Church Origins


(This historical message was originally delivered by Rev. Galal Gough on Founder’s Day, January 10, 1988, one week after the death of pioneer member Charles Appleberry. Pioneers Ruth Slater and John Murdy were still living at the time. Pictures and biographical information were provided by families of our pioneers. The manuscript was typed by Wanda Langlotz, and proofread by Fred Langlotz.)

The heritage of Community United Methodist Church really begins on December 12, 1904, when a Community Sunday School was started in the little farming village of Wintersburg. The Sunday School was located in the armory on Wintersburg Avenue, now Warner Avenue, just east of the railroad tracks. Charles Applebury, seven years old at the time, was a student in the Sunday School.

In 1905 worship services were started, and Charles Applebury recalled that crates were borrowed from a packing plant nearby, boards were put across them for seats and they were covered with paper, to make them more comfortable. Because most of the worshipers were Methodists, they petitioned the Southern California Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church to send a minister. In December of 1905 Rev. Floyd J. Seamon arrived, having recently transferred from: Kansas. On January 7, 1906, a Quarterly Conference was held, and five Trustees were elected, including George Applebury, the father of Charles Applebury. The minutes read:

“Upon motion the Trustees were authorized to incorporate.”

Authority was also granted for an Official Board to be formed. So Mr. and Mrs. George Applebury, listed as present at the organizational meeting, were Charter Members of Community Church.

At the next Quarterly Conference the following resolution was passed:

Resolved That the time has fully come for the erection of a M.E. church in Wintersburg, Cal. and that it is the sense of this body that we proceed to the erection of the said church at once.
Moved that we refer all questions relative to the securing a site and building the church to the Official Board. Carried.

Construction was already well underway when the Official Board minutes of September 18, 1906, reported progress on building and paying for the church, which still stands today on the southeast corner of Warner Avenue and Gothard Street.

Building Comm reports subscriptions received toward building M.E. church $3592.63. There has been paid on the subscription $2325.08 leaving $1268.55 to be collected. Also, reports that bills have been paid to the amt. of $2751.20. And there are bills due $2368.54. Making a present indebtedness of $1596.99. Total cost of church and lot $5116.74.
Cost of parsonage lot $575.00. Bal Due on Parsonage $75.00.

The church building “was completed before the end of 1906 and dedicated on March 17, 1907, at which time sufficient money was pledged to clear the church of indebtedness.”

So in just over a year after the organizing of the church on January 7, 1906, the structure on the corner of Warner Avenue and Gothard was built and dedicated. It is my sad duty to report, for those who have not already heard, that Charles Applebury, who was present when our church was founded and was one of our honored pioneers, passed away last Sunday. His memorial service was held on this past Thursday, January 7-exactly 82 years to the day, after the founding of our church. So I have been led to build our Founder’s Day message around the story of his life, and three other pioneer families.


Charles Leonard Applebury was born on November 19, 1897, in the family home at Garden Grove, California. He was the third of thirteen children, and the oldest son. Because his father moved often, Charles grew up on a succession of farms in both California and Missouri. But the family lived in the Wintersburg area long enough for Charles to be in the Community Sunday School, organized on December 12, 1904, and to be present when the church was organized on January 7, 1906. So, for many decades, Charles Applebury was a historic link with the origins and heritage of the church. But a short time after the founding of the church, the family moved back to Missouri, where his father had relatives and farmed for a time, near Carlton. 

When the family moved back to California, it was to Los Alamitos, where Charles graduated from grammar school. By the time he was ten, Charles was working full time on the ranch for his father. During harvest time the work required Mexican laborers, and Charles became bilingual. When Charles was fourteen, the family moved to the Victorville area, and he drove a wagon with a team of horses up through the Cajon Pass. Charles told me he slept under the wagon in Hesperia overnight, before driving into Victorville the next morning. He also spoke of catching wild horses in Hesperia, driving them into the sandy bottom of the Mojave River to slow them down and lasso them; he later broke the broncos and rode them. Charles was a farmer and a cowboy in those years, and was an extra for old Tom Mix movies.

Charles was nineteen and Carol was sixteen when they met. Carol’s brother had ridden with Charles when they caught wild horses. The first time Carol saw Charles, she used to say, she knew he was the man she would marry. As a young man, Charles was on a train, going to be inducted into the army, when Armistice, ending World War I, was declared. Upon his return, Charles began courting Carol in earnest, and on April 27, 1920, they were married in Santa Ana. It was the beginning of 67 years of married life together. They lived for a while in Victorville, but then moved to the Wintersburg-Huntington Beach area a few months after their marriage, to the Golden Ranch, located where McDonald Douglas is today. Their two daughters were born there.

Then they moved to a ranch on Springdale, between Bolsa and Edinger. Their son was born there. Charles also farmed on lands along Edinger between Golden West and Beach Blvd. The main crop was dry lima beans, which were threshed in the fall; but he also grew tomatoes and bell peppers. He belonged to a co-op, located by the railroad, where the crops were sold. At times he grew sugar beets, which were taken to the Holly Sugar Plant in Santa Ana. Charles loved farming, and he thought he was doing good for the world, by farming, raising crops and feeding people. They always had their own garden for fresh vegetables, and raised chickens, turkeys, rabbits, pigs and calves. Charles butchered meat for the family, and would invite relatives over for Sunday dinner. His daughters remember the main social occasions being dinners with relatives, and the church activities. Charles was a great family man, and he enjoyed the family get-togethers.

The daughters of Charles and Carol Applebury remember always going to Community Methodist Church, to Sunday School and the church potlucks. Charles took the whole family to Sunday School and church every Sunday. Charles and Carol transferred to Community Church on June 22, 1930, and were members for 58 years. During my time of ministry at Community Church, the ministers called on Charles and Carol, as honored pioneers of our church, and accompanied the youth in singing Christmas carols for them, at their Wilson Street address in Midway City. (Charles had farmed until he was seventy-nine, and did not want to retire, even then. But after he retired, they bought the lot on Wilson Street, and moved their house from Graham Street in Huntington Beach. Charles also had property on Edinger, across from Huntington Center, where he had one of the earliest Marie Calendar’s Restaurants, # 14.) On November 19, 1987, I delivered a giant ninetieth birthday card Charles Applebury, signed by hundreds of members of the church and Sunday School. As a student of the first Community Sunday School back in 1904, and as a parent devoted to giving his children a Sunday School education, Charles represents a significant continuing emphasis on the life of our church-the focus on Christian education and nurture.


Will and Ruth Slater have a special place in the heritage of Community Church, particularly because Ruth, who will celebrate her ninety-fifth birthday in just ten days, is with us so regularly at worship and represents so vividly the grand traditions of our congregation. Will Slater, who was born in Galveston, Texas, on November 28, 1883, came to our area when he was nine, and lived with the Dennis McGuirk family until he was fourteen. He then went off to make a living on his own, and returned to the area while he was in his twenties. According to the minutes of the Fourth Quarterly Conference, on September 17, 1909, Will Slater was elected to the Board of Stewards for the ensuing Conference year, and appointed to the Temperance Committee. He was twenty-six years old, and he was just beginning fifty-six years of faithful service at Community Church.

Dennis McGuirk had helped Will acquire his first twenty acres of land, located north of what is now Slater Avenue between Golden West and Edwards. In 1908, Will had married Bonnie Clay, who was the first Springdale school teacher. They lived in a ranch house located on the land Will farmed, and they had three children-Fred, June and Homer. Then in 1919, Bonnie died suddenly, and her closest friend, Ruth, who had come from Redlands in 1913 to teach school, helped Will with the children. The following year they were married. (Ruth Slater was born in Rialto, California, on January 20, 1893.) Will Slater built the home on the hill (Gothard Street) where he and Ruth raised the children and added three more to the family, Alice, Bettie and Bill. Ruth has lived in that same house now for almost 65 years.

According to Ruth, her husband acquired a good portion of land within and surrounding Huntington Central Park, beginning in 1919 and over the next several years. One of the largest parcels was purchased. from the Bolsa Chica Gun Club. Will Slater owned land near what is now Huntington Lake, and most of the property on either side of Slater Avenue, between Gothard and Edwards Streets. In the early days the land was swampy, and people thought that roads could never be built.. Before it was drained, the only crops that could be raised were celery, potatoes and onions. The Slaters raised celery, sugar beets, and later, lima beans. Ruth remembered the lima bean harvests during the forties and fifties, when several threshing machines would come into the area, with large crews working them. Ruth would load up the family car with food and go into the fields to feed the workers.

Ruth had joined Community Church in 1920, and was one of the women who, for half a century, was always associated with great church dinners and fellowship events. She was also a devoted teacher and worker in the Sunday School, while Will was regularly a Trustee of the church and later a member of the Building Committee. For decades the minutes of the Official Board recorded motions by Will Slater, and reports by Ruth Slater, often on Community Church programs of Evangelism. For example, there is a report on Community Church participation in a program of Visitation Evangelism, a Conference effort to begin on February 15, 1942, in which Ruth figured prominently. Current members of the church remember Ruth Slater calling on them during the first week after they attended church services. Even when she was in her late seventies and early eighties, she cooked dinner for the Fisherman’s Club, before the members went out to make calls on newcomers. So, in addition to the concern for Christian Education, Ruth Slater embodies another major emphasis in the heritage of Community Church, the commitment to Evangelism.

Will Slater was a Trustee and a member of the Building Committee for the new Sanctuary, Moore Hall and the Education Building on Heil Avenue, and is pictured in photographs of the groundbreaking in 1964. Will and Ruth Slater were among those recognized for their devotion to the church at the Opening Day worship services in the new sanctuary on September 26, 1965. Two months later, in November of 1965, Will Slater passed away. The carillon in the bell tower was later dedicated as a memorial to Will Slater, and Slater School was also named in appreciation for the many years of service to Christ and Community Church by Will and Ruth Slater. Ruth continued to serve Christ at Community Church, and has been a member in continuous service longer than any other person as of now, for sixty eight years. She worshiped whenever she was physically able to be present, and came to be the embodiment of the heritage and traditions of Community Church. In the fall of 1987, when a portrait for our Pictorial Directory was taken of the congregation in the quad in front of Slater School, Ruth Slater was in the first row. She was still recovering from a broken hip and seated in a wheelchair, but she was present at worship and at her place in the front rank of those who have epitomized the spirit of Community Church. In just ten days, when Ruth celebrates her ninety fifth birthday, we will be delivering a giant birthday card to her, signed by hundreds of members of our church, in gratitude for her years of service and devotion to the cause of Christian service and evangelistic outreach at Community Church.


Charles and Anna Graham represent the third pioneer family for us to remember on Founder’s Day. Charlie Graham’s parents were among the early members of our church, and Charles remembered going to Sunday School in the old church on the corner of Warner Avenue and Gothard with Charles Applebury when they were both boys. Charles was born on March 8, 1896, in Huntington Beach. When he was a young boy, his parents built the large two-story house across the street from the Meadow Lark Golf Course on Graham Street. He lived there until he and Anna married on March 15, 1917. Anna had been born on January 14, 1898, in Clearfied, lowa, and her family had moved to Huntington Beach in 1910.

Charles and Anna had two sons, who were baptized in the Wintersburg Church (as were their five grandchildren and four great grandchildren). In earlier years, most of the social life in Wintersburg revolved around the church. Charlie’s wife, Anna; along with Ruth Slater, Carol Applebury and others, would work together to prepare the annual turkey dinner, which was a major fund raising event. Several hundred people came from all around to attend the feast, which had been two days or more in the making.
During his farming years, Charles Graham raised celery, sugar beets and lima beans, until in more recent years he found it more profitable to plant mobile homes on his farm along Warner Avenue. It is now known as the ‘Sea-Aira Mobile Estate.” But through all these productive years he was also a devoted churchman, serving many years on the Board of Trustees. He co-chaired the Building Committee with Oscar Strickland when our current facilities were built.

Anna Graham is the one who especially represents a third strand of our heritage at Community Church. For many years, back in the forties and fifties, she was the Benevolence Treasurer. The Official Board minutes, for meeting after meeting, tell of her report of contributions for missionaries and other benevolent good works. There was the Conference campaign for Plaza Community Center and All Nations Foundation. She supported a proposal to adopt a Chinese student at Fukien Theological Seminary and pay for his support from World Service Funds. Special missionary programs were held, and Anna Graham’s efforts involved both the benevolent work of the church and the missionary activities of the Women’s Committee on Missions.

Anna was a member of our church for sixty-six years, passing away on July 23, 1981. Charles died on May 14, 1985, having been a member for seventy years.


John and Norma Murdy gave to our church the property on which our sanctuary, fellowship hall and educational building are now located. But their contribution also helped shape our character as a congregation, for John A. Murdy, Jr. was a State Senator during his years at Community Church, and our traditions of community service can be traced, in a significant way, to his career in public life. John Murdy, Jr. was born in his family home in Potter County, near Tolstoy, South Dakota on March 25, 1900, one of twelve children. The family moved to Perris Valley, California, in 1905, and to Westminster in 1912. He completed his elementary education at Westminster grammar school, as valedictorian in 1914. Later at Huntington Beach High School, he had the lead in the Junior Class play, “Esmerelde”; was appointed athletic manager for interscholastic games; was a member of the debate team; all the time helping after school on the family farm in Westminster.

After his graduation from high school in 1918, Murdy enlisted in the Army and attended Officer’s Training School in Field Artillery at Camp Zachary Taylor near Louisville, Kentucky, until Armistice was signed in November. For the next two years he studied in the College of Agriculture at the University of California at Davis, and sang in and was president of the University glee club. After working on a farm near Stockton for a year, he returned to Orange County and started a small dairy farm. On October 25, 1922, he married Norma Emma Lorbeer, whom he had met at Huntington Beach High School. She had been in the Junior Class play with him, and an older sister, Beth, with whom she lived, was a teacher in the high school. Norma was born in Pomona, California, on March 21, 1899, the youngest of four children. Her mother died when she was six, and her father when she was fourteen, so she had come to Huntington Beach to be with her sister.

With money borrowed from the First National Bank of Garden Grove, the Murdy’s purchased farm land in what is now Huntington. Beach, and their home was located at 6662 Heil Avenue. After three years in the dairy business, Murdy switched to raising open field crops, sugar beets, lima beans and alfalfa, and later he had orange orchards. He served as president of the Smeltzer Lima Bean Growers Association, president of the California Lima Bean Growers Association and a member of the Board of Directors of the Orange County Production Credit Association. During the earlier years, as John and Norma Murdy were establishing their farm and struggling through the depression, they were blessed with three children-Dorothy, Maxine and Jack (John A. Murdy, III).

According to the “Record of Members”, John Murdy joined Community Methodist Church on April 16, 1922, just over six months before he and Norma were married. She joined Community Church the following year, on June 24, 1923. Norma taught Sunday School classes through the years, and participated in the women’s groups of the church. John was a frequent maker of motions, recorded in the minutes of the Official Board and Quarterly Conferences over several decades. He early demonstrated the leadership skills, which would later be evident in his years of public service, as he chaired the Official Board, the Board of Trustees, and held other offices of the church. Rev. Roger Betsworth declared that “John and Norma Murdy not only gave the land for the church, but they also had a great vision of what a church should be. There was a bracero camp a few blocks south of the church on Gothard. A Mexican pastor asked if their church, which served the braceros, could meet in our building on Sunday evenings. The question was raised in the Trustee meeting about the extra utility and cleaning bills. Right away John Murdy said that we ought to take care of that; it was the least we could do for the migrant workers who were so poor.” So, until we left the old church, the Spanish speaking service continued there each Sunday evening.

In March of 1946, John Murdy was elected to the Board of Directors of a new hospital the Presbyterian Church was seeking to establish in the beach area. Initially, he served on the Finance Committee and chaired the Building Committee. He negotiated with the Hoag family to join hands with the Presbyterian Church to build the hospital, to be named Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian. It was dedicated in 1952, with seven members of the Board of Directors to be from Hoag Foundation, and seven from the Presbyterian Church. Murdy, the 15th member, belonged to neither group and was elected president, serving in this capacity until 1967. He also served as a Trustee of Whittier College from 1949 until 1970.

In 1952 John Murdy was elected to the California State Senate, winning both the Republican and Democratic nominations in an upset during the primary elections (candidates could cross file and run on both tickets). He served the 35th Senatorial District until 1964, when he retired undefeated due to failing health (Parkinson’s disease). While in the Senate, under Governors Earl Warren, Goodwin Knight, and Pat Brown, Sr., he served on the Finance, Rules, Agriculture, Water, and Education Committees. He took a key role in the legislative process for the establishment of the University of California at Irvine, and California State University at Fullerton. One of his most important pieces of legislature for Orange County was known as the Murdy Pump Tax, providing that for every acre foot of water used, a similar amount must be put back into the underground basin. In 1963, he was recognized as the outstanding government official by the Orange County Property Owners Association, and named the Orange County Press Club Headliner for public service.

But for Community Church, John and Norma Murdy will always be appreciated, above all, for donating the property on which the present church stands. This act of generosity is commemorated by a plaque near the Carillon Tower, which reads as follows:

The Members and Friends of Community United Methodist Church Express Their Deep Gratitude To


For Their Generous Gift in 1962 Of The Land On Which The Present Church Is Located. The Murdy House, Tennis Court, A Fruit Tree Orchard, And A Lima Bean Field
Were All On This Site.

But even more, Senator John Murdy left his imprint on the spirit and traditions of Community Church, through his devotion to public service. Through the years our congregation has supported social agencies and encouraged community service, in keeping with a great heritage.


These pioneer families left their mark, not only on our church, but on our community. Three of these families have given their names to city streets Slater Avenue, Graham Street and Murdy Circle. In addition, Senator Murdy is remembered by Murdy Park, Murdy Community Center, Murdy Elementary School and the Murdy Circle Fire Station. Other members are also commemorated by place names, such as the George Gothard family, who joined our church on July 5, 1914, with Gothard Street and, of course, the street where our church is located was named for Vernon Heil, whose name appears often in early Board minutes. Nor could any recitation of members, who made a lasting contribution to our city, fail to mention in our more recent history, Norma Brandel Gibbs, former mayor both of Huntington Beach and Seal Beach, founder of Interval House and other community services, whose crucial contribution to the building of the Huntington Beach Central Library is described on a plaque in this magnificent edifice. So our history at Community Church continues to widen and deepen in an “endless line of splendor.”

Yes, “we have a goodly heritage.”


The Year Book of the Southern California Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Thirty First Session, held at Riverside, California, on September 26 to October 1, 1906, reports: “At the beginning of the year the Rev. F. J. Seaman of Kansas was secured to supply the last ten months of this (conference) year. During this brief period a parsonage has been secured and a fine, modern church, costing about five thousand dollars, has been built and will be formally dedicated soon after conference. (A picture of the new Wintersburg church was printed in the Year Book.)

But the key documentation in the Minutes of the Second Quarterly Conference, held in the Armory Hall, Wintersburg, Jan. 7th, 1906, provide the record of the “incorporation” or official organization of the church. J. L. Pitner, P.E. (Presiding Elder, or in present day terminology, District Superintendent) chaired the meeting. Trustees were elected, including George Applebury, father of Charles Applebury. The minutes read: “Upon motion the Trustees were authorized to incorporate.” Necessary officers were elected, and an official Board meeting was authorized. Portions of the minutes are reproduced below:

Note: When this historical message was given in 1988, John Murdy and Ruth Slater were still living. John Murdy, who was State Senator in 1952-64, passed away on Sunday, May, 20, 1990, at the age of ninety. Ruth Slater was in her nineties when she passed away on March 2, 1989.

Warner Avenue Baptist Church Origins

Presented at homecoming 2006 by Ken Williams and updated in January 2007.

The Warner Avenue Baptist Church (WABC) was started in late 1963, early 1964 by Dr. Edwin Greene and a few people.

At first, the church was called the Southwest Baptist Church, until it moved into the present site at 7360 Warner Avenue, Huntington Beach, California.

During the early years of the church, we received a lot of help and encouragement from the Southwest Baptist Conference. During this time, Roger Youngquist, the brother-in-law of Victor Carlson’s wife Lorraine was the Executive Secretary of the Conference. His daughter Tricia was the church organist and also led the choir.

The George Carlson Family and the Victor Carlson families were among these first members. One picture of the early church shows in addition to those mentioned above, Tom and Marion Joubert, Don and Marion Bowman with their Daughter (now Jan Crowell) and Henry and Ramona Cook. I think the Norman Lowry’s are also in the picture

Pastor Ed’s garage (in the tract near Warner and Newland) was the site of the first meetings. Pastor Ed had an Oldsmobile car, and one of the early church families was named Packard. Pastor Ed used to say that he took the Oldsmobile out and put in four Packards. (Some of you may be too young to remember that a Packard was at one time a luxury automobile).

While meeting in Pastor Ed Greene’s home, Bob and Donna Hopkins, who were living in Santa Ana, led the youth group.

Dr. Greene (Pastor Ed) had been an earlier pastor at College Avenue Baptist Church in San Diego, and had moved to Orange County and was helping the Wycliffe Bible Translators in those early days. On a recent visit to College Avenue Baptist, I was able to see a much younger picture of Dr. Greene, hanging in the honored past pastor’s gallery.

The search for a permanent building for the congregation ended with an agreement to first share, and then purchase, the present building and grounds. At the time, the Sanctuary which had been constructed in 1906, and the caretaker’s house and the fellowship hall were owned by the Methodist Church which is now located on Heil near Murdy Park. This Methodist church was moving to the new building there in 1965.

In the early days, the church building was occupied by a congregation known as the Wintersburg Community Church. Wintersburg included a rail depot near Warner Avenue and the present rail tracks.

Prior to obtaining full occupation of the facility, WABC used these buildings on Sunday and Wednesday evenings. At that time, Sunday morning Sunday School and Church was held in a rented class room at the Ocean View School that was located where the Charter center now stands on the South West Corner of Beach and Warner.

Victor Carlson, brother of George Carlson and Henry Friesen visited Ken and Jan Williams who were living at the time in the mobile home park just south of the church on Gothard street. Ken and Jan Williams joined the church at this time (1965) and as of 2006 are the only members from that time that remain at Warner.

Shortly after gaining full occupation of the facility, WABC was incorporated as a corporation in the State of California. Then later, the property adjoining to the East was acquired, resulting in a total footprint of about ? acres.

Included as charter members of this incorporation were Ken and Dorothy Fuller who lived in the Koledo Park neighborhood just south of the church. They have since moved to Los Alamitos, but visit the church on occasion. Ken’s sister Betty has moved to our area, and is a member. Betty serves with Ida Young as Church Librarians.

For many years, the church was served by community water well located where the grass area is to the East of the fellowship hall. This well served seven homes in what was the former Wintersburg community.

Also, at one time there were tents on this grass area that served as Sunday school classrooms. Ken Williams taught Sunday school for a while in those tents.

Also shortly after moving in, a baptistery was constructed in the sanctuary, and the beautiful mural that is behind the baptistery was painted by Pastor Ed Greene, his wife Fanchon, Marion Joubert and Mrs. Broadlick. Mrs. Broadlick owned an art supply store down the street on Gothard, where she also taught art, and Pastor Greene and Fanchon were her students.

The Lord provided a fine servant in the form of Lloyd Hartin, who helped us replace the old floor mounted furnaces with a new forced air unit located in the attic.

Brother Hartin also installed a new roof on the sanctuary with the help of his son. At this time Lloyd was in his seventies.

Because of the age of the buildings, the church custodial service has been an important and sometimes difficult job. The first custodians were Larry and Joyce Hanson who along with their children lived in the house next to the church, and served until they moved to Arkansas.

Later, Elzie Jordan and his wife served as custodians and occupied the same house.

We even had a two-piece band in those days as Pastor Greene played the trumpet, accompanied by Henry Cook on the French horn.

Choir ministry has always been a part of worship at Warner Avenue Baptist Church.

Wally Mulligan was one of the early choir directors. Other choir directors have included Tom Ashbey, Jim Friesen, Charles Gray, Cheryl Stephens and Warren Sager. Presently Jonathan Stevens leads the choir.

The founding of the church included a great step of faith (or presumption, whichever you choose) in that the eleven original families signed up for an approximately $100,000 loan for the purchase of the original property.

Pastor Greene remained until 1970.

During Pastor Greene’s leadership, two youth Pastors were called.

The first was David Wood and his wife. Dave is presently (2006) the president of SEND International Ministries.

Allen Keyser and his wife Emily were called as youth pastor later. They have since served in Papau New Guinea.

Linda Berry served as official church secretary during Ed Greene’s pastorate.

Bert Orman was called as interim pastor then, and was called as full time pastor soon after. Pastor Bert Orman had retired as pastor of a much larger church in Moline Illinois, so that he could bring his handicapped daughter to California for better care. This beloved daughter, Joan, blessed us all for a number of years before the Lord took her home in a drowning accident.

During Pastor Bert Orman’s time at Warner, Ramona Warren served as church secretary.

One of our early families was the Howard Stephens family. Howard, a true servant spent long hours sorting out our finances and paying bills. This brought us the added benefit of fellowship with Fumi Shioya, whom Mrs. Stephens (Merrilee) brought. Fumi is severely handicapped and remains ready to bless all visitors to here home in the retirement hospital on Florida street. She has outlived Howard and many others, and may well outlive me. We look forward to seeing Howard when we are called home.

Also in those early days, we were blessed by the fellowship of a pioneer in this area, Marion Speer. Marion was a good friend of Walter Knott and many of the historical artifacts in the Western Trails Museum at Knott’s Berry Farm were gathered by Marion. These include the spikes from the old Red Line Railroad on Huntington Beach, which Marion asked me (Ken Williams) to get for him when they tore up the line.
Mr. Speer has a street named for him, which is located between Slater and Talbert on Beach Boulevard.

This of course brings us to remember Tom Joubert who earned the name ‘Paper Tiger’ during his time with us.
This came about as he headed up a multiple year paper drive, which centered at the Speer residence for many years. Many children were sent to camp by the funds from this project.

Also, since Tom and his wife Marion bought the home of Don and Marion Bowman (Jan Crowell’s parents) this provided the link to a longtime Partnership with Tom and Jan Crowell of Wycliffe Translators. We were introduced to the Crowells just after they had completed summer survival camp in Mexico.

This partnership inspired Doyle Tallman who was one of our youth members at the time to become a missionary. Doyle was brought to our church by the Victor Carlsons, and now he and his beloved wife Penny have been partners with us for almost as many years as the Crowells. Their daughter Juanita is a Navy Pilot as a training for later service with Wycliffe I suspect.

Pastor Bert Orman remained our pastor until December of 1978, and has now preceded us (along with his beloved wife Kay) into the presence of the Lord.

The Jordan’s were followed as caretakers by Jon and Debbie Friesen who also lived in the house until they moved to Eden Street in Westminster on the same street as our present pastor.

Henry Lord served as pastor in 1979, followed by Emmett Moorefield as an interim pastor in 1980.

In 1980, Ed Leion became our pastor and served until 1985.

During this time WABC was helped greatly both by counsel and by financial aid by a sister church (Lakewood Baptist) in Long Beach.

Prudence (P.J.) Messimer served as secretary during Ed Leion’s pastorate.

After Pastor Leion, the church called Steve Orman in December 1985 and Pastor Steve has been our pastor from then until now.

For many years, Pastor Steve’s sister Sharyn served as pianist and organist, and during that time she married Jan Williams’ brother Warren Sager. Both served in many capacities until Warren retired from the Post Office and he and Sharyn moved to Tennessee a year or two ago. Sharyn was also the church secretary during this time.

The church finally discharged all debt and burned the mortgage on June 4 1989.

Stuart Kilgour moved into the caretaker’s home after the Friesen’s moved away, and served as caretaker and custodian. Later, Stuart married Lisa Orman, Pastor Steve’s daughter and they have lived in the custodian’s house until the present, and have five children. Stuart and Lisa were the custodians for these years until Lisa’s aunt Sharyn moved to Tennessee.

At that time, Lisa became the church secretary for her father Pastor Steve, and Stuart became heavily involved in employment and school.

The custodian and caretaking duties then were divided between Pastor Steve’s son Justin and Kyle Stevens for the indoor work, and Stephen Weston for lawns and grounds.

Our church presently is largely constituted of home school families and focuses heavily on discipleship training and the discovery and exercise of individual ministry. We include the study of character and Christian Living Principles in our training time.

Scripture memorization is considered essential to affecting a Holy empowered lifestyle here.

Our music focus, which we consider to be an important part of worship, is largely traditional music, and that which is derived from scripture.

The Lord has blessed us in a remarkable way with a fine Pastor/Teacher, and many self-directed young people who take the ministry of passing on the gospel very seriously. The 20 year and older and teenagers are constantly teaching the younger ones ‘The Way’ both in word and in splendid example.

Of true noteworthiness, are the astounding gifts of musical ability that the Lord has given the young people. We are truly grateful for the 22-member orchestra that God has provided. This orchestra was formed up three or four years ago by Warren Sager, and is presently led by Jonathan McIntire. As previously mentioned the choir is currently directed by Jonathan Stevens.

This is a quick view back of our history, and if time permitted, we could probably fill a thousand pages.

There would be mention of fine fellowship with saints such as Mildred Craighead and Elizabeth Eldridge and many, many others.

I remember a retired plumber, Charlie Potts who was a large man with a large voice, who came to know the Lord under Pastor Ed Greene’s ministry. As I recall, it was at a men’s retreat at Forest Home that Charlie was saved, along with another man by the name of Williams. These men so strongly felt the urge to be baptized that they insisted that we go to the lake (11 pm on a November night) on the grounds and break through the skim of ice and baptize them.
I don’t know how Pastor Greene managed with the cold water and 300 pound Charlie, but I witnessed that he did. The fellowship and praise time later in the cabins was a lot warmer than the cold water.

We cannot forget dear Henry Friesen, who planted rose bushes from grafts in a strip of ground adjacent to Warner Avenue. These bushes later qualified for large compensation, when the city widened the street.

Only in recent years did the Ken Williams family learn of a strange related co-incidence. The Slater family who owned the land West of the church across Gothard street (Where the Ocean View School is now) graveled an area as an overflow parking lot for the church. One morning the Williams family was just getting out of their car in this lot when a car driven by Rose Amos and occupied by several Sunday school children rolled briskly by, narrowly missing Christi Williams (Ken and Jan’s daughter) and came to rest against a tree. The brakes had gone out on Mrs. Amo’s car. In reviewing this incident later (probably four years ago) Robert Schultz, Christi Williams’ husband said ‘Hey, I remember that; I was in the Amos car!’ Robert’s family had moved away for a number of years and we did not know him until in his twenties, he came back and courted our daughter and married her!