of 1972, the University Church moved to the new campus of Pepperdine University, holding Sunday services in the just-completed Elkins Auditorium. When construction on Stauffer Chapel was finished the next fall, assemblies were often held there, especially during the summer. For most of the 1990s, both facilities were utilized by the congregation in two separate Sunday assemblies. Currently, the University Church holds services for 300 to 390 worshippers in Elkins Auditorium each Sunday morning and student-led worship in Stauffer Chapel each Sunday evening. Small Bible study groups meet during the week in members’ homes, and the Campus Ministry hosts “Collide” every Wednesday night. With a building fund of more than $1 million, the congregation looks forward to constructing a worship center on the campus of the University. In the meantime, the church utilizes the newly remodeled Elkins Auditorium that seats 400 members and guests, and it also uses new church staff offices constructed adjacent to Elkins at the very center of campus.