Header image Pilgrim Lutheran Church            
An Intimate Multi-Cultural Lutheran Church in
Oakland's Laurel District For Over 75 Years
ABOUT US
 
ABOUT US
 

     Rev. Paul Holt was born in 1947 in Ensieh, Hupeh, China to Wilbert and Geraldine Holt who were missionaries to China. He grew up in Hong Kong until the age of 16 when the family returned to the US. Rev. Holt attended Concordia Jr. College in Oakland and Concordia Senior College in Fort Wayne, Ind. It was here that he met his wife, Linda. They were married in 1969 and celebrated 40 years of marriage in June, 2009. Paul and Linda were blessed with six children, Michael, Amy, Anne, Jonathan, Matthew and Amanda. They became foster parents in 1991, and have adopted six children of various ethnic backgrounds, Brian, Leland, Benjamin, Joshua, Noah and Ashley. Additionally they have fostered more than 35 children and currently are fostering 3 sisters. In 2004, Pastor Holt and Linda received the National Angels of Adoption Award. He is also a proud grandfather to Sequoia and William. Rev Holt graduated from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley and Concordia Lutheran Seminary in Springfield, Illinois with dual Masters of Divinity Degrees. In 1975, he was called to his first church, St. Thomas Lutheran Church in Gardena, California, a church started by the Nisei during World War II.  

     There he also had a ministry to Spastic Children’s Foundation serving people with cerebral palsy. He became the pastor of Pilgrim Lutheran Church in Oakland in 1980. He attended Holy Names College’s Marriage and Family Counseling Program. At Pilgrim he has overseen a Chinese Ministry outreach and started a Preschool and Daycare program in 1989, with his wife serving as Director. He serves in an active capacity leading devotions, teaching and driving the church bus for weekly field trips in the summer. He has lead disadvantaged and culturally diverse youth group retreats through out Northern California. He served as chaplain in California State Park Chaplain Program for more than ten years. He has served on the boards of Lutheran Social Services and Mount Cross Lutheran Camp. He served for 10 years as chaplain to Highland Hospital, John George Psychiatric Hospital and Villa Fairmount. Most recently, Pastor Holt has become active with the 100 Black Men Association through the Tommy Smith Track Teams. He serves as an assistant coach while his 3 youngest children and foster children participate in the track events. He also has a kayak ministry overseeing daytrips in the beautiful waters of our bay. (print/view PDF)

     Little Pilgrims Preschool and Daycare was born out of over 55 years of Pilgrim Lutheran Church's commitment to share the love and faith of Jesus with the Laurel community. Our licensed church based daycare has cultivated faith, friendship, and family for over 20 years.

     Pilgrim has provided Sunday school, vacation Bible School, youth groups, confirmation, English as a second language class, and Chinese school, after school help with homework, tutoring, crafts, and games. In 1988, it was decided to bring these faith-based programs together in a licensed after school daycare and preschool. Pastor Paul Holt and Helen Tuttle, the church secretary, had a tutoring program which developed into a full time summer program with field trips. Helen and Pastor and their children were the beginning group.

     Pastor Holt’s wife Linda, who became the director, brought the six preschool age children from her home daycare. Shirley SooHoo, a public school teacher was a Pilgrim volunteer on Pilgrim’s Board of Education. She had two friends who were teacher’s aide, Shirley Hives and Pat Mazor who became the first teachers. As a teacher, Shirley Hives had two grandchildren join the program.

     And so it was, the program began with moms, friends, and church workers taking care of their own children, and each other’s children, brought together from their loving homes, the beginnings of our preschool and daycare. This sense of family, faith, and friendship gave Pilgrim a special warmth, commitment, and empathy.

     These caring teachers soon brought forth more generations of family and friends. Shirley Hives recruited her daughters, Tanisha and Toya as teachers. Pastor and Linda’s daughter Anne taught. Additionally, over the years, Pastor and Linda’s 35 foster children, six of whom were eventually adopted have been able to attend the program. Pastor and Linda’s first grandchild began preschool last year. Shirley Hives great grandson attends the afterschool program. Our present preschool teachers are Loretta Nelson, Sandy Tani, Amanda Holt, Patricia DeAnda, Guadalupe Garcia, who has two children attending, Myra Cummiskey, who has one child attending, and Lily Li, who has one child attending in addition to Pastor and Linda.

     Special Blessings: Pilgrim inherited a used bus from Youth Ministries of Pastor Holt’s father’s San Francisco church Holy Spirit Lutheran and Calvary Lutheran Church, San Leandro. The Big Blue Bus has served all for 20 years on field trips and church outings. Special thanks to Jason Ma Motors (father of one of the students) and C&C Motors (a Pilgrim member, Bruce Corley) who service our bus. Bruce recently installed a new motor and transmission thanks to a donation from Kathryn Bangert.

     Reverend and Mrs. Wilbert Holt, Pastor Paul Holt’s parents and their church, Holy Spirit donated start up dollars for the first years of preschool and daycare. Thousands more were given as a memorial at the funeral of Reverend Wilbert Holt.

     Sonshine Construction built the new wing of the daycare in 1996, which increased our ability to care for 72 children.

     God has continued to bless our program always sending the teachers and children we need to continue our mission. Our goal has always been to provide care for the wonderful families of Oakland and to celebrate the diversity which makes this such a special city.

 
 

Laurel Neighborhood News
BY JOHN FRANDO AND VERONICA VAUGHAN

The Reverend Paul Holt

In May 2010 the Rev. Paul Holt celebrated 30 years as pastor of Pilgrim Lutheran Church. At Pilgrim he oversaw a Chinese Ministry outreach and started a preschool and daycare program in 1989, with his wife Linda as director. He leads devotions, teaches, and drives the church bus for weekly field trips in the summer. He attended Holy Names Collegeís Marriage and Family Counseling Program and led disadvantaged and culturally diverse youth group retreats throughout northern California.

He served as chaplain in the California State Park Chaplain program for more than 10 years and on the boards of Lutheran Social Services and Mount Cross Lutheran Camp. For 10 years he was chaplain to Highland Hospital, John George Psychiatric Hospital, and Villa Fairmount. Most recently, Pastor Holt has become active with the 100 Black Men Association through the Tommy Smith Youth Track Program. Last year, he was an assistant coach while his three youngest children and foster children participated in the track events. This year, he returns to Pilgrimís kayak ministry, overseeing daytrips on the estuaries of San Francisco Bay.

The Rev. Holt was born in 1947 in Ensieh, Hupeh, China, to Wilbert and Geraldine Holt who were missionaries to China. He grew up in Hong Kong until the age of 16, when the family returned to the U.S. Rev. Holt attended Concordia Jr. College in Oakland and - Concordia Senior College in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he met his wife Linda. They married in 1969 and will celebrate their fortieth anniversary in June. They have 12 children, including si adopted children of various ethnic backgrounds: Michael, Amy, Anne, Jonathan, Matthew, Amanda Brian, Leland, Benjamin, Joshua, Noah, and Ashley. They are proud grandparents to Sequoia and William. They also have foster-parented more than 42 children and are currently foster parents to three brothers. No wonder, in 2004, Paul and Linda received the National Angels of Adoption Award.

Rev. Holt graduated from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley and Concordia Lutheran Seminary in Springfield, Illinois, with dual master of divinity degrees. In 1975 he was called to his first church, St. Thomas Lutheran Church in Gardena, California, a church started by the Nisei during WWII, where he also had a ministry to the Spastic childrenís Foundation serving people with cerebral palsy. (print/view PDF)

 

 


 





© Pilgrim Lutheran Church & Little Pilgrim's Pre-School 3900 35th Avenue Oakland CA, 94619 510-531-3715