In January 1925, a small group of Christians gathered in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Wayner and thusly the first Christian Methodist Episcopal Mission Church in Oakland, CA was launched. Under the administration of the late Bishop Charles H. Phillips and Presiding Elder W. B. Butler, the first Pastor Rev. Floyd Haynes was assigned.
The small congregation moved from the Wayner home to its first official place of worship located at 819 – 37th Street. It was purchased during the years of 1925-1927 under the pastorate of Rev. Floyd Haynes, Beebe’s first Pastor. For a time during the early years the church was rented to a local Baptist Church, as the congregation was too small to support it. The “Little Church Under the Palms” was renovated and painted, and for years served another small but dedicated congregation. Between 1925 and 1946, fourteen ministers served as Pastor, including Rev. L. S. White and Rev. Lindsey Rucker.
The second building to be occupied by the congregation was purchased at a cost of $55,000 and was located at 598 – 31st Street. The congregation entered this church in December 1947 under the pastorate of Rev. L. S. White. Along with Rev. L. S. White, Pastors that served at this location included Rev. Robert C. Thomas, Rev. Melvin J. Bell and Rev. John H. Dorn.
On Sunday April 17, 1966, Rev. L. S. White, Bishop Walter H. Amos, and Presiding Elder Wellington Smith led the congregation from 598 – 31st street in a Grand March to the new church site located at 3900 Telegraph Avenue. This new structure that cost over one million dollars consisted of the Sanctuary Building and an adjoining Educational Facility housing a Chapel, 22 classrooms, the Church Office, Library, Moffett Social Hall and the Day Care Center. Ministers serving at this new facility Beebe Memorial CME Cathedral were Rev. Lewis S. White, Bishop Richard O. Bass, Rev. Roscoe C. McKinney, Rev. John R. McLeod, Rev. Michael J. Millben, Rev. Dr. Charles H Belcher, and Rev. Dr. Harry L. Redds.
“Standing on the promises of God,” encouraged by the victories won, Beebe moved upward, and marched forward to reach the high calling of God who brought Beebe “From The Palm Tree, through a Perfect Pathway To a Pleasant Place!”
Beebe Memorial Cathedral celebrated the beginning of a new season when the Rev. Dr. Charley Hames, Jr. was called as the Senior Pastor. Dr. Hames is the second youngest Pastor to preside over the church. He came to our church with a vision that would begin a new era in the legacy of Beebe Memorial Cathedral.
Bishop Henry M. Williamson, Sr. transferred Dr. Hames in August 2003 to the Northern California Region from the Southern California Region of the Ninth Episcopal District—CME Church. In his first year as Senior Pastor, the church received over 97 souls for Christ and the church grew from 81 active members in 2003 to well over a membership of 2,100 today.
In addition to revitalizing its witness, Beebe Memorial Cathedral has opened its doors to many community and non-profit organizations of the Bay Area. “Life is a Cathedral Experience” expresses the culture of our congregation at Beebe. It is clear that the best is yet to come as the history of Beebe Memorial Cathedral continues to be written.