|Palmdale began in March of 1956 when the Rev. Claude Fausnaugh arrived in Eau Gallie to organize a United Presbyterian Church. The first service was held in May in the Eau Gallie Civic Center. Palmdale was chartered by the Presbytery on October 3, 1956, with fourty-four members. Services were held in St. John's Episcopal Church with Church School classes meeting in the Women's Club and later in the City Hall. Ground was broken for our own building in June, 1958, and completed in February, 1960.
The Rev. Claude Fausnaugh retired in 1963 and the Rev. John Montgomery filled the pulpit from May, 1964, until November, 1973. In April, 1974, the Rev. Fredrick Sundloff was appointed Interim Pastor, serving in this capacity until June, 1975, when he was installed as Pastor. Pastor Sundloff retired in February, 1992, after years of faithful leadership. In October, 1992, the Rev. James B. Hatch was called to be our Interim Pastor, serving until August, 1993. In December, 1993, our current Pastor, the Rev. William M. Anderson, was installed.
Additions to our facilities, including classrooms, offices, renovation of the first floor and bell tower, were completed in 1969. Additional property on the north side of our existing property was purchased in 1980, becoming debt-free in 1983. Members of the congregation undertook the project of designing and building a stained glass window which is located in the rear of the Sanctuary and was dedicated in June, 1986.
We celebrated our 30th anniversary in 1986, burned one mortgage and purchased 37 Schulmerich handbells which have added a new dimension to our worship services.
Between 1987 and 1991 we have purchased a new sound system for the Sanctuary, installed hearing aids for hearing-impared persons, purchased special tables for our Handbell Ensembles and new chairs for the Church School and added a new roof to our Sanctuary.
A Memory Garden was dedicated in 1989 to the memory of Thomas J. Vanderhoof and Margaret Barbor. The garden is located on a 30-foot square plot of land on the southwest side of the Sanctuary. Additional trees have been planted on the grounds.
During the summer of 1996, our 40th anniversary year, just prior to a Presbyterian Heratige Tour of England and Scotland led by Pastor and Mrs. Anderson, funds were raised to purchase a three-manual Allen digital electronic organ. Dedication of the newly-redesigned Chancel area took place in January, 1997.
A mission trip in January, 2000 to the Gethsemane Biblical Church in Hatillo, Costa Rica was the first mission trip the church had participated in. Two pulpit exchanges with the Rev. Alan Telfer of the Mauchline Parish Church, Scotland were held in 1997 and 2001.
During 2001, an exterior accessibility lift was installed through a generous gift from Margaret Gatchell in memory of her husband, Glen. Plans are being made to renovate restrooms to make them wheelchair accessible through a generous gift from an anonymous donor.
During the last fourty-six years, the membership of Palmdale has grown from 44 to 238. A number of winter visitors have returned year after year and have become a vital part of our congregation.