Beebe Memorial Cathedral History

In January 1925, a small group of Christians gathered in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Wayner and thus 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.
Beebe Memorial on 37th Street. Reverend Floyd Haynes was the first assigned pastor in 1926.

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.

Beebe Memorial CME Church, Oakland, California 1959.


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.
Grand opening in 1966.
Beebe Memorial on 37th and 31st Streets, and Reverend Floyd Haynes, who sponsored the church in 1926.
This new structure that cost over one million dollars consisted of the santuary building and an adjoining educational facility housing a chapel, 22 classrooms, the church office, library, Moffett Social Hall, and the daycare center.
The Mammouth Tea, was well known and one of the signature events of BMC.

1960 Facts

  • $1,000,000 in 1960 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $10,107,094.59 today.

  • At the time, the second-largest African American church structure in the US.

  • Property Lot Size: 38,000 square feet.

  • The Mormon Tabernacle in Oakland cost $6,000,000 to build in 1964.

  • The average annual income of African Americans was $9,919.00.