South Hayward United Methodist Church (SHUMC) was formed by merging two congregations in April 2004: Melrose United Methodist Church and Wesley United Methodist Church.
The history of Melrose UMC began in 1936 with the enthusiastic spirit of Amadeo Fayloga, a student at the Pacific School of Religion. The first organizational meeting was held in Berkeley, with 12 male students in attendance, all members of the Filipino Christian Service Association of the First Methodist Church of Oakland. After several months, the church moved to a vacated grocery store at 920 Franklin Street until 1940.
In 1939, Ernest Lyons, who spent 40 years as missionary in the Philippines, became the Superintendent for the Pacific Chinese Mission. He invited the Korean Mission and the Filipino churches to join the Chinese Mission in forming the California Oriental Mission. This led to the change in name from Filipino Community Church to the Filipino Methodist Church, with Amadeo Fayloga continuing as the pastor.
The California Oriental Mission Conference dissolved itself in June of 1945 and reorganized into the California Oriental Provisional Conference, which later integrated into the California-Nevada Annual Conference. In 1953 the name of the church was changed to "The United Methodist Church of Oakland".
In 1969, The United Methodist Church of Oakland moved to Melrose UMC, where it shared the facilities with the Melrose congregation. In 1979, upon the recommendation of Dr. Hamilton Boswell, the District Superintendent, the two congregations merged, retaining the name Melrose UMC. Through the years, the ministers have been Rev. Pio Daba, 1944-47; Rev. Florencio Marquez, 1947-65; Rev. Juan Ancheta, 1965-78; Rev. Elpidio Estolas, 1978-79; Rev. Arturo Capuli, 1979-81 (first minister of the merged congregation); Rev. Rodrigo Estrada, 1981-84; Rev. Jun Jue,1984-87; Rev. Lee Williamson, 1987-90; Rev. Richard Stinson, 1990-96; Rev. Michael Morizono, 1996; Rev. Ruth Cortez, 1997-99; Rev. Dante Simon, 1999-2001; and Rev. Romeo Velasco, 2001-04.
Wesley UMC had its beginnings in the summer of 1954, when Rev. W. F. Oglesby surveyed 3,700 homes in the part of Hayward south of Harder Road. Eight months later, on April 10, 1955, Wesley Methodist Church opened its doors for the first time. Meeting in a house on the site, the records show that 92 people, representing 17 families, were received into the Methodist Church at 628 Schafer Road, Hayward, on that date. One of those people, Evelyn Russell, is still an active member of SHUMC 54 years later.
Ground was broken in 1957 for a fellowship hall, which actually became the sanctuary in use today. A service of consecration was held in 1959. Also, during 1959-60, the Fireside Room, Nursery, and Sunday School Wing were built. Wesley celebrated its tenth anniversary in 1965, with records showing worship attendance of 211 people. An addition to the Sunday School Wing was built in the late 1970s.
To better understand the community around them, Wesley Methodist Church, Westminster Hills Presbyterian Church, and United Church of Hayward formed the South Hayward Parish (SHP) in 1965. More churches have joined the coalition, and SHP is still a strong advocate for the community 43 years later.
When the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren merged in 1968, Wesley United Methodist Church was born. The Wesley pastors were Rev. W. F. Oglesby, 1954-55; Rev. Fred Wilken, 1955-57; Rev. A. E. Cole, 1957; Rev. William Getchey, 1957; Rev. Theodore McIvenna, 1957-63; Rev. Edward Peet, 1963-67; Rev. Andrew Summers, 1967-72; Rev. Thomas McCoy, 1972-79; Rev. Joseph Brownrigg, 1979-83; Reverends Kimbrough and Denice Leslie, 1983-88; Rev. Donna Fado Ivery, 1988-93; and Rev. Lee Williamson, 1993- 2004.
In 2000, District Superintendent Bruce McSpadden issued a challenge to Wesley UMC: to explore the possibility of sharing its facilities with another United Methodist Church, Melrose UMC, a predominantly Filipino congregation. In November 2001, Melrose UMC moved to its new home in Hayward, California. The two churches formed a cooperative congregation. On November 9, 2002, Melrose and Wesley each unanimously adopted a resolution of intention to merge into one congregation. The merger officially took place on April 11, 2004, under the leadership of Rev. Lee Williamson and Rev. Romeo Velasco. These two pastors continued to serve the newly created South Hayward Methodist Church until June of that year. Rev. Alan Jones was appointed and served from 2004-2006. Rev. Brandon Austin was SHUMC's next pastor and served 2006-2009. Rev. Elmar de Ocera served 2009-2014. Rev. Rochelle Frazier is SHUMC's current pastor, working with the congregation as it further defines its identity and solidifies its relational foundation in response to God's call.