Our Story

Skyline Church’s history is a testimony of men & women who saw themselves as a family who could overcome anything, and so simply followed God’s plan for their small corner of a community that continues to grow and impact the community and world.

July 1954
Skyline Church is Founded
Skyline Church was founded by Orval Butcher in Lemon Grove, California, on Skyline Drive & Jamacha Boulevard. The sanctuary opened in July when 175 men, women, and children attended the first Sunday School and morning worship at Skyline Church. By 1955, Skyline Church had grown to 500 men, women & children.
April 1974
Construction of New Sanctuary
In April 1974, the new sanctuary was dedicated, just in time for the twentieth-anniversary celebration. A 1,000 seat auditorium was completed because Skyline Church outgrew its 350-seat sanctuary. As the sanctuary was being built, Skyline started "The Living Christmas Tree" at the Civic Auditorium, which became a special tradition that generated over $500,000 for the Child Abuse Prevention Foundation in 1982.
December 1981
John C. Maxwell becomes the Senior Pastor
Church attendance grew to 1,100, but Pastor & Founder, Orval Butcher decided it was time to retire. John C. Maxwell became the church’s second Senior Pastor & brought a new style of youth and energy to Skyline's leadership. During his time, he implemented a monthly discipleship program with the church board, a "Step-Up" outreach program, Prayer Partner Ministry, and increased to three services on Sunday due to high attendance.
June 1983
The Mountain
In June, the congregation acknowledged Pastor Maxwell's vision and the need to relocate. In Rancho San Diego, an area called "The Mountain" became the new home for Skyline Church, but the property was not zoned for a church and the Stewardship Committee was skeptical that Skyline Church would have the finances. Pastor Maxwell was confident in God's faithfulness and the congregation's generosity.
January 1992
H.O.M.E. Groups
By 1992, there was nothing built on the new property, so Pastor Maxwell held services at East County Performing Arts Center in El Cajon to accommodate the growth. Skyline Church entered into a capital stewardship campaign to raise the funds needed for building the new campus.
February 1995
Jim Garlow becomes the Senior Pastor
Although Pastor Maxwell had a strong desire & vision to take the church to "The Mountain," he could not fulfill this dream because he stepped down as Senior Pastor to focus on his INJOY Life Club Ministry. He knew he was leaving the church in good hands as Jim Garlow became the new Senior Pastor. Jim Garlow brought four key perspectives for church develop that served as the pillars: Childrens' & Youth Ministry, Biblcal Literacy, Historical Continuity & Relevance of Faith, and Community Involvement & Activism.
April 2000
Palm Sunday 2000
On April 16, 2000, Palm Sunday, the dream of relocating on the mountain came true. After almost $34 million and roadblocks with environmental, topographical, and bureaucratic challenges, the first building was built on the mountain. Eventually, a permanent 2,000 seat auditorium, gymnasium, café, administration building, and wedding chapel would be constructed in addition to the current Family Center.
August 2012
Present Skyline Campus Launches
After all the trying difficulties faced by the church to build a larger worship center, ground was broken in November 2010 and construction began. Skyline Church saw one miracle after another and through much patience and perseverance in 2012 the new auditorium was built. The launch was a testimony of God's faithfulness & commitment from Skyliners who are focused on meeting the needs of the community it serves.
November 2018
Jeremy McGarity becomes Senior Pastor
In November, Jim Garlow retires and Jeremy McGarity becomes the Senior Pastor of Skyline Church. Pastor Jeremy merged his church, Seven, with Skyline Church. This was the first satellite campus Skyline Church has launched and would be marked as the start of many campuses!
October 2021
10/10/10 Vision
In Dr. Jeremy McGarity's third year of being Senior Pastor, he was called to launch our 10/10/10 campaign. We want to see 10 churches reaching 10,000 people within 10 years. Jeremy McGarity has a passion to reach lost people, meet them where they are, and bring them to Christ to light up the scoreboard in Heaven!