A Brief History of Summit


In San Diego in the late 1800s, a Unitarian Universalist congregation was formed by 12 New England families that had settled here. Among them, Alonzo Horton was a Unitarian with lots of influence and money (think Horton Plaza!)  He built Horton Hall downtown, and it was the first meeting place of San Diego Unitarians in 1874. Since that time, there have been many off-shoots of the first church, and there are now Unitarian Universalist congregations throughout San Diego County. Summit UU Fellowship is San Diego’s East County congregation.

In 1987, a demographic study determined the need for a new congregation to serve the eastern and southern portions of the county. It was decided that Casa de Oro, since it bridged the eastern and southern areas would be the best spot.

Because no suitable location could be found in Casa de Oro, the new UU group began meeting at the East San Diego Masonic Temple near Grossmont College.

The first meeting was held in September 1988, with about 20 adults and 3 toddlers. The congregation called itself “Summit Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.”



The Rev. Ned Wight (left) was soon called as Summit’s first minister, and the congregation continued to grow.

In 2006, Summit moved to its current location in Santee, and in 2012 called its current minister, Rev. Frank Placone-Willey (right).


Summit continues to flourish and today is well established as a voice for liberal spirituality in San Diego’s East County.


For a brief spoken history of Summit, we welcome you to listen to “Whence We’ve Come.”

connieSpeaker:  Connie Henry

Use the Play Arrow to start or stop playing the audio.


Length:  11:32

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