Our Heritage in Anaheim
The Anaheim First Church of the Nazarene was organized in July of 1924 with 26 charter members. Members of the local carpenters, painters and electricians unions donated their labor to build a large temporary tabernacle on the corner of Claudina and North Streets. The building was basically constructed in one day at almost no cost to the church, except for the materials. In 1928, the church bought a former Presbyterian church building on the corner of Claudina and Cypress. Four lots were purchased on East Lincoln Street in 1952 and, by July of 1953, the congregation moved into the two-story educational unit and used the Fellowship Hall for worship services.
In July of 1969, the congregation voted to purchase the property of the Christian Center Church (“Melodyland”) at 1340 North Candlewood Street and occupied the buildings and property on Easter Sunday, March 29, 1970. In 1987, the congregation voted unanimously to purchase a small farm adjacent to the church and, in 1989, they held a victory march on what came to be known as “God’s acre.” The land was used to expand the educational building and parking facilities, and to add a Family Life Center. This includes a regulation-size basketball court, commercial kitchen, and a smaller kitchen and Activity Center, where many celebrations are held. In addition, there is a large stage and lighting and sound systems, which have made it possible for the church to host Masquer Ministries – a first-class Christian musical theater group that presents several productions every year.
A Korean group led by Pastor Paul Kwak expressed a desire to become Nazarenes and joined the congregation in 2012. The same year, an Arabic ministry was launched. There is a strong Spanish group under the leadership of Pastor Oscar Alvarado and have started a mission outreach in Rosarito, Mexico (which is now a self-supporting church) and also a strong cell group in Westminster. In 2013, Pastor Bonifacio (“Oni”) Plantilla began a new Filipino ministry at First Love. In 2014, Dr. Ezzat Ghobrial joined us to lead the Arabic language ministry. In 2014, the Anaheim First Church of the Nazarene celebrated its 90th anniversary. Many activities were held to honor our rich heritage and the vision of our original founders in 1924.
God is helping us to reach our surrounding neighborhoods for Jesus!