It All Started in a Home

The First Southern Baptist Church of Anaheim began as a mission in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Chester W. Harroun on February 16, 1951. “We, my late husband and three of our five children moved from Oklahoma to Anaheim in September of 1942. We could not find a Southern Baptist Church so we visited the Calvary Baptist Church. We met two families that were Southern Baptists but were not happy in this church.


One day we were in Santa Ana looking for a place to live when we met a real estate broker by the name of Crawford who was a Baptist and he told us of a little church that was getting started and meeting in a dwelling house on North Ross Street.

We began attending with them as they were young and needed us as much as we needed them. We attended there for 8 years and saw them grow from a small beginning to what is now Bristol Street Baptist Church. Then we began to feel that we could do more effective work if we could serve in the same area as our residence.  One Sunday the area missionary visited in our church.  Of course his interest was missions.  We felt like he was sent to us so we invited him home with us to look and talk the situation over.

Then after much prayer and consideration we decided to contact the two families that we had met several years earlier. They were eager to get Southern Baptist work started in Anaheim.  They in turn knew other families that were interested but we had no finances in which to rent a building.  So again after much prayer we decided to open our home which was at 1206 West Broadway.  We decided to meet each Tuesday night so as not to interfere with the positions that each held in the church they were attending.  We put an ad in the Bulletin and Brother Moon met with us each time and we always had a good message and prayer.  There were 10 present for the first meeting which was on February 23, 1951.  The offering was $7.00.

One of the men said ‘we would not be Baptistical if we did not take an offering’.  All agreed and we continued to take an offering each time we met.  The first Sunday in May we were able to rent the V.F.W. Hall at 146 N. Philadelphia St. for $10.00 a Sunday.  We moved to the Hall with 14 present the first Sunday.

In June, 1951, Miss Lois Williams, a summer worker, was sent by the Home Mission Board.  She organized a Vacation Bible School in La Palma Park with the help of Mrs. C.W. Harroun, Miss Myra Harroun, Miss Thelma Clamp, Mrs. E.O. Burgess and others. The enrollment was 60 and average attendance was 40.  The school was held before the church was organized and without a building.

Brother Moon continued to meet with us and would make visits during the week. We grew very slowly at first but soon the work began to grow. In July we organized into a church with 25 charter members.”

These members include the following:

  • Mr. and Mrs. H.V. Dobkins

  • Dr. and Mrs. C.R. Dean

  • Nancy Dean

  • Myra Harroun

  • Mercy Baldinger

  • Mr. and Mrs. C.C. Hall

  • Mrs. Bert Noblitt

  • Mrs. T.C. Nations

  • Mary L. Henson


  • Mr. and Mrs. A.C. Willis

  • John Dobkins

  • Thelma Clamp

  • Mr. and Mrs. C.W. Harroun

  • Mr. and Mrs. G.B. Clamp

  • Mary L. Thomas

  • Mr. and Mrs. Wm. J. Rogers

  • Mr. and Mrs. H.L. Looney


One month was held open from the date of organization for Charter Members and the following came:

  • Mrs. Anna Dietz and Robert

  • Mr. and Mrs. Roy H. Dowis

  • Mrs. Gladys Pittman

  • Mrs. Daisy McCloud



First Baptismal Service

Brother Moon remained with the church most of the time between the first meeting and the time Reverend Whitehurst came to be interim Pastor.  On October 21, 1951, Brother Moon officiated at the first baptismal service at Santa Ana, California. Mrs. Mercy Baldinger, Mr. Edward Dunn, Linda and Doyle King and Mrs. Elsie Smallwood were baptized.






Rev. Newand's First Message

On January 27, 1952, Reverend Newland brought his first message to a “patiently waiting membership”.  The Newland’s lived in an apartment furnished by Dr. Dean located at Anaheim Dog and Cat Hospital.


Property Purchased

On March 1, 1952, the church began meeting in the Ebell Club for $80.00 a month and still had prayer meeting at the V.F.W. Hall for $15.00. In June 1952, the church purchased the Grace Lutheran Church property, located at Palm and Elm Street, for $18,000, with possession in 60 days.  Sunday and Wednesday nights were available immediately. In September, the church borrowed $15,000 from the Home Mission Board and repaid the loan at the bank, and members who had borrowed money on their homes, cars, insurance, etc.



Organizations Formed & Orange County Association Joined

In October, the W.M.U. and Brotherhood were organized and the church joined the newly formed Orange County Southern Baptist Association. Our Pastor, Reverend Newland, was the first moderator.  In December, Mrs. Charlotte Kilbourne was hired as a part-time secretary and visitor.





Pastor Newland Resigns & Preston Howell Called

Reverend Newland resigned in January 1953 and the church called Reverend Preston Howell, Midway City, California, to be Pastor.


First Deacon Ordained

The church ordained its first deacon on April 19, 1953.  The deacon’s name was Robert Yount.



Church Programs of the Time

In May 1953, the Training Union had an enrollment of 64, average attendance – 38. In August the Sunday School enrollment was 140 – average attendance – 80.

Deacons recommend on March 3, 1954 the following: “We encourage your participation in the following:

  • Central Training School

  • Sunday School Study Course

  • Youth Week

  • Orange County Association, Easter Sunrise Service as Knott’s Berry Farm

  • Vacation Bible School, June 21 – July 2

  • Summer Camp, July 19-23

  • Simultaneous Revival, September 5-19

  • School of Missions, October 3-8

  • Fund Raising Campaign for California Baptist College


Pastor Howell Resigns & Thomas Ashby Called


Reverend Howell resigned in July, 1954 and on August 18, 1954, the church called Reverend Thomas G. Ashby of Nevada, Missouri to be Pastor.






Education Space Rented & Land Purchased

In February 1955, the church voted to rent a house at 416 W. Elm to use for educational space. Also, the church voted to buy 2 ½ acres at 1275 E. Broadway (the present location) for $23,000. The average offering was $313.00.



Ground Breaking Ceremony

On May 8th, 1955, ground breaking ceremonies for the church were held. Dr. Gray from Santa Ana and Brother Moon were the speakers for this occasion. On July 1, 1955, the church had $6490.08 in the Building Fund.  In October, 1955, after moving into the new building, the Sunday School attendance was 165, in November, Sunday School attendance was 221 and Training Union was 77 and by February, 1956 the Sunday School attendance was 264 and Training Union was 99. Offering was $680.39.



Two Morning Services

In February, 1956, the church voted to have 2 church services at 8:15 and 11:00.


Crescent Mission Started

The church voted in July, 1956 to start a mission at 9685 Crescent Avenue. They met at this address with 49 in Sunday School and 48 in Training Union. In this month, our church went back to one church service on Sunday morning.  Sunday School attendance was 210 and Training Union was 77. Average offering was $ 492.00.


Crescent Church Organized  

The Crescent Mission was organized into the Crescent Southern Baptist Church on September 2, 1956 and letters were granted to 51 members. In October, 1956, the church voted to give 12% to the Cooperative Program and 3% to Associational Missions. Sunday School Attendance was 278 and Training Union was 114.




Reverend Thomas Ashby Resigns

Reverend Thomas Ashby resigned in April 1957 as Pastor.




Don Howell Called to be Minister of Music

In April 1957, Don Howell was called to be Minister of Music.




Rev. Emery Collins Called as Pastor

In July, 1957, Reverend Emery Collins of Richland, Washington, was called as Pastor. In October, 1957, there were 67 enrolled in the church choir. In December, Brother Collins reported $ 698.00 a week had been pledged as a result of the Forward Program of Church Finance. Enrollment in Sunday School in January, 1958 was 474 with an average of 229. Training Union enrollment was 184 with an average of 107.




Don Howell Resigns & Joseph Abston Called

Don Howell resigned as Minister of Music in April, 1958, to attend Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas. Joseph Abston was invited to visit the church on March 30 and was called to be Minister of Music as soon as his school was out. He was to serve full-time in the summer of 1958 and part-time when school began.


Building Committee Formed

The Building Committee for the new auditorium was Clyde Finch, Chairman; Chester Harroun, Norman Dunton, Henry Giddens and Jim Jewell. Finance Committee was: Ross Dean, Chairman; Jerry Burgess, Roger Anderson, A.C. Pollock, Loyd Woodson and Lloyd Lowry. Two morning services were begun again in October, 1958. The choir had a Christmas party at the home of Miss Doris Uber and several new members were welcomed.  


Music Committee Formed

A music committee was formed in March, 1959. The Building Committee recommended that the church build a new auditorium as sketched by the architect. In April 1959, there were three church choirs. The church voted to buy a Baldwin organ and the Annie Armstrong offering was the largest in the history of the church.


Another Mission Helped & More Deacons Added

In July 1959, the church’s eighth anniversary, the church voted that heating and air-conditioning be installed in the new chapel. They also voted to “extend an arm of the church” to West Anaheim-Cypress Area where Reverend Mack Wilder was leading a mission and had 55 in Sunday School.

Mr. D.D. Douglas was elected an honorary deacon in September, 1959. Deacons ordained by this church are: Robert Yount (April 19, 1953); W.M. Morrison, E.S. Nelson, O.K. Smith (November 27, 1955); Clyde Finch (Nov. 1956); Jim Sims, Everett Pendergraft (January 19, 1958); Charles Kelley, A.C. Pollock (December 28, 1958); Charles Hinckley, Don McCamey and David Maddox (December, 1960). The church licensed George Davey to preach in 1956. In November 1959, $ 4,000 was offered for pews by a member of the church and gratefully accepted.


Western Avenue Church Formed

On February 7, 1960, the Loyalty Mission was organized into a church, known as the Western Avenue Baptist Church, with 70 members.

The church extended a call to Fream Minton of Berkeley, California, as part-time youth director on May 12, 1960. The deacons recommended and the church voted to allow Brother Collins to be away 4 weeks providing he get some one to take his place. Also, the church voted that money set aside for expenses to Southern Baptist Convention in Florida be changed to Baptist World Alliance, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with the remainder to be paid by individuals. Brother Collins and David Maddox were appointed messengers to the Baptist World Alliance.

Financial Needs Supported by Congregation Through Special Offering

At a special business meeting called at the close of the Sunday evening service, July 10, 1960, a memorable event took place. The church was having financial difficulties and a motion was made to postpone payment to the Cooperative Program and there was much discussion. Bob Estes suggested that the deacons pass the offering plate. The plate was passed and the offering was more than $1300.

Congregation Moves into New Building

On January 31, 1960, the First Southern Baptist Church moved into the new sanctuary with 345 in Sunday School and 135 in Training Union. Brother E.W. Moon, S.G. Posey, Mayor Schutte and councilman, Joe Thompson came for the dedication services at 2:30 p.m., after an old fashioned basket dinner. There were baptismal services in the morning and the Lord’s Supper in the evening.


In September, 1960, the highest attendance in the history of the church was attained with the average attendance in Sunday School being 334; Training Union – 135. A nine weeks Bible survey course was taught by Fream Minton.

In November, 1960, a motion was made and adopted that all deacons be total abstainers from all alcoholic drinks and be tithers.



On April 6, 1961, the church authorized the Planning and Survey Committee to pursue the matter of securing plans and preliminary bids on connecting the present auditorium and educational building.


Joseph Abston Resigns & L. Dean Lowe Called

Joseph Abston resigned as Minister of Music on August 19, 1961. On January 26, 1962, the church voted to call L. Dean Lowe as full-time Music and Educational Director.



Olive Mission Started

On March 21, 1962, the church authorized the trustees to lease at $150.00 per month for one year, property located at 604 West Lincoln in the city of Orange, California to be used for the purpose of a mission, which is known as the Olive Mission. Reverend Milton Somers of Garden Grove was called as the first Pastor of the Mission at a salary of $65.00 per week.


Sunny Hills Mission Started

Our church was informed on June 3, 1962 that Bill Grady and Dr. Paul Maddox were preparing the field for the Sunny Hills Mission with the promise of the Fullerton Ebell Club at the cost of $150.00 for preaching services. The Mission Committee recommended that our church sponsor this mission, but the mission would pay their own expenses. The target date set for beginning was June 17.

In June, 1962, Al McCluskey presented the following recommendation from the Planning and Survey Committee: (1) To accept the bid of $86,416 from Bresden Construction Company to build the additions as per specification in his bid contract for our building.

On September 12, 1962, the church voted to purchase a house located at 1513 East Broadway for the Music and Education Director.

On December 6, 1962 Doug Hughes was elected as chairman of the Billy Graham Crusade which is to be held in August, 1963.



The Mission Committee brought a recommendation on April 10, 1963 that this church sponsor a mission work in the vicinity of Yorba Linda. This church will sponsor the work there not to exceed $200 per month.


Pastor Collins Resigns to Accept Orange County Superintendent of City Missions

On July 31, 1963, Reverend Emery Collins submitted his resignation as Pastor of our church to accept the Associational Missionary position for Orange County Southern Baptists.

Doug Hughes was ordained a deacon on August 14, 1963.

Jack B. Johnson Called as Pastor

The Pulpit Committee recommended on November 10, 1963 that the church extend a call to Brother Jack Johnson as Pastor. During Brother Johnson’s ministry the church purchased a pastorium at 1037 South Laramie, Anaheim; started a library ministry; 539 additions to the church were recorded. During this time our church received $342,313.61 in tithes and offerings and of this amount, $56,034.52 went to missions through the Cooperative Program and Associational Missions. A direct mission gift of $35,000 was given to the Lincoln Avenue Mission also during Brother Johnson’s ministry.




Dean Lowe Called to be Music Director

On June 14th, 1964, Dean Lowe was ordained to Church Music and Education. He served for almost 2 years and resigned in March of 1966.




Dean Lowe Resigns & John Walker Called as Music Director

In March 1966, L. Dean Lowe resigned as Minister of Music and Education.  On May 5, 1966, in a called business meeting, our church voted to extend a call to John Walker as part-time Music Director. Mr. Walker served as Music Director working with the graded choir program of our church.


Olive Mission's New Building

On May 11, 1966, the Building Committee recommended that plans be drawn for a new church building for the Olive Mission (Lincoln Avenue) for the sum of $76,500. This is when the mission moved to a beautiful, new building at the corner of Lincoln and Canal. The first service in the new building was in September, 1967. Dedication Service was held on December 3, 1967. Joseph Gilmore was the Pastor. 


The Olive Mission has today become The Main Place Christian Fellowship. Check them out at themainplace.com


Benny Mayo Accepts Call as Minister of Youth and Education

 On September 12, 1966, Benny D. Mayo, came from the First Baptist Church, Seminole, Texas to be our Minister of Education and Youth. Mr. Mayo led our church in educational work as well as our youth. An annual trip for our youth to Glorieta Baptist Assembly was established along with a Youth Achievement Program to challenge youth to be faithful in the organizations of the church. A great increase in socials, fellowships and banquets occurred underneath the leadership of Mr. Mayo.




Farewell Chappy

On March 1, 1967, our church and community had a shock of the sudden death of 15 year old, Chapman “Chappy” Looney. The family had requested that in lieu of flowers a memorial fund be established at our church. From this fund, a committee has purchased a tape recorder, portable public address system, opaque projector, a camera and memorial plaques.


Doris Sluss Hired as Full-Time Church Secretary

On April 7, 1967, Doris Sluss was hired as full-time Church Secretary. It is because of her wonderful sense of organization and remarkable memory that we have much of this history that is presented before your today.


Pastor Johnson Resigns & Pulpit Committee Named

Brother Johnson resigned on July, 10, 1967 to accept the pastorate of the First Baptist Church, Fairfield, California. A Pulpit Committee was elected by our church. The members of this committee were: David Maddox, Chairman; Cecil James, Weyman Squires, Robert Wagner, Clyde Lovelady; Mrs. Alvis Kinard and Mrs. Edna Collins. Mrs. Gladys Pittman later replaced Mrs. Collins on the committee.




During the interim period between pastors, the following pulpit guests were heard by our people: Dr. Cecil Pearson, Emery Collins, Ralph Longshore, Dr. K. Owen White, Dr. Charles McClain, Dr. Bill Grady, Dr. W.A. Carleton, Rev. Leslie Watson (Missionary to Japan), Dr. Stephen Carleton, Dr. Kenneth Chafin, Dr. A.B. White, Rev. Floyd Looney, Dr. Edgar Hallock (Missionary to Brazil); Mrs. John Smith (Home Missionary), Dr. Phil Tilden and Dr. Loyed R. Simmons.


C. Duane Riley Called as Pastor

On November 26, 1967, the Pulpit Committee presented Reverend C. Duane Riley from the First Baptist Church of Purcell, Oklahoma to our church for consideration as a possible call as our Pastor. The church voted to extend a call to Brother Riley. On January 21, 1968 Brother Riley held his first service at the First Southern Baptist Church as Pastor.



Church Votes to Participate in Encounter California Crusade

In December, 1967, our church joined other churches in Orange County and the State in one of the most involved and extensive evangelism campaigns ever to be launched. The Southern Baptist Convention of California joined forces with the Baptist General Convention of Texas for this great endeavor. The six-month program included:


Church Votes to Participate in Encounter California Crusade

In December, 1967, our church joined other churches in Orange County and the State in one of the most involved and extensive evangelism campaigns ever to be launched. The Southern Baptist Convention of California joined forces with the Baptist General Convention of Texas for this great endeavor. The six-month program included:


  • Monday Night Service

  • Associational Pastor’s Retreat

  • State Evangelism Conference

  • Associational Evangelism Conferences

  • Discovery Week (telephone census)

  • Associational Encounter Youth Rally

  • Literature Distribution


  • Prayer Lift

  • Personal Evangelism Consecration Day

  • Personal Evangelism Institutes

  • Visitation Week

  • Central Crusade at Orange County Fair Grounds, Costa Mesa

  • Local Church Revival, April 28-May 5 M.A. Smith Evangelist

  • New Member, Orientation


The above history was compiled by Mrs. Fern Harroun, Mrs. Alvis Kinard, and Mr. Benny Mayo.




Benny Mayo Resigns

In September of 1968, Benny Mayo resigned his position as minister of education and youth to go to Texas.



Schuricht Pipe Organ Donated

In February of 1969, a dedication recital was held to display the pipe organ donated to the church. The organ was donated by Mrs. Dorothy Ann Pepper as a memorial to her husband, William Thomas Pepper, Jr. She gave it hoping that the organ “be ever an inspiration to all people who gather to worship at the First Southern Baptist Church of Anaheim.”


John Walker Resigns & Jim Landrum Called

In August of 1969, John Walker resigned as music minister. Jim Landrum was called as Music and Youth Director, two months after he brought a choir from Altus, Oklahoma to sing in a Youth Revival at the First Southern Baptist Church of Anaheim. After he arrived, the youth choir grew from thirty active members to over seventy active members.



Pastor Riley Goes Global

On June 18, 1970 Pastor Duane Riley began his trip to mission outposts all around the globe. He went around the world in a little over a month and returned to the church on July 19, 1970.


New Christian Americans Formed

Under the leadership of Jim Landrum the youth choir formed a group named the “New Christian Americans”. The N.C.A. performed Christian folk musicals entitled “The Great Plan” and “The Great Life” which they composed from several different musicals including Ralph Carmichael’s “Tell It Like It Is”, Bob Oldenburg’s “Good News” and songs from “For Pete’s Sake”.





In January of 1971 they made a record of “The Great Plan” in order to spread God’s message to more people. In June of 1971, they got new uniforms for a choir trip they were taking.

Pastor Duane Riley Resigns & Rev. W. Robert Harris Called

On July 21, 1971, Pastor Duane Riley resigned to accept the pastorate of the Central Baptist Church of Bryan, Texas. His last Sunday was on August 8, 1971.  

On Sunday, July 25, 1971, a pulpit committee was elected by the church. The members of this committee were: Cecil James, Chairman; Gail Burton, Associate Chairman; and Joan Burgess, Secretary; Mrs. Clyde Finch; Lloyd Johnson; Steve Gaudie; and Norman Withers. During the interim period the following pulpit guests were heard: Dr. Cecil Pearson (8/15/1971), Rev. Wayne Pearson (8/22/1971), Bill Peters (8/29/1971).

On December 5, 1971, Reverend W. Robert Harris was called from Killeen’s Baptist Church in Texas, where he had served for nine years, to become pastor of the First Southern Baptist Church of Anaheim. In May of 1971 the house that was bought at 1513 E. Broadway was sold. 





In September of 1972 the church bought two school buses and in November of the same year, the auditorium was remodeled.





Jim Landrum Resigns & Jake Gurley Called as Music Minister

On August 12, 1973, Jim Landrum resigned as the music minister. After a few months of searching, in January of 1974, Jake Gurley was called to be Minister of Music Education.




Chinese Mission Started & Dr. Chiu Ordained

 In the Fall of 1973, Dr. T. Lowe, missionary to the Chinese in the State of California spoke with a concern for Christian work to the Chinese in California. Therefore God sent Dr. and Mrs. James Chiu on March 17, 1974 to the church with concern fordoing work with the Chinese community.  On April 20, 1974, the First Southern Baptist Church of Anaheim voted to let Dr. Chiu start Chinese work in the chapel. One week later during the first Chinese service 60 were present as well as 40 in Bible Study. On May 19, 1974, Dr. James Chiu was ordained. Less than a year later on April 26, 1975 the Chinese congregation held their one-year anniversary on which 217 people were present to celebrate it.




After founding the Chinese Baptist Church in Anaheim, Dr. Chiu and his family went on to found the Chinese Baptist Church of Central Orange County in Irvine, CA. He is now retired but if you would like to visit their website, it is www.cbccoc.org



Jake Gurley Resigns & Bruce Langford Called

On June 16, 1975, Jake Gurley resigned as Minister of Music Education. On July 2, 1975, Roger High was called as part time Youth Minister and Bruce Langford was called as part-time Music Minister for summer work. On March 28, 1976, Bruce Langford resigned as Music Minister.



Pastor W. Robert Harris Resigns & Rev. Phillip Tilden Called

On April 25th, 1976 Pastor W. Robert Harris resigned effective on June 1, 1976, ending a 4 ½ year service to the church and returned to Texas. Shortly after this, on September 8, 1976 Roger High resigned as youth minister. On October 10, 1976 Reverend Phillip N. Tilden was called be an interim pastor as the church searched for a permanent one. In order to help him, a few months later on February 23, 1977, Reverend Emery Collins returned to serve as Associate Interim Pastor.



Rev. Hazen Simpson Called as Pastor

On November 20, 1977, the “Horse Race” Minister, Los Angeles’ own Hazen Simpson was called into service. He was a graduate of the Golden Gate Bible College and Seminary in Mill Valley, California. He came from the Central Baptist Church of Burbank where he served for seven years. During his term, the church continued to grow and the Chinese Mission established a building fund of $10,000.



Johnny Vise and the Vise Squad

On January 18th, 1978 Johnny Vise was called to be the full time Minister of Music and Education. He would serve in the church for a little over a year and resigned in March 1979.




Spanish Ministry Started

Over time, the city of Anaheim and specifically the communities around the church gradually began to gain a large Hispanic community. The members of the church noticed this and expressed concern for the ability to reach out the Spanish speaking community. Therefore, on December 12, 1979, José Gonzalez was called to be a leader of Spanish work at our church.



Chinese Mission Grows

In June 1981, William Eng was called to be associate pastor of the Chinese mission. A year later on Halloween, October 31, 1982, William Eng was ordained as a pastor.




Hazen Simpson Resigns & Rev. Dr. John Porter Called 

In July of 1984, shortly after Pastor Simpson gracefully resigned, former chaplain in the Vietnam War, the acclaimed “Chaplain to the Stars” by L.A. Mayor Tom Bradley, Rev. Dr. John B. Porter was elected to become pastor of the First Southern Baptist Church of Anaheim.




Chinese Baptist Church of Orange County Opens its Doors

On January 6th, 1985 the Chinese Baptist Church of Orange County, the fifth mission church for the First Southern Baptist Church of Anaheim, opened its doors to a building filled with over 300 people. Former pastor of the First Southern Baptist Church of Anaheim, Rev. Robert Harris flew back from Texas to give the inaugural message and the then Associate Director of Missions of the Orange County Southern Baptist Association, Doyle Braden was in attendance. It continues until this day to be a worship place for the many new generations of Chinese people who reside in the Orange County area.

You can visit their website at: www.cbcoc.org





First Southern Baptist Church Goes International

The nineties were a special time for the church as Rev. Dr. John Porter opened up the church to many international churches as well as many international members in the congregation. Whether from Mexico, Korea, the Philippines, Lebanon, Thailand, or the Samoan Islands, all were welcome to join the service. During this time, Dr. Porter opened the doors of the church to support churches and mentoring pastors such as Pastor Tito Sanchez of Alliance Christian Fellowship, Pastor Adriel Yanez of the Immanuel Church, Pastor Isaac Aguilar of the Centro Vida Church, Rev. Dr. Sirichai Chayasirisobhon of the Thai Church in California, Pastor Adolpho Cruz of Iglesia de Dios Pentecostal, among many others that continue to make their homes at the First Southern Baptist Church of Anaheim to this day.




Reverend Dr. W. Victor Chayasirisobhon Called as Pastor

On a warm Sunday morning in August of 2005, Pastor Victor was invited to preach at the First Southern Baptist Church of Anaheim. He was mentored by Reverend Dr. Savang Lin of the Thai Laos Baptist Church in San Rafael, California and by his father, Sirichai Chayasirisobhon of the Thai Church in California, Anaheim. Shortly thereafter, he was ordained to be pastor on November 13th, 2005 in a ceremony performed by Dr. John Porter and overseen by Mike Smith, President of the Trustees; Larry Gonski, Head Deacon; Howard Dubé, Deacon; Edna Pruitt, Treasurer; Rev. Adriel Yañez, Pastor of the Immanuel Church; Rev. Dr. Sirichai Chayasirisobhon, Pastor of the Thai Church in California, Anaheim; and the wonderful members of the church.




Interim Church Committees Formed

In September 2006, Interim Church Committees were formed in order to assist Pastor Victor. The result of the vote for such committees were as follows: The Church Council consisted of - Ms. Maer Nowden-Willes, Mrs. Jeanette Dunn, and Ms. Joanie Burgess. The Deacon Body consisted of Mr. Larry Gonski, Mr. Howard Dubé, and Pastor Adriel Yañez.



Dr. John Porter Resigns & Rev. Dr. W. Victor Chayasrisobhon Elected Senior Pastor

In October 2006, after 22 years of service to the First Southern Baptist Church of Anaheim. Dr. John Porter, retired in a ceremony that filled the sanctuary with his friends and family. Dr. and Mrs. Porter were honored with special performances from the Alliance Christian Fellowship pastored by Tito Sanchez, the Chinese Baptist Church of Orange County pastored by William Eng, and many other special guests including his daughter Sharee Porter.

Dr. and Mrs. Porter were awarded with several gifts for their gracious service to our Lord in a wonderful ceremony that went long into the afternoon. Afterward, a huge potluck was eaten much to everyone’s delight.

At 28 years of age, Pastor Victor was called to begin work as senior pastor of the First Southern Baptist Church of Anaheim Campus.


6 New People and 2 Baptisms

On October 15th, 2006, our church welcomed six new members to the family. Ray and Eloise Ware, Frank Lopez, Brother John, and Ernest and Cree Jesudason.

Pastor Victor also baptized Ms. Maer-Nowden Willis and Mrs. Rachael Wolff as they rededicated themselves to the Lord.




Andres Lopez Missionary to Mexico 


In a Christmas Celebration in 2006 that was bittersweet, a dear friend and servant of church Andres Lopez was sent out to be a missionary to the people of Mexico in Tijuana. In his time with us he served both the First Southern Baptist Church of Anaheim and Igelsia Emanuel, helping to do renovations on many rooms that needed them throughout the facility for the cost of treasures in heaven.




Lubbock, Texas to the Rescue  

In March 2007, a team of volunteers from the 1st Baptist Church of Lubbock, Texas came to our church and helped repair what was an ailing building. They removed 10 tons of roofing off of the sanctuary roof, painted the sanctuary inside and out, painted the whole building, built a playground on the front lawn, removed the struggling white fence surrounding the property, fixed the sprinkler system, and removed tons of junk that was overflowing closets throughout the church facility. They did all this while donating the funds to do so, paying their way to come, always smiling, and a word of complaint was never heard. They were truly a blessing to our church, taking a literal weight off of our shoulders, and uplifting our spirits.



—Check Back Soon for Updated History—