In the early 1850’s people began to settle in a valley a short distance below the  headwaters of the Fresno River, an area that was to become known as Fresno  Flats. They came not for gold as did the 49ers, but to build their homes, raise their  families and earn their way as farmers, lumbermen and merchants.  As the town grew slowly, Christ Church Mission was  established in 1886 by the Rev. D. O. Kelley, an  Episcopal circuit rider missionary who was famed for  starting many churches throughout the San Joaquin  Valley. In 1892, the Little Church on the Hill, as Christ  Church became known, was built as a community effort  by volunteer labor, using donated materials and located on land set aside by one of  Fresno Flats early pioneers, Robert Nichols (who settled here in 1856 and earlier had  given land for the cemetery and the school).  Located in what then was the center of the community, at the junction of Roads 426 and  425B, the Little Church was built with a single thickness of 1x12” sugar pine boards and  battens from local mills. Yet it stood for a century before being reinforced. The Little  Church was the area’s only house of worship for nearly a half century, and it remained  in use until 1954.  When the empty church suffered from vandalism and was threatened with demolition, the community rallied to  save it. The Oakhurst Grandmothers Club, under the leadership of Grace Schneider, raised the funds to have the  church moved to Oakhill Cemetery in 1957.  The next four decades saw the church barely used. As weather took its toll, Mrs. Schneider’s descendants in 1991  started a move to preserve the church with a new roof. The Grub Gulch Chapter 41-49 E Clampus Vitus donated  the labor using materials donated by the community.  In 1994, the Clampers initiated a drive to complete restoration so that “the Little Church would stand another 100  years” and could be once again made available to public use. The Madera Cemetery District authorized formation  of a Little Church Foundation as an educational, historical and service organization to help raise funds and  materials for this effort and to guide the church’s future preservation and use.  •Consecrated as Christ Church June 17, 1894 •Preserved by moving to Oakhill Cemetery Dedicated July 14, 1957 •Restored for public use Re-Dedicated June 10, 1995 Rev. D.O. Kelley