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The Past


Up rooted and replanted (1950-1966)

In 1950, the San Francisco Unified School District took over the Clay Street site in order to expand the adjacent school. The congregation had to move. A makeshift chapel in the old crypt at Grace Cathedral became the mission's temporary home. Members were scattered because of this upheaval, but a nucleus remained.

Through the vision of Bishop Karl Morgan Block, a large property on the corner of Mason Street and Pacific Avenue, a former Roman Catholic facility was acquired for the use of True Sunshine. On this site were a three-story parochial school, a four-story convent, and ample space for a playground. At the time of the move back from exile in 1951, Father Lee was still vicar. Under his ministry and that of the next three successive vicars, The Revs. Stephen Ko, Theodore Yeh, and Thomas Chesterman, the congregation thrived.

In 1956, Father Ko, who was the Vicar of the Church of Our Saviour, Oakland, was also assigned to True Sunshine, when Father Lee left. He led a fund drive to raise $30,000 for the share that True Sunshine had pledged for the new facility. Before the project was fully under way, Bishop Block decided to change the leadership and assigned The Rev. Theodore Yeh as vicar in February 1961. He served from 1957 to the end of 1959.

Father Thomas Chesterman was appointed vicar in February 1961, and he served for five years. He conducted bilingual worship services by using lay people as interpreters and lay readers. Under his leadership, the buildings and the surrounding open space were fully utilized. The membership in all age groups grew. The congregation used the old auditorium for the worship space. The Sunday school grew to include 100 adults and young people's activities including an active Boy Scout troop.

During the episcopacy of Bishop Pike, at the diocesan level, there was no vision for doing evangelical work among the ethnic minorities. As a result, in 1966, the diocese sold 80% of the Mason and Pacific property, leaving True Sunshine only a tiny parcel (equivalent to a medium size city lot). Again, members were scattered. The mission returned to the Cathedral, to a room in the undercroft. The Reverend Ron Wesner was priest-in-charge during this time of turmoil. Again, the congregation dwindled; however, there remained a nucleus of the faithful.


The second planting (1972-present)

In 1968, while the congregation was still at the Cathedral, The Rev. James S.W. Pun was called from Hong Kong by Bishop Myers to be vicar. In 1972, a small multipurpose building was built on the small lot, and the congregation moved back to Mason Street. For short time, The Rev. Victor Wei assisted as deacon for Father Pun, and then as co-vicar until Father Wei left to become vicar at the Church of Our Saviour, Oakland. In 1973, True Sunshine became sufficiently self-supporting to become a parish under the leadership of Father Pun, who became the first Rector. He was instrumental in the development of many organizations, such as the True Sunshine Preschool Center, the Chinese Newcomers Services, and the Episcopal Asia-American Ministries. He retired in 1984.   He was elected Canon to the Bishop.


True Sunshine - the Present

This is slightly modified from The Colors of Diversity, a Diocese of California publication, by Vincent Jang. The Original author is Dr. Raymond Lee, of True Sunshine.