The History of Christian Rods and Customs

2004: Christian Rods & Customs celebrates 15 years.
CR&C San Diego Chapter celebrates 4 years.

  The History of Christian Rods and Customs.
 Christian Rods & Customs is made up of car enthusiasts of all ages & backgrounds; men and women who have two common areas of interest: Christianity and cars. The History of CR&C began in 1984 with Al and Kathy Roberts of San Lorenzo in Northern California, who felt the calling to bring together Christians who had an interest in cars. In early 1985, Al wrote a letter to "Street Rodder Magazine" and as people responded, an organization was formed called UCSRA (United Christian Street Rod Association). In 1988, it was incorporated as a nonprofit organization.

In October of 1988 Al and Kathy sent letters to people living in Southern California, inviting them to a meeting where Al shared his vision of having new Chapters of the car organization. The first meeting in Southern California was held in December 1988 in Long Beach, California, at the home of Lee and Hazel Burnett with approximately 15 people in attendance. Five of those original families met month after month with Del Austin as the first president elected and his wife Sherry as Secretary. All of the original five families which includes Dave and Laura Elliott are still involved with CR&C.

In the Fall of 1990 the chapter began a quarterly newsletter which Dave and Laura Elliott faithfully sent out for 12 ½ years, finishing with the publishing of Issue #50 in May 2003! On January 20, 1991, a meeting was called in Northern California, and one of the items voted on was changing the name to Christian Rods & Customs. We now have seven chapters in Southern California:
Inland Empire, which is the original Southern California Chapter now meeting in Riverside.
High Desert, which began in the Fall of 1991.
Orange County, which began in August 1994.
San Gabriel Valley, which began in September 1994.
North San Diego, which began in January 1995.
San Diego, began informal meetings in the Fall of 1999 and officially began in May 2000.
Canyon Lake, which began in June 2001.
La Verne, which began in September 2001.
CR&C has established 17 chapters throughout the United States and Internationally, two of which are in Australia beginning in 1995. Two more chapters are starting, one in Oklahoma and one in Pennsylvania.

CR&C has the ongoing responsibility for conducting Chapel services at major car events. Services are conducted each year at the "Great Labor Day Cruise" at the Orange County Fairgrounds, at the "Cruisin’ to Paso Robles" over Memorial weekend in May, and at the "Route 66" reunion each September in Riverside.

In 2003, new officers were elected and the new President of Christian Rods & Customs International is Jerry Spears who is a member of the New Mexico Chapter. Jerry comes to Southern California for board meetings once a month and hopes to be able to visit the meetings of each chapter to get acquainted with all the members.

CR&C will celebrate its 15th Anniversary in Prescott, Arizona at the "High Country Road Show and Shine" on September 8-12th, 2004.

The History of CR&C San Diego Chapter.
The San Diego Chapter of Christian Rods & Customs began forming its membership at informal meetings in the Fall of 1999 under the guidance of Dave and Laura Elliott (original members of CR&C). In May 2000, the San Diego Chapter received its banner from International President Del Austin at the CR&C picnic at Deer Park in Escondido, and the new chapter chose Faith Chapel in Spring Valley as their official meeting place. The newly elected officers were the following: President was Jim Canaris, Vice President was Howard Nielsen, Secretary was shared by Claire Canaris and Paula Olsen, and Treasurer was Diana Jennings.

During the next three years the San Diego Chapter would grow to 48 families which would establish themselves as a strong support in the community. CR&C supports local fund raising events and church activities. These have included the Fourth of July "God and Country Celebration" at Shadow Mountain, the "50's Sock Hop" at Horizon Church, the "Christmas Tree Lighting" and "Country Fair Labor Day BBQ" at Skyline Church, the "Salute to the Heroes of 9/11" at Sea World,"Wheels 2001", "2002", and "2003" at El Cajon Wesleyan Church, and the "Trunk or Treat" at Faith Chapel. And our main fund rising event supports Calvary Ranch with our "Classic Car Show" at Sonrise Church in the Fall. At Christmas time, traditionally CR&C has in the past given Holiday food gifts to needy families but this Christmas, the chapter voted to support Rancho Jirah’s Holiday Party for foster children and their families.

New officers were elected in 2003: President David Wisner, Vice President Howard Nielsen, Secretary is shared by John and Jill Koger, Treasurer Mike Ledesma and appointed officers Chaplain Jim Canaris and Historian Claire Canaris. The San Diego Chapter meets each month on the 3rd Saturday at 6:00PM at Faith Chapel. 

CR&C San Diego Chapter will celebrate its 4th Anniversary in May 2004 at the home of members Chuck and Lorrie Buck. 

Respectively submitted, 
Claire Canaris, Historian
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