• 1951-1959
  • 1960-1969
  • 1970-1979
  • 1951-1959
  • 1960-1969
  • 1970-1979

1951. 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. The following excerpt was compiled by Fern Harroun.

"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.

There were 10 present for the first meeting which was on February 23, 1951. The offering was $7.00.

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.”

The following are the original charter members.

  • 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


Founded in 1951, our church has been a staple in the community for Jesus Christ. We continue to look to grow new ministries to meet the needs of our everchanging community while maturing our own people to do effective work for Christ in Anaheim.