As the community of San Diego grew, many people found La Jolla a lovely place to live and retire. Two retirement facilities in the community were United Methodist sponsored, and in 1953, they decided to start a Methodist Church in La Jolla. They purchased the old San Carlos Electric Railroad Station, of which the central building of the station structure (and current chapel) was modeled after the Royal Presidio Chapel of Monterey, California circa 1794. The adjoining restaurant became the worship/fellowship hall space, and the restaurant’s bar become the church library/meeting room.
As the congregation grew, it enhanced its facilities, building a new sanctuary and memorial hall complex in the 1960s. During these years, La Jolla UMC developed outreach and mission projects to the local area and extended region, created an well regarded nursery school, expanded its music program offerings, and nurtured families and individuals with meaningful worship and education programs.