After World War II, San Diego burst with development to accommodate the new population that came here for war-factory work and in military service. Point Loma, with sweeping views of San Diego Bay and the Pacific Ocean, was a popular site for new housing. A forward-thinking resident thought it was time to establish an Episcopal parish. Gladys Gauss personally canvassed the neighborhoods to identify other Episcopalians who went to the downtown church (now St. Paul’s Cathedral), a small older parish in the adjoining beach community of Ocean Beach and to other denominations in the area.
After writing letters to the presiding bishop of the Los Angeles Diocese in 1946, the ambitious lady complied with requirements to charter a mission parish. Her primary goals were to provide a Christian education for children and the sacrament of baptism. With the help of active and retired clergy, the mission was established in a dance studio, with altar implements and prayer books donated by other parishes.
The Reverend Frederick Hammond was the first vicar in November 1948 who steered the new congregation into parish status. Land was acquired at a prominent intersection in mid-Point Loma to house a surplus chapel moved in 1949 from a decommissioned army camp nearby. It served as the sanctuary until the present church was built in 1969. Meanwhile, the open areas around the church were developed to house the post-war population surge. Young families were moving in with favorable GI and VA financing. All Souls built a parish hall, then a Sunday school-administration building by the end of the 1950s.
The parish flourished as “low church” under the leadership of Rev. Larry Pearson who guided the building of the new sanctuary before he retired. Over 66 years, All Souls' has called seven rectors, two interim associate rectors and two retired priests serving during a transition. One rector was a woman, and three other women were ordained here and served as associate rectors until called.