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.


Planning and Survey Committee Proposal

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.



Yorba Linda Mission Work

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 Lincoln Ave. Baptist Church. Check them out at www.lincolnavenueonline.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.


Benny Mayo (Sept 1966-Sept 1968)

Benny Mayo (Sept 1966-Sept 1968)


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:

  • 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.



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.