Learn More About University AME Zion Church in Palo Alto, CA

In-person & Online Worship Service Every Sunday at 9:30AM

A Church For You

Welcome to University AME Zion Church. University AME Zion Church was founded in 1918 to provide a refuge for African American migrant workers to gather, build relationships, and create an atmosphere for authentic worship. For 100 years University AME Zion has grown from its humble, historic beginnings into a vibrant place of community reaching people from all walks of life in the Silicon Valley. Today University AME Zion Church warmly welcomes with open arms a diverse mix of cultures from varying socioeconomic and generational backgrounds.  Families, singles, seniors, students, and more are finding their place at University.  We are an active faith community providing love to the lost and compassion to the hurting, while supporting all people in their worship, witness, and work for God. 

about our pastor


Kaloma Smith is a committed pastor devoted to harnessing the church’s potential to bring about positive transformation within the community. Born in Jamaica and raised in Mt. Vernon, New York, his journey of empathy and service has been nurtured through various ministerial roles.

He served by leading the young adult, family life, men, and communications ministries at Greater Centennial Church in Mt. Vernon and as the Chairperson for Young Adults in Christian Ministry for the Westchester District [OF the AME ZION Church]. His diligent efforts significantly contributed to the growth of Foster AME Zion Church and were pivotal in establishing crucial facilities at Dixon AME Zion Church.

Parallel to his ministry work, Pastor Smith thrived in the corporate arena as the Senior Managing Director of Home Theatre of Long Island, where his success was acknowledged. Known for his bold and innovative leadership, at the height of his promising career, he left a legacy of excellence in the corporate sector to follow a different path: his divine calling. His spiritual father, Bishop W. Darin Moore, recognized in him the leader that the University African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Palo Alto, California, needed. Following his ordination in the summer of 2013, Pastor Smith embraced the mantle and embarked on a mission to utilize his God-given talents to nurture a vibrant, wholesome church community.

Under Pastor Smith’s stewardship over the past ten years, University AME Zion Church has entered an era of unprecedented revitalization and growth. The congregation has not only expanded in numbers but has also rejuvenated with a younger demographic. The church facilities have been significantly updated and modified to meet the evolving needs of the ministry.

Pastor Smith’s unique communication style resonates profoundly with younger generations, including Gen Z and Millennials. His welcoming demeanor has nurtured a multicultural congregation, uniting individuals from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. This multiculturalism has become a hallmark of the church, creating a rich, inclusive community where everyone can authentically engage with God’s profound and nuanced message.

Under Pastor Smith’s visionary leadership, University AME Zion Church is now celebrated for its vibrant worship and innovative ministries. Community engagement has been a pivotal focus, with the church earnestly reaching out to the most vulnerable in the community through various initiatives and partnerships.

In addition to his pastoral duties, Pastor Smith has been deeply ingrained in the Palo Alto community, showcasing his commitment to civic engagement. He chaired the Human Relations Commission for the City of Palo Alto, coached youth soccer, and served on various nonprofit boards, advocating for justice and equality.

Pastor Smith has emerged as a sought-after preacher and speaker, known for his powerful, practical, relatable, and biblically-based preaching style that effectively

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Community. Community. Community. This church does it better than most. A welcoming group of people, exciting and frequent special events, worthwhile small groups, and a pastor who truly cares. I am thankful for this church and for all the people I have met here. Most of all I am thankful for the experiences this church has made possible for me. God Bless University AME Zion!
Ellery Dake, M.Ed.
If you're looking for a church community, look no further. The congregation is warm and inviting. The pastor sincerely preaches the word of God, and the choir fills the space with praise and worship.
Sandra Habtamu

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Address: 3549 MIDDLEFIELD RD, PALO ALTO CA, 94306