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Spiritualist Church of the Comforter to Mark 120 Years

The public is invited to join Sunday services on Jan. 9

The Spiritualist Church of the Comforter, 1028 Garden St. in Santa Barbara, will celebrate its 120th anniversary and also 120 years of talking to loved ones who have left this Earth.

We invite the public to join us on Sunday, Jan. 9 to help us celebrate our anniversary. Our spiritual healing service will begin at 10:30 a.m. followed by the Sunday service at 11 a.m. There will be live music during the service followed by a light brunch.

The church will have several certified mediums serve the church and the public by giving messages from the spirit world.

Modern spiritualism presents and teaches the religion, philosophy and science of natural law and of continuous life based upon communication between the physical and spiritual worlds.

The church received its first charter as a tent city and summer camp for spiritualists in Summerland on Jan. 9, 1891. Before moving to Garden Street, the church was chartered as a small church camp community. The property was originally part of the Ortega Ranch, purchased by Henry Lafayette Williams in 1885. Williams and his wife, Katie, both spiritualists, took advantage of the wonderful weather and the new railway service near their ranch to create the town of Summerland in 1889. The new town was intended as a spiritualist center. Members built homes or erected tents on the 25 foot-by-60 foot lots, at a cost of $25 each.

Liberty Hall was later built as both a church and community center.

Spiritualists flourished and eventually the town gained the nickname “Spookville” because of its connection with mediums. Natural gas and oil were discovered and fortune seekers, oil drillers and businesses turned the spiritualist camp into a busy town. However, the building of the current highway forced the church to move to Santa Barbara in 1951.

Spiritual healing is offered as part of the spiritualist service. There is also an all-message service on Wednesday nights beginning at 6:30 p.m. It gives the public an opportunity to ask questions of the mediums in a private setting. Classes in spiritual unfoldment are held Sundays after the regular service.

The Church of the Comforter is a member church of the National Spiritualist Association of Churches, and we welcome everyone to enjoy our fellowship and celebration.

— Judy Campbell-Clark is the pastor of Spiritualist Church of the Comforter.

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