Old Yellow Church Preservation Fund: A Capital Campaign for 251 Windsor River Road

Windsor’s Historic Building with a Vision for the Future

Goal: To raise $150,000 to cover current repair and ongoing maintenance for Windsor’s historic 1898 church, oak grove, and grounds at 251 Windsor River Road in order to maintain the integrity of the historic district and draw people to our Town.

Gifts to support the
Old Yellow Church Preservation Fund
can be given online above (Give Now! and choose WPC Historic Building Capital Campaign.)
Or send your check Payable to Windsor Presbyterian Church c/o Old Yellow Church Preservation Fund, 251 Windsor River Road, Windsor, CA 95492.

All proceeds from these funds will go only toward building costs and will not fund religious programming.

LAUNCH  DATE:   August 19, 2023

CELEBRATION DATE:   May 31, 2024  (Pentecost: the Birthday of the Church)


The Old Yellow Church building at 251 Windsor River Road, originally the Windsor Methodist Episcopal Church, was built by donations from across the community in 1898. 

“Bringing… history to life, with a walking tour and events in the church, is one way to draw visitors and locals alike to the Town of Windsor.”

From the beginning, all the families of Windsor and the surrounding communities supported the building of a place where the growing town could gather. Some gave money, others gave lumber, many gave back-breaking labor. It was a project that all of Windsor could rally around.

When the older church on the East side of town burned, the whole town again jumped in to move the parsonage – the home for the pastor’s family – across Windsor creek to its new home on Windsor River Road. The building was lifted whole and moved on wooden cribbing, like pallets, and rolled along until it was set firmly in place where it still remains next door at 239 Windsor River Road.

In 1930, the community again supported a new floorplan and “extensive improvements” to this community centerpiece, as described in the Sunday Press Democrat of September 28th that year.

Key to the construction efforts was an “enlarged worship room” as the area known as Windsor continued to grow.  By that time, the building was known simply as the Windsor Church – as it was the place for the community to gather on Sunday mornings and throughout the week.

When the Methodist Church outgrew the space and parking in the 1950s, no one dreamed of tearing the already historic building down.  Other churches and businesses found their home in the yellow walls over the following decades.

Most notably, in the 1970s Chappell’s Old Church & Antiques offered sandwiches served on the very antique tables they were trying to sell. Over time, the building was subdivided and rearranged for various purposes, but remained a gathering space for locals and visitors alike.

As the new Town Green was developed in the early 2000s, rather than a modern look that displaced the Old Yellow Church, the buildings were designed to look historical.  Many visitors to the Town probably have no idea that those buildings only look old, while a few, like the church at 251 Windsor River Road, The Masonic Temple and Odd Fellows Hall and several homes and businesses along Windsor River Road, actually ARE historical.

Bringing that history to life, with a walking tour and events in the church, is one way to draw visitors and locals alike to the Town of Windsor.  But this old yellow church has vital maintenance needs, as well as restoration opportunities before it can make a fresh appeal to sightseers.  This campaign will make those repairs as well as future maintenance possible.

SO HOW DO WE RAISE $150,000?

Gifts from Windsor Presbyterian Church members and friends ($34,500 raised as of July 30, 2023) and the community

  • People who love our historic buildings, and don’t want to see one of Windsor’s oldest historic buildings fall into disrepair
  • People who want more family-focused reasons for visitors to enjoy Windsor, and especially the Town Green district
  • People who know the great work that is done for all of our community at this important landmark: the WPC food pantry, clothes closet and diaper distribution, AA Group meetings, English- and Spanish-speaking churches
  • People who see how a beautiful community meeting space with excellent modern amenities can benefit existing local organizations as well as out-of-town visitors looking to stay in hotels, shop in local businesses, and eat and drink at local restaurants

Leadership gifts of $5,000 to $25,000 are critical to the success of this effort.  Beyond other repairs, the needed new roof to keep the building structurally sound will cost over $80,000. 

But just as important are the $50 – $1000 gifts that root the campaign in a community-driven acknowledgement that we do not want this important building to disappear.  Repairs and long-overdue maintenance, painting and flooring, as well as external improvements for drainage and safety, will bring new life to this historic meeting place.

Showing Windsor’s gracious family-centered hospitality in this renewed and revitalized space, community groups will gather, relationships will be built, people will be fed and clothed safely and with dignity, and visitors will be welcomed into the heart of our Town Green district.

Every gift – YOUR gift – makes a difference and we thank you in advance for your support!

To find out more, consider attending these events: