As a background we need to start out with the beginning of the California Baptist Conference. The strong missionary enterprise in our Conference today is not a recent development. As early as 1890 the Swedish Baptist Churches in California had begun to form State organizations for missionary extension work. In that year, “The Swedish Mission Society of California” was organized in Oakland, and a missionary appointed. This organization held its final meeting in 1894.
In 1893, the Swedish Baptist delegates to the big “May Meetings” of the American Baptists, held in San Francisco, met separately and organized the “Svenska Baptistornas I California Conferens (Swedish Baptist California Conference) known subsequently as the California Baptist Conference. From that momentous day to the present strong programs, the Conference has maintained missionaries and State extension workers on the field.
The immigrants came – English, Dutch, French, German, Scotch, Irish, Norwegian, Swedish, others — and we have our American story. They came with their hopes and their fears, their courage and their faith their European culture and religious belief, to a new and true land. Our California Baptist Conference began as a separate work among one of these language and culture groups, the Swedish people. There was need for special work among them. To reach them with the Gospel we had to speak their language. Even those who were familiar with the American language preferred the mother tongue in their churches.
In 1907, Rev. F. O. Nelson was called from Montana to be State Missionary in California. He was already familiar with the work on the Pacific Coast. He had held pastorates for two decades from Seattle to Los Angeles, and had used his pastorates as bases for widespread evangelistic and organizational work among the Swedes in Washington, California, Montana, and as far north as Nome, Alaska, during the gold stampede. This was his favorite method of church extension, although after 1907 he also served terms as State Missionary. Many churches and at least two State Conferences are monuments today to his missionary zeal.
Up until the thirties there were only eight Baptist General Conference churches in California: San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Turlock, Kingsburg in the north and Los Angeles, Pasadena and San Diego in the south. The young people in these churches were organized into the Baptist Conference Young People’s Union (BYPU) and had rallies almost every three months. The rallies were often held in either Turlock or Kingsburg because that was in the middle of the state. The BYPU was organized with a President, Vice Presidents from the south and north, Secretary and Treasurer.
Each summer the BYPU held a weeklong camp, sometimes at Asilomar but more often at Lake Hume, where the young people had real opportunities to get acquainted with those from other churches. To this day, memories linger among the older people of the many good times they had at those camps.
By 1940 all the services in the Conference churches were held in English since many of the young people and visitors did not understand Swedish.
On September 1, 1947, Rev. Art Christiansen began his work as Missionary for the Conference in California. From that time on churches began to organize and to grow through his ministry. At that time it was estimated there were six million unchurched people in the state with more coming constantly. It soon became evident that the California Baptist Conference was growing too large to be efficiently handled. It was decided, in 1960, to divide the California Conference into two Conferences. The mountains in the south were a natural divider so the Northern California Baptist Conference began in Bakersfield in the south and went to the Oregon border in the North. The Northern California Baptist Conference also includes Hawaii and northern Nevada. The Southwest Conference has the churches in Southern California, Arizona and southern Nevada.
A headquarters office for the NCBC was established in San Jose where it was for many years. A constitution was adopted which has been changed and revised over the years to accommodate the activities to carry on the Lord’s work in the area. A Trustee Board (now Overseers) was formed with at least four pastors and four laymen to carry on the work of the NCBC. The Overseers Board meets four times a year. Under the Overseers are a Multiplication Team that oversees the work of church planting, and a Mobilization Team that oversees the guidance of the churches, Women’s Retreat, Men’s Retreat and Senior Retreat. The headquarters office was moved to Tracy in December 1999. The first Executive Minister for the NCBC was Rev. Rodger Goodman (1960). He was followed by Rev. Carl (Cully) Olson (1970), Rev. Manor Reed (1984), and Dr. Donald Reed (1997).
When Rev. Maynor Reed came to the NCBC in April 1984, he accepted the position, following his resignation as pastor at Grace Baptist/Napa, with the understanding that the district would call a Missions Director. One year later, in a real step of faith, the district called its first Missions Director, Rev. Red Ensley. In 1987 the district pastors came together for an extra day in connection with the annual meeting. They prayed and went through a planning process that led them to a faith goal of fifty new churches by April 2000. By 1999 the district was involved with fifty-one new churches. Some did not survive but the success rate was over 90%. With trained church planting coaches and the parent church networks we have in place, the future of church planting in the NCBC district became brighter than it had ever been.
The Women’s Retreat was started in February of 1960 at Mt. Hermon and was held there until the attendance was more than could be accommodated there. (Mt. Hermon then could accommodate only 650.) The Retreat went to Monterey and was there for three years and then went to San Jose. The three years in San Jose saw a reduction in attendance and the leaders were glad to again be able to have the Retreats in Monterey to accommodate the 1000 women who wanted to attend. The Men’s Retreat started at Mission Springs but is held in Mt. Hermon in March each year. The Senior Retreat also started in Mission Springs but is now held in Mt. Hermon in May each year.
Oakland, Lakeside Baptist Church
One of the first five Swedish Baptist Churches in northern California, Lakeside Baptist Church in Oakland, was organized in 1885 with 14 members. At a business meeting on April 26, 1906, an expression of deep sympathy for the loss sustained by the Swedish Baptist Church of San Francisco by the earthquake was supported by a moving gift to help pay for their new church. They decided to hold a big concert to collect money for the San Francisco folks. Over the years, the Swedish Baptists would come to Lakeside Baptist Church for the services from outlying towns in the area. When the Swedish language was no longer used some of these people thought they should start a church in their neighborhood to reach the people around them. Gradually the people left Lakeside since the surrounding area became more ethnic with other languages. On September 4, 1988, the church became the Lakeside Baptist Church and Ethnic Ministries Center. The building was made available to ethnic groups in the area and is valuable to them. God’s message is still carried on at Lakeside but in other languages.
San Francisco, Temple Baptist Church
Another one of the first five Swedish Baptist Churches, Temple Baptist Church of San Francisco decided to affiliate with the American Baptist Convention in the 1940s.
San Jose, Willow Glen Baptist Church
The Willow Glen Baptist Church of San Jose was one of the first five Swedish Baptist churches in northern California. In 1887 Rev. August Olson made contracts with Swedish families in San Jose and held meetings in their houses to get Baptist work started. Rev. A. B. Orgen and his family moved to the area, first rented a hall and then purchased a paint shot, remodeled and dedicated it and the Swedish Baptist Church was organized in 1898 with 14 members. Of the future pastors, Rev. Axel Carlson served longest from 1929 to 1944. In 1940 all the services were conducted in English and the name of the church was changed to Bethany Baptist and changed again when the church moved to Willow Glen in 1948. The groundbreaking for the present church building was held on April 4, 1948. Over the years the area has changed with San Jose becoming “Silicone Valley” because of the computer companies there. The Willow Glen Baptist Church has become the mother church of several NCBC churches in the area with members moving to other parts of the area. The present pastor of the church is Rev. Chuck Austin and is carrying on the church begun so many years ago to the glory of God.
Kingsburg, First Baptist Church
The town of Kingsburg became legally organized in 1873. In 1885 Swedes began to arrive and several churches were established. In 1888 the American Baptists began a work in Kingsburg but the work declined and the property was sold to the Swedish Baptist Church of Oakland, which continued its interest in church planting. The C.J.A. Peterson family moved back from Oakland and the Gust Satterberg family moved to Kingsburg from San Jose and they were interested in beginning a Swedish Baptist Church in Kingsburg, now the First Baptist Church. The interested families opened their homes for meetings, the small congregation grew, and soon they were ready to organize a church of their own which occurred on May 19, 1901. Church membership skyrocketed, largely because of the large influx of Swedish Baptists from the East. In October 1905 a new church building was erected seating 350. This became inadequate and a brick building was constructed to seat 1000 in 1921. This building is still used today.
In October 1952, Rev. Roger Youngquist became the Pastor. He directed the choir for most of his ministry there and his wife played the piano and organ. The church grew steadily and soon needed more room for Sunday School. A new parsonage was built in a residential area and the old parsonage was used for Sunday School and youth meetings. Pastor Youngquist was active in trying to start new churches. One of the daughter churches, begun in Fresno, has grown into the prominent Northwest Church. The Kingsburg church twice borrowed money to help the Northwest Church construct buildings. The Kingsburg church also began a work in Visalia and men from the church helped construct a meeting place there.
When Pastor Youngquist resigned in 1953, the membership had increased to 592 and in October 1965 a new Christian Education building was dedicated. Over the years the church’s interest in mission remained high and a number of Baptist General Conference missionaries were supported by the church. 1983 will be remembered as the year the sanctuary was remodeled. No outward changes were made to the 1920 structure but the pews were rearranged to form a center aisle and a narthex was created under the balcony. In 1991, an elevator was installed to give the disabled easier access to the sanctuary.
Rev. Russell (Rusty) Lyon was called as the new pastor and formally installed on January 12, 1986 and served there for 14 years. A new pastor brings some changes. Some of the changes made in the 80s were that one Sunday night a month was devoted to home Bible studies instead of the regular evening service. He also initiated some changes in the music, appointing a worship team to teach and lead modern worship choruses along with the traditional hymns. An 8:30 contemporary service was begun in 1992. This was followed by Sunday School and then by a traditional worship service. The contemporary worship service brought in so many people that in 1995 the church expanded to three Sunday morning services. By the end of 1995 church membership rocketed to 638 and Sunday morning worship averaged around 500.
In 1996 the church purchased a building, which is now called the Ministry Center. It provides offices, Sunday School rooms and a place for prayer meetings, counseling, women’s Bible studies, films, missionary displays and Wednesday night activities. Rev. Lyon resigned in 2000 and is now pastor of the Calvary Baptist Church of Turlock.
At the beginning of 2001 the First Baptist Church of Kingsburg had a total of 625 members. Average attendance for the three Sunday morning worship services was 470. When thirteen immigrant Swedes met in 1901 to organize a church, they could scarcely have imagined what God would do in and through First Baptist in the next 100 years. They could not have dreamed of the membership growth, the increasing ethnic diversity, the facilities expansion, the new types of music, and the worldwide outreach through their missions program. But they were sacrificially faithful in serving their own generation and God blessed their efforts.
Turlock, Calvary Baptist Church
The Swedish Baptist Church of Turlock was organized in 1908 with 19 charter members. By 1940 all the services were in English since many of the young people and visitors did not understand the Swedish language. The name was changed to Calvary Baptist Church in 1942 with the aim to point the way to Calvary where souls can find the Savior. During the years, without air conditioning in the church, it became very warm so the Mission Covenant Church. The Free Church and Calvary Baptist Church held a united evening service in Beulah Park each Sunday evening. The Pastors would take turns speaking and providing music from their church. This attracted a large crowd each Sunday evening as the audience sat under the trees, or on the grass or even in their cars. The Tidewater train track was very close and sometimes the engine whistle interfered with the services
The emphasis on missionary giving has always been important and on October 1, 1951, another $1000.00 per year was pledged to support of our Conference missionaries, the William Murrays. These gifts were to be over and above the regular Home and Foreign Mission giving of the church and its organizations. The Women‘s Missionary Society contributed $500 per year to Conference missionaries, Bill Chesbros, for years. The church’s 50th Anniversary was marked with membership increasing and limited space. In 1959 it was decided to purchase six acres of land on the corner of Monte Vista and Olive Ave. The property had been a peach orchard but the owner cleared the land. Olive Avenue ended at Monte Vista and the entire property north was farmland. The California State University Stanislaus had relocated on Monte Vista Avenue just a few blocks from the new property. It was hoped to be able to attract University students to the church. Ten years later the church received permission to sell bonds and a building fund was established. Ground breaking for a new building was held in June 1971. Many of the members used their talents and skills to help construct the building, helping cut costs. Gordon Bruce built counters and cabinets for the kitchen, cabinets and cupboards for the church office and finished an upstairs room for the youth work. The congregation moved into the new building in January 1973. A new-lighted church sign was built on Monte Vista that gives the information about the services each week. In November 2002 a banquet was held to start the Building a Vision campaign to begin a fund to construct a facility with a gymnasium, kitchen, fellowship hall, youth room and classrooms.
Santa Maria, Grace Baptist Church
In July 1950, a small group of people from First Baptist Church in Santa Maria began meeting in homes until they organized as Grace Baptist Church. With a membership of 44, under the leadership of Rev. Glenn Discoe, services were held in the Seventh Day Adventist church building. In 1951, services were moved to the Moose Hall. On May 6, 1951, Rev. William A. Larson was called as pastor. The church steadily grew under his leadership for 18 years. .
In October 1952, groundbreaking ceremonies for the first Christian education/sanctuary unit were held. The men and women of the church completed construction of the unit in less than one year and the first church service was held in the new building on September 6, 1953. In 1956 additional property was purchased and in 1957 the church began construction of a new larger sanctuary. Because many in the congregation gave sacrificially of their time, talents and money, the sanctuary was completed 22 months later, completely debt free, and dedicated to the glory of God. Over the years additions were built to meet the needs of the church.
Grace Baptist Church had a vision for missions, which was evident when several of their members served as missionaries. Jim and Adele McCready left for Quito, Ecuador in 1967, to serve with HCJB Radio until July 1974. In July 1968, Frank and Shirley Beyers went to serve at HCJB Radio in Quito, Ecuador. Frank was a radio/TV engineer and Shirley worked as a nurse and carried on a literature ministry. In December 1969, Jeff and Jo Smothermon went to the Wycliffe Bible Translation camp in Colombia to prepare for the mission field. The Lord provided a field for them in the jungle area on the border of Colombia and Brazil, where they translated the language of the Macuna Indians. One of their three children born in Columbia, Julie Barlow, is currently serving with Wycliffe in Cameroon. In 1977 Carl and Dian Long left to serve in Japan to work with TEAM mission at the Christian Academy of Japan. In 1978 Pastor Jack and Betty Lockhart visited some of the mission fields Grace Baptist helps support in South America. In March 1980 Phil and Shirley Sievert were sent by Grace Baptist as short-term missionaries to HCJB in Ecuador to help in the construction of a new dam and power plant for the radio ministry. This was completed in 1982. In 1984, Norma Phillips went to Colombia for a three-month project with Wycliffe. In November 1984 she joined Food for the Hungry and served in various areas until she retired in 1995. In 1996 Eric and Beth Yodis went to the Ukraine as missionaries for Conservative Baptist International.
During February to May 1999, the church conducted a Grace to Grow income expansion campaign to raise money for the purchase of property for relocation. Close to 80% of the money for the property was pledged. On May 16, 1999 the church voted to purchase six acres of property, and closed the escrow on the property on November 19, 1999. On January 16, 2001, Grace Baptist signed a contract with an architect for the new church building using the plan “Building God’s Way.” The building has been completed and is widely used.
Dinuba, First Baptist Church
The First Baptist Church of Dinuba was organized in 1882. In 1931 a facility was purchased and God blessed the congregation there for 65 years. In 1948 an unfortunate disagreement erupted among the people, and a division took place. Departing members formed Calvary Baptist Church. The Lord graciously blessed both congregations in the years ahead. The Calvary Baptist Church found itself without a pastor in 1986 and godly members of both churches thought it might be an opportune time to reunite. After months of prayer, the deacons of both First Baptist and Calvary Baptist recommended to their members that Calvary Baptist merge into First Baptist. Rev. William Painter pastored the church from 1948-1951 and during his ministry the church accepted the challenge of a wider ministry through the affiliation with California Baptist Conference and the Baptist General Conference of America. The reunited congregation dared to dream about the future and questioned the size of their building to meet the needs of the next generation. By faith they purchased 5.5 acres in north Dinuba where they planned to construct a new facility. For more than seven years the people prayed and gave generously to a work they could see only with the eye of faith. On Sunday, May 15, 1994, the joyful servants of Christ held a special worship service on their new property in an official groundbreaking ceremony. On October 4-6, 1996, the congregation celebrated the grand opening of their new building. The people of the First Baptist Church stand in awe at the changes God performed in their midst these past 100 years. But they continue to build on the same foundation (Jesus Christ), to do the same work (ministering the love of Christ and the life-changing power of God‘s Word to Dinuba and the world), and to have the same purpose (the glory of God).
Tracy, Grace Baptist Church
In 1952 the Grace Baptist Church of Tracy was organized and welcomed into the California Baptist Conference. In 1954, 42 of the church people helped in building the new church meeting place. Before the church was built the congregation had been meeting in the Catholic Church. Grace was instrumental in helping to construct the facility for the Calvary Church of the Pacific, sending monies and many workers to erect their multipurpose three-story building.
The church is currently a multi-ethnic congregation with 60% Caucasian, 25% Hispanic, 8% Asian and 5% African-American. There are Life Groups meeting (small groups), with children to Keenagers (seniors). There are 154 active members and the attendance at the worship services is from 280-300. Rev. Jon Field is the present pastor.
Strathmore, First Baptist Church
The First Baptist Church of Strathmore was organized in 1914. The church was originally affiliated with the Northern Baptist Convention. In the 1930’s the church left the NBC and became a part of the General Association of Regular Baptists (GARB) and remained with them until 1952. Then they decided to affiliate with the Baptist General Conference and were welcomed into the NCBC in 1954. In 1978 a private elementary school was formed (Orange Belt Christian School) and continued until 2003. During the 1970s the population began to change and is now 70% Hispanic.
Concord, Fair Oaks Baptist Church
May 2, 1955 saw a first meeting of a church in Walnut Creek, now the Fair Oaks Baptist Church, Concord. The meeting was a time of prayer and Bible study in the Roy Liedstrandt home. It was decided to definitely establish a church. Rev. Robert Frykenburg was available to work with the group and as the group grew they decided to begin having Sunday evening vesper services. In December, Art Christiansen came to pastor the church and stayed until June 1956. January 26, 1957, the name Fair Oaks Baptist Church was adopted. In an effort to evangelize the area, three couples made 300 house calls in three weeks. Art Christiansen at the same time made 800. Eleven people were saved. On July 1, William Barber was called as pastor and on September 13, Fair Oaks was chartered with a membership of 39. Concern for missions was evidenced right away with a gift of $30 a month.
Fresno, Northwest Church
Glen and Martha Swanson of Kingsburg moved to Fresno in 1957 but couldn’t seem to find a home church there. Rev. Roger Youngquist of the Kingsburg First Baptist Church said, “Glen, let’s start a BGC church in Fresno.” They began holding Bible studies in the Swanson home and by early 1958 a small core of committed people were attending the weekly meetings. By May of 1958 the group had grown large enough to organize as Northwest Baptist Church with 26 members. The church expanded rapidly and property was bought and a chapel completed in 1960 with a capacity of 100.
In 1960 Rev. Bufe Karraker was called as interim pastor. At that time the attendance was 75 to 80 but under his dynamic ministry in six years it grew to over 750. The people in the three services were crammed into the refurbished chapel. There was a tremendous outpouring of God’s Spirit. In early 1960 a one story educational building was built next to the chapel and later that year, a crew of young people added 60 feet to the building and two years later added the companion: L-shaped building. In 1974, a second story was added.
Late in the spring of 1973, groundbreaking for an 800-seat sanctuary and office building occurred with the Fresno Mayor doing the ground breaking. The first service in the new building was held in August 1974. “If you build it, they will come” seemed to be the motto. Times of great fellowship and growth suffered for lack of room. A program to raise fund to increase and modernize the facilities was developed. Phase 1 included the building of the Family Life Center, multipurpose building with a gym, industrial kitchen and youth offices. Phase 2, refurbish and enlarge the Chapel. Phase 3 updated the education building and other areas including more parking. People pledged over $3 million for these projects. Over the 15 years other churches have been born from their evangelization: New Covenant Community, Central Community Church and New Harvest Church.
The Pastor, Rev. Bufe Karraker became ill in January 2001 and died on Feb.13, 2001, at the age of 74 and having served Northwest Church for 33 years. The church then entered an extended period of adjustment and transition, as often happens following a long-term pastorate.
Lompoc, Calvary Baptist Church
In the summer of 1958, Rev. Burt Poole stopped in the NCBC Conference office and asked if there was a location where a church should be started. He had flown from Delaware to California with the specific purpose to start a church. In July, he started in Lompoc, meeting in a rental clubhouse and gaining momentum every week. Calvary Baptist Church was organized on July 16, 1959 with 15 charter members. In October 1959, a constitution was adopted and the church was recognized by the NCBC. Lompoc is near Vandenberg Air Base, missile center of the West. Attendance grew in the church and they were looking for a permanent site to construct a first unit. One builder offered to sell 1.18 acres fully developed to the church at a reasonable price on condition that they start construction within a year. The church located in Vandenberg Village, near the base. Over the years, an educational wing and family life center have been added to this church that serves many military families, as well as the city of Lompoc and surrounding regions.
Napa, Grace Church of Napa Valley
Grace Church of Napa Valley was organized in 1959 by a group of people meeting together in homes for prayer and Bible study. The church continued to grow and a building was built in the 1970s. They have two buildings, one a church and the other a school, Grace Academy, for kindergarten to 12th grade. They are hoping to build a multipurpose building, which would attract more of the people in the area and provide further school and church recreational facilities. They conduct two services, one at 9:00 the other at 10:40. There is also a Sunday school for all ages at 9:00. The services are both blended and using a worship team. An Awana program is conducted on Sunday evenings. They also have a small Spanish service, which meets, in an upstairs room each week. At Christmas and Easter, musical productions are conducted which attracts the neighborhood. The church also has short-term mission activities in Mexico and this year a group of construction workers went to Russia to build a church. Rev. John Fernandez has been pastor for 14 years.
San Jose, East Valley Church
East Valley Church in San Jose began January 6, 1960 as the daughter church of Willow Glen Baptist Church as eight people with a heart for southeast San Jose met for the first time. Rodger Goodman, then Extension Director for the NCBC, led the small group in its weekly gatherings. When their number grew to about 20, they moved to a local youth center. Rodger continued to lead the small congregation until April of 1961 when they called Raymond Love to be their first pastor. That summer the group officially organized and was accepted by the BGC as the East Side Baptist Church. The following year the name was changed to East Valley Baptist Church.
In 1965 the church learned of property for sale on Flint Avenue in the Evergreen District. The members prayed, walked about the property, knelt down on it, and asked God to grant it to them for His glory. God answered and the property was dedicated on May 30, 1965. A building was moved to the new property, reassembled, and furnished with used theater seats. The church had a place of worship. Pastors who served this church included Robert Pollock and Arthur Freeburg.
In 1989 the church called Rev. John Helveston and under his direction the church developed its mission to make Christ known and its vision to become a life-changing church. The church took a significant step of faith by calling a full-time Youth Pastor in 1991. God honored that step and the church grew significantly. The commitment to missions continues to grow and God is answering prayer to be a sending church as more and more of the people experience short term cross-cultural ministries and the young people prepare themselves for career missionary service. To God be all the glory.
Grover Beach, Bethel Baptist Church
In November 1961, Rev. Rodger Goodman, Rev. William Larson and Rev. John Germaine took a general survey of the Five-Cities area to consider the possibility of starting a new church in Grover Beach. Summing up all the contacts, the opportunity to establish a Conference Church seemed advisable. Prayer meetings were held regularly in a home and the first Sunday morning worship service was held at the Women’s Club on December 10, 1961. April 11, 1962, steps were taken to organize as a Conference Baptist Church and the name Bethel Baptist was chosen. Some property became available and on June 4, 1962, a constitution was accepted and it was voted to purchase the property. Rev. John Germaine was called as Pastor and on October 19, 1962, the church was recognized as a part of the Northern California Baptist Conference and considered a missionary work. To help in the work, the churches in Strathmore Lompoc and Santa Maria contributed monthly as needed.
Building was started on the property and the Sunday school wing was built first with classrooms, a recreation/kitchen room and a nursery. Services were held in the recreation room. The church people did most of the work on this building. The sanctuary was started but that took more time. The dedication of the church was held in January 1968. Pastor Norman Eastman was called as pastor in January 1968 but he became sick and was unable to serve and resigned in 1970. Rev. Cornelius Leih was called as Pastor and the attendance picked up. The people started working on projects on the property and new people began to come to the church. Pastor Leih resigned in 1976 to retire and Rev. Roland Gustafson was called as Pastor in August 1976. The attendance increased and pews were purchased to replace the folding chairs. Behind the church an amphitheater was constructed and used for Easter Sunrise services for the community. Sunday school classes were expanding and the old building was overcrowded. The dedication of the new CE building was held on November 21, 1982. Pastor Gustafson resigned in June 1983. Neal Flippen was called and served for several years. Then Paul Bautts was called and served for 12 years. During the last three years of his service the church also employed Ron Miller as an Associate Pastor.
Atascadero, Berean Bible Fellowship
Formerly a Landmark Baptist Church, the leaders were disenchanted with their theology. A son of the church graduated from Fuller Seminary and led the group out of the movement. Leaders of the church visited the Men’s Banquet at Paso Robles. This led to several meetings and the church joined our fellowship in 1955. Chuck King was called from Lompoc as the first pastor. The group was doing well with excellent growth among the young couples. However, some problems arose and some people left the church. This split the church. Rev. Bob Kenagy came as the next pastor and patiently rebuilt the group. It has had a steady growth, purchased a house and acreage adjoining the church and it is now an optimistic and excited group. Several good families encouraged by Paso Robles leadership have joined the group and been instrumental in this good turn-around. The present pastor is Rev. Mike Casey.
Fairfield, Parkway Community Church
Rodger Goodman contacted John Hansen, a young man who had grown up in the Santa Maria/Grace church and asked him to survey the town for a new church. When a need was identified, Rodger then asked him, along with his wife Sharon, to become the church planting couple The Fairfield Parkway Community Church was organized in 1966 with 30 charter members. Their ministry included many airmen from Travis Air Force Base. They joined the NCBC in 1967 by vote of the annual meeting.
John Hansen remained as the founding pastor, leading the church in growth with special emphasis on youth ministry. Of particular note is the result of consistent discipling of young men, which has resulted in a large corps of youth pastors who have come from Parkway. In 2001, the church called Dan Deckard from Trinity Seminary in Deerfield, IL to become the succession pastor to John Hansen. A transition plan was crafted for the transfer of leadership, where Dan became the Senior/Lead Pastor while John continued to serve in an honored position as a staff pastor, which continued until his retirement. He then became a ‘volunteer’ staff member, serving the church he founded decades before – truly a model ‘succession planning’ story!
Santa Rosa, Bethel Baptist Church
The Northern California Baptist Conference had an active interest in the area of Santa Rosa for several years. Finally it was decided to meet at the home of Mr. and Mrs. George Steffenson for Bible study and prayer under the leadership of Rodger Goodman, Executive Secretary of the NCBC. Several couples formerly affiliated with a BGC church were present. After several weeks, the meetings were moved to a home in Rohnert Park, which is located about 10 miles south of Santa Rosa. The Veterans Memorial building of Cotati became available and it was rented for Sunday services beginning in February 1969. Three months of regular services did not produce a nucleus from the Rohnert Park area of sufficient strength to launch a church.
In the meantime, a group of concerned believers were giving serious consideration to the possibility of establishing a Conference church in Santa Rosa. Rev. Rodger Goodman met with the group on May 25, 1969 to present the beliefs and program of the BGC. At a meeting on May 28, several shared a definite desire that the group should take the necessary steps to begin a new church in Santa Rosa. On June 4, 1969, it was decided by 18 adults to start a Baptist Church in Santa Rosa requesting affiliation with the NCBC. The name Bethel Baptist Church was chosen.
There was a special emphasis on prayer at the Wednesday evening meetings. Steady, solid growth was experienced with the group becoming self-supporting and without grant-aid. Rev. and Mrs. Rodger Goodman were welcomed officially to the Pastorate on January 4, 1970. The church was welcomed into the NCBC in 1970. Land was purchased; architectural drawings made and plans for building were ready before Pastor Goodman accepted the call to the Concord church.
Pastor Cornell Haan arrived in August 1978. Other pastors who served were Rev. David Beckwith, Dr. Don Reed, Rev. Rev. David Parsons and Rev. Pat Gordon. The new church was completed and the body grew well in its new location. Several evangelical churches in the area went through some trying times during this period and the new work in a new location gained some good families that helped accelerate the growth. Bethel Baptist, itself, had some difficulties but good leadership, with godly patience, proved God’s work could survive the storms and move on.
Richmond, Hope Baptist Church
The present Hope Baptist Church of Richmond was organized in 1867 as the Judson Memorial Baptist Church. In the 1960s, this church had cooperated with the NCBC camping program for several years and had been represented at numerous district functions. In 1969 the church requested affiliation with the NCBC and joined them in 1970 after the investigation committee recommended granting the church affiliation. The name of the church was changed to Hope Baptist Church in 1998.
The church found itself ministering in a rapidly changing community. The congregation dwindled as families moved away and went to be with the Lord. A faithful core maintains the facility and some surrounding properties, with interim and part-time pastoral leadership. They are praying for a revival of their church.
Paso Robles, First Baptist Church
The First Baptist Church of Paso Robles was organized in 1893 and had an interesting history over the years. Before improvements were completed in their building, baptisms were held in the Salinas River. At one of the times a tightrope walker was exhibiting his skill on Main Street when a rider came with the news that “a man was putting people in the river.” The tightrope walker’s audience promptly deserted him to watch the baptisms.
Rev. Paul Brown became the Pastor in 1942 and served for almost 30 years. During his ministry Joanne Shetler responded to God’s call and went to the jungles of Balangao, Philippines with Wycliffe Bible Translators. She was able to give the Balangao people a written language and the New Testament in that language. Now, First Baptist Church continues to partner in ministry with the Balangao people. The First Baptist Church was affiliated with the American Baptist Convention but not active in the Convention for many years. Courted by Pastor Goodman as the church participated in our camp programs, the time came when the late Roy Kernahan made a motion that they seek affiliation with the BGC. This man had been a member of our church in Lakewood, California. First Baptist Church of Paso Robles became affiliated with the NCBC in 1970. Pastor “Red” Ensley came in October 1978 and it was a clear leading of God. The church experienced a wonderful growth and expansion in people and property. Remodeling and additional real estate around the church has been miraculous and strong ministry prevails currently under the leadership of Pastor Michael Garman
Caruthers, Calvary Baptist Church
Although the address is Fresno, Calvary Baptist Church is a rural church located near Caruthers. Rev. Willard Samuelson filled the pulpit at this church west of Kingsburg and told them about our Conference. After several sessions with the Pastor, and having spoken several times to the group, as well as conducting a week of meetings, the church voted to seek affiliation in 1972. They continue to be a small, rural church, ministering to a mixed group of local people. More recently, they have hosted a Hispanic congregation in their church property.
San Jose, Berryessa Valley Church
Rev. Jim Stone had pastored in Cupertino but began working with the Santa Clara School system and moved to the Berryessa area. Feeling the need for a witness in the community, he began Bible studies in his home. The work grew and a church was organized and held services in his living room. Affiliation was requested and granted with NCBC. Pastor Stone introduced us to a helpful realtor who aided in procuring an outstanding site on the much-traveled Capitol Avenue. With a beautiful home on this 3-acre site we purchased the property for $100,000, with the seller carrying the loan. Doubled in value, the church was fortunate to be able to remodel the home and garage as a meeting place. Plans for an enlarged sanctuary are in the making. The congregation is made up of several ethnic groups and Pastor Stone ministers at Berryessa Valley Church without salary in a bi-vocational capacity,
Aiea, Calvary Church of the Pacific
A former member of our Dinuba Church was the manager of the Billy Graham radio station in Honolulu, Hawaii. Not able to find a church that he felt measured up to the ministry he enjoyed at Dinuba, Clifford Scott called the NCBC and urged us to consider planting a church there. After several “sacrificial” surveys of the needs in Hawaii, the extension committee voted to pursue it further. Jim Carlson was called as first pastor with the understanding that we would develop a church for the community we work in and not try to develop a stateside church. The beautiful leading of the Lord brought us to the Aiea area through a radio program Jim Carlson had and a call from Rosie Fukahara. The conversion of her husband, Charlie, and many more, provided excellent leadership among the great number of Japanese in the area. As a result, the majority of the congregation now numbering 300 are converted Japanese Buddhists. The church organized in 1974.
The first meetings were in the Scott Memorial Elementary School. In search for land, an unusual site was found in Aiea overlooking the bay where the Arizona memorial can be seen. Rev. Goodman met with the broker handling the sale of the property, who happened to be in business in Oakland. The asking price was $300,000 for less than one acre and was far out of reach. The broker returned to plead with his client to sell for less and in response to much prayer, the land was purchased. Considerable cash was raised and a fine serviceable structure erected with volunteers and contributions from mainland NCBC churches. The Calvary Church of the Pacific was formed. A fine pre-school contributed much to meeting mortgage payments. Pastor Carlson’s ministry was greatly blessed by the Lord and growth was excellent.
Visalia, Valley Bible Church
God led in starting a Conference Baptist Church in Visalia, which was called the Valley Bible Church. The Articles of Incorporation were approved in January 1976. The church was voted into the NCBC in 1976. In April 1977 the NCBC Trustee Board voted to co-sign with the Valley Bible Church for a loan to purchase 9.7 acres of property to build a church. The church was meeting temporarily in the YMCA and later was meeting in a building inherited from the Grace Baptist Church, while they were building a new church.
Madera, Iglesia Bibliaca de la Communidad
Iglesia Bibliaca de la Communidad church in Madera is right on target for our goal to cover the Valley. Pastor Peter Ascanio is a Fuller graduate and native of Venezuela. Peter is an experienced bi-lingual pastor, having pastored a Spanish Evangelical Free Church. Since his denomination did not desire to expand Spanish ministries, Peter was eager to work with BGC. Bible studies were begun and a school rented as the group grew. Eventually a good church and parsonage was purchased through a friend. Attendance is over 100. Bible studies are being held in neighboring areas with goals of future churches.
North Fork, Hillside Baptist Church
Rev.Bufe Karraker of our Fresno church called about a group meeting in North Fork for a Bible study under Mike Ayers‘ leadership in 1976. After meeting with the group, a search was made for a place to meet. A rental facility outside the small town was found, meetings held, a church organized on April 12, 1978 as Hillside Baptist Church, with 17 charter members and an attendance of 30. From the original Bible study in homes, the group moved to Sierra Pines Youth Camp. As the church grew, Mike Ayers was called as Pastor and the facilities of the new Seventh Day Adventist Church became available for Sundays. The church blossomed, land was purchased with an NCBC loan, and plans were made for their own building in 1998. Internal strife developed and people left. Rev. Paul Goddards was called from Bethel to become the Pastor. They have done well and now it seems progress is being made.
Dunlap, Dunlap Baptist Church
Nestled in the hills on the way to Hume Lake, the Dunlap Baptist Church has been a testimony as an independent Baptist church for years. Invited by several Conference families, the District Worker was invited to speak on several occasions. When they were without a pastor; they invited the Evangelism Supervisor to assist them in finding a pastor. He met with the pulpit committee and Conference pastor, Cal Churchill, was called. Pastor Churchill served nobly. The church joyfully joined the Conference and the congregation grew. Pastor Churchill resigned to go to Alaska and we anticipate another Conference pastor will be called. It is a fast-growing area and the people are delighted with the Conference.
Brentwood, Golden Hills Community Church
In the spring of 1983, young couples who were members of Concord but living 10 miles away in Antioch, showed interest in a Bible study and work in their area. Pastors Duerksen and Goodman began Bible studies and felt keen interest and enthusiasm. Under Pastor Duerksen’s fine leadership a Lutheran Church was rented and first services held September 18. Golden Hills Community Church was organized. Pastor Larry Adams was called as the first pastor and began January 1, 1984. This church has become the flagship church of the NCBC, with attendance over 2,000, serving the growing east bay communities of Antioch, Pittsburg, Discovery Bay, Oakley, Byron, Knightsen, Brentwood and other nearby towns.
Fresno, New Covenant Community Church
New Covenant Community Church in Fresno was organized on September 13, 1987, with 100 members who had come from Northwest Church of Fresno. The church is in the Northeast area of Fresno, where they started in a school. As God blessed the group, land was purchased, a first structure was funded and completed, and a cluster of portable classrooms met the growing church’s need for space. Additional land was purchased and plans were approved for an expanded worship center with office and classroom facilities. They recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. Each Sunday they have two contemporary services, with a worship team, and Sunday school activities during each service. More than 1000 people, including children, attend each Sunday. Rev. Jan Van Oosten is the founding and present pastor.
San Francisco, Congregation Tiferet Israel
The San Francisco, Congregation Tiferet Israel was organized in 1987 to work as a Messianic congregation with the Jews for Jesus. The Pastor is Rev. Scott Rubin.
Sacramento, Filipino-American Evangelical Church
The Sacramento Filipino-American Evangelical Church was organized in 1987 and they joined the NCBC soon after. There are 80-90 members and they have a contemporary service each Sunday morning. They have purchased property and anticipate erecting a building. Rev. Filemon Tamboboy is the present pastor.
Alameda, Bay Farm Community Church
In December 1986, God was already working by bringing Dr. Andy and Judy Acquistapace to Lakeside Baptist Church in Oakland from Southern California, to be pastor of Lakeside. In 1987, God was working also. Pastor Andy, Board members, and members of Lakeside in Oakland formed a “Building Committee” feeling God leading the church to grow and build a new church on Bay Farm Island, Alameda. Developer Dorick had specified that the available lot was to be sold only to an Evangelical Christian Church. Much prayer was put into this by the folks at Lakeside and they felt God leading to sell 3 buildings owned by Lakeside to buy that lot on Bay Farm Island, which was done.
A two-story Realtors building was available in January, 1988 and the folks who wanted to build a church home on Bay Island held their first Sunday morning service in this building at 9:00 a.m., went to Lakeside for the 11:00 a.m. service and then went back to Bay Farm for a 6:00 p.m. evening service. This continued until September 4, 1988 when the last 11:00 service of the Lakeside Baptist Church was held with the Presentation of Deed and Keys from to the NCBC, making Lakeside the Lakeside Baptist Church and Ethnic Ministries Center. Membership of the Bay Farm Community Church was created with 57 people from Lakeside. On Mother’s Day Sunday 1990, the first service was held in the new church. God has done and continues to do wonderful things at Bay Farm Community Church where Jim Meyer is the pastor.
Dublin, Cross Winds
The Cross Winds church was started by Rev. John Merritt in Pleasanton and was organized in 1988. The church moved from the original location about 16 years ago and recently purchased some land in Livermore where they hope to build soon. Now they are meeting in a converted warehouse in an industrial park, which they are renting. Various classes and workshops are offered on Sunday mornings. They have two adult Sunday morning worship services with attendance about 500 at each of them. In addition, they have a Sunday evening alternative service that averages around 100 adults. They currently have about 16,000 in their database.
Oakland, Bay Area Christian Gospel Church
The Bay Area Christian Gospel Church was organized in 1988 with five charter members. This is a Chinese congregation and meets at the building of the Lakeside Baptist Church and Ethnic Ministries Center in Oakland. They tried having bilingual Chinese/English services but went back to Mandarin Chinese only. The normal attendance for worship services is about 50. On March 25.1993, a robbery took place at the side chapel. Seven prayer partners were disturbed by a cry, “I have no money, Pastor Hu.” A robber was let in after hearing a knock and he held a knife to a lady’s throat. Money and possessions were dropped into the robber’s bag. Pastor Hu continued to pray loudly and the robber finally ran out. He was captured the next morning. For seven months the case remained stagnant. In court one day Mrs. Hu was reading about how John Wesley was influenced by his mother. Then the prosecuting lawyer said the defendant was on the telephone with his mother and he pleaded guilty. The case closed with a 4-year sentence. The church members were invited into the courtroom to accept the defendant’s apology. Pastor Hu expressed willingness to forgive and forget. He invited to robber to come to Jesus and Jesus would give him a new heart. When he shook hands he broke down and hugged them. The Jewish judge invited the church members to his chamber. While warmly shaking Pastor Hu’s hand he said, “For 40 years I have presided over numerous cases, witnessing the prosecutor’s cases for heavier sentences but never their forgiveness. Can you tell me who the God you believe in is?” Pastor said, “He is the creator of the universe, our Savior Jesus Christ.”
Hayward, Filipino Community Christian Church
The Hayward Filipino Community Christian Church was organized in 1988, planted by Carlos San Luis. He was pastor for two to three years. The present pastor is Gilbert Villapa. There are 70 to 80 members and they have a blended service and Sunday school for the children. They are renting a church building and hope to build their own church.
Kapolei, Aloha Christian Fellowship
Kapolei, Aloha Christian Fellowship was organized in 1989 and is a Filipino congregation in Hawaii. Andres Hobar leads this group as a bi-vocational pastor.
Oakland, Yiu Mienh Baptist Church
The Oakland Yiu Mienh Baptist Church began with a few Mienh believers and friends meeting together for fellowship and Bible study. They started meeting together at Harbor House and were organized by E. Fin’s family in 1980. In 1983 they started holding their meetings on Sunday afternoon at Lakeside Baptist Church and Ethnic Ministry Center. They were invited to move their meetings to Sunday mornings so that their children could attend the Lakeside Sunday School. In 1989 they decided to organize as a church. Their chosen elders developed a Constitution and By-Laws and became affiliated with BGC and NCBC. About 200 Mienh adults and children attend the Yiu-Mienh Baptist Church.
Sacramento, Iglesia Bautista del Valle
In Sacramento, Iglesia Bautista del Valle was started in October 1988 by Steven and Dina Panasiuk and was organized in March 1990. In the beginning the church met in a Russian Baptist Church and later on moved to Central Baptist Church (a Conservative Baptist Church) and meets there till the present time. From the first beginning, Steven Panasiuk started training church leaders and pastors through an extension of the Hispanic Bible School in Chicago. Luis Lopez, current Pastor of Iglesia Bautista del Valle, was one of the students who graduated successfully from the Hispanic Bible School. Also Miguel Vivar who came to this church was saved and baptized and later went back to his country, finished a Bible School there, and now is in the ministry. This church continues to reach the Hispanics in the neighborhood and is blessed with people who love the ministry of evangelism.
South San Francisco, Iglesia Bautista Senda Vida
The history of the Iglesia Bautista Senda Vida church in South San Francisco shows that ten people left Iglesia Bautista Hispana because of internal problems. For about a year the group continued to meet in several homes for Sunday school and worship services. After a year of meeting this way, the opportunity opened for the group to meet at Bayshore Baptist Church in Daly City. The group continued to meet there for about a year interviewing and meeting with different pastors until they finally called the Rev. Carlos Herrera to become the church’s pastor. The church was welcomed into the NCBC in April 1990. Services that are being conducted now at South San Francisco First Baptist Church include Sunday school, morning worship, Sunday evening worship, Wednesday evening prayer meeting, Friday home meetings, a Ladies’ group and a Men’s group that meet once a month.
Stockton, First Fil-Am Christian Church
Stockton, First Fil-Am Christian Church held its first worship service in July 1990 and developed a constitution. It joined the NCBC at the 1991 annual meeting. They are renting a church and hold their Sunday services in the early afternoon with 60-65 members. The service is contemporary. Rev. Cesar Verdeflor is the present Pastor.
Half Moon Bay, Coastside
Coastside Church was founded in 1990 by Mike Orlicky who had come to the Bay Area in 1984 to plant a church. He took the advice of area pastors to work in an established ministry for a while to get to know the area. He served as an associate at Bayshore Bible Church and was instrumental in helping the Spanish church – Iglesia Senda de Vida – get established. After exploring different areas where there were no churches, God led him to Half Moon Bay. The group started with 27 people at their first service in a school facility and a few months later moved into a vacated Southern Baptist facility, fully furnished. Pastor Mike continues to minister to around 100 people currently involved at Coastside.
San Francisco, Park Presidio
Park Presidio Bible Church affiliated with the NCBC in 1992, under the leadership of Pastor Earl Phillips. The church was founded in 1949 by Pastor Berger, dean of the San Francisco Baptist College. It was a church plant from First Baptist Church, San Francisco, an American Baptist Church. The church joined the NCBC to further their mission of evangelism and outreach with a body of like-minded believers. Pastor Phillips continues to lead the church in its ministries.
Alameda, International Gospel Church
The Alameda, Westside church is now called the International Gospel Church and was organized in 1992. The current pastor is Rev. Ed Bello
Woodville, Iglesia Evangelica de Woodville
Iglesia Evangelica de Woodville was accepted into the NCBC in 1992 and is currently pastored by Isai Goldamez.
Benicia, New Harbor Community Church
Rev. Jim Pearring was instrumental in starting the New Harbor Community Church of Benicia. The church joined the NCBC in March 1993. The present pastor is Rev. Kelly Patchin. The congregation is jointly affiliated with the Conservative Baptist Association and the BGC.
Solvang, Trinity Baptist Church
Solvang, Trinity Baptist Church originally was part of the Southwest District. The church began meeting in 1980 and was affiliated with the NCBC in 1993. The current pastor is Rev. David Doupe.
Rio Vista, Windborn Church
Windborn Church in Rio Vista was organized in 1993. They have a relaxed, come-as-you-are environment and friendly people. They believe that only Jesus is strong enough to handle the issues of life so the goal is to be a blessing by pointing all people to Jesus. Services on Sunday are, first Worship Service 8:00, Sunday school for all ages at 9:30, and the second worship service at 10:15 a.m. Attendance is about 120. They have several opportunities to connect: nursery, children’s ministry, youth group meetings, and adult small groups. They also have many ongoing ways and ministries to serve and bless their city of Rio Vista and the surrounding community of the delta. The emphasis is using the Bible as the way to pray to God. They focus on abiding with Jesus and keeping their eyes on Him because He is the author and perfecter of their faith. They are a member of the NCBC. The current pastor is Dustin Butler.
Santa Maria, Crosspoint Community Church
A core group from Grace Baptist Church of Santa Maria started with Bible studies in1992 and a church was born. On January 24, 1993, Grace Baptist Church hosted the ordination of Tim Pettey to the Gospel ministry. Tim and Janette Pettey started a new “worker-friendly contemporary-style” service. This new church is called Crosspoint Community Church and currently meets in renovated, leased facilities.
San Jose, Cornerstone Church
Pastor Craig Selness felt the Lord leading him to start a church in South San Jose. With the blessing of the people of Willow Glen Baptist, where he was serving as Youth Pastor, some of the folks from that church joined Rev. Selness and his family to begin Cornerstone Church. The first church services were held in his living room, with Sunday school in the backyard. The first service in January of 1993 was held at the Almaden Century Theaters. For the first few years of the church, Pastor Selness continued to work as a lawyer. By 2000 he was devoting all of his time to the church. In 1996 the theater agreed to lease them the complex full-time. Some changes were made for the various activities of the church. Now they are in the process of looking for a new place to meet. Attendance has remained level at about 250. The church joined the NCBC in 1993.
Woodland, Iglesia Bautista Nueva Esperanza
The Woodland Iglesia Bautista Nueva Esperanza was started in September, 1993, by Steven and Dina Panasiuk and was organized in 1996. Presently the Iglesia Bautista Nueva Esperanza meets at Calvary Baptist Church (a Conservative Baptist Church). William Garcia and his wife Julissa are pastoring this church. God is always faithful in sending the right people. From the beginning, this church had two wonderful couples, Isaac and Alba Barrios and Guillermo and Noelia Dominguez. Both couples were from Mexico and it was appropriate for Woodland because most of the Hispanics who live in Woodland are from Mexico. Isaac is a great teacher. He also was a son of a pastor so he knew how challenging it could be when starting a church. His wife, Alba, is a great worship leader. Guillermo and Noelia Dominguez are great soul winners. Guillermo was always willing to visit homes and lead Bible studies. They always had their home open for weekly Bible studies. This church continues to be a great witness in Woodland. It was admitted to the NCBC in 1996.
Hollister, Grace Bible Church
The Grace Bible Church of Hollister was founded and organized in 1995 by Pastor Jim Achilles, as a daughter church of Trinity Bible Church of Gilroy, where his father was the pastor. There were 28 charter members. The membership now is about 210 but the attendance in the two services each Sunday reaches 400. The two services are blended. The building they are now using was given to them by a local .It is an old facility built about 150 years ago and is increasingly too small for the attendees. The church has secured property across the street and is remodeling the building for a sanctuary. The present property will be used for office space and classrooms
Sacramento, Evangel Baptist Church
Rev. William Taghap, who pastored the church for 12 years, planted the Sacramento Evangel Baptist Church in 1996. The present pastor is Rev. Gonzalo Olojan. They have a contemporary service each Sunday morning with over 125 people attending. They are renting a school building for their services.
South San Francisco, First Baptist Church
The First Baptist Church of South San Francisco was organized in 1944 under the leadership of O. P. Bishop, and in 1945 Rev. Larson became the pastor and served until his death in 1983. The sanctuary was dedicated in 1946. The property is free and clear and the church owes no debts. Through the years the church has had a reputation as a loving and friendly body of believers as well as an emphasis on prayer. At the Annual Meeting of the NCBC in 1996, it was recommended that the First Baptist Church of San Francisco be accepted into the NCBC fellowship. Gary Smith is the present pastor.
Elk Grove, Discovery
The Elk Grove, Discovery church was started as a church plant by Jim Pearring in 1997, and was affiliated with the NCBC in March, 1997.
Fresno, Central Community Church
The Central Community Church of Fresno was planted in March 1997 in the Central High East cafeteria and moved to their present location in June 2001. Their mother church, Fresno/Northwest gave a matching grant of $350,000 to enable the purchase of their present location. The membership is diverse with 48% Caucasian, 39% Hispanic, 10% African-American and 3% Asian and other. Rev. Jeffrey Craig Harrington is the founding and also the present Pastor of the church. A Sunday school through high school age is conducted each Sunday during services held at 9:30 and 11:00. There is a youth meeting twice a month and also a women’s organization and a men’s organization. Awana is held on Wednesdays. A Karate ministry attracts about 40 people. A Synergy program by the young people is carried on in the community doing cleanup and whatever is needed to help the people in the neighborhood. Average attendance is 210 adults, 40 youth and 60 children and there are about 80 members in the church.
Oakland, Vietnamese Baptist Church
Rev. Red Ensley had a deep concern for the Vietnamese people and was instrumental in starting the Oakland Vietnamese Baptist Church. It was one of the ethnic congregations meeting in the former Lakeside Baptist Church facilities. The church was recognized by the NCBC in 1997. Rev. Elijah Nghiem is the Pastor.
Sacramento, Vietnamese Baptist Church
The Sacramento, Vietnamese Baptist Church was started as a church plant by Rev. Red Ensley in 1997 and welcomed into the NCBC in 1998. The church is currently meeting in another church facility and is pastored by Huong Nguyen, whose father was jailed in Viet Nam for his faith.
Roseville, The Banqueting Table
The Roseville Peoples Church was started by Traver Dougherty in July 1998 and was recognized by the NCBC in January 2000. It is now called The Banqueting Table and has chosen to operate as a cell church, only having meetings in homes in the area.
Vacaville, Centro Familiar Cristiano
The Vacaville Centro Familiar Cristiano was organized in August 1999 under the leadership of Pastor Mike Ensley and was recognized by the NCBC in April 2004. They continue to meet in rented school facilities.
Honolulu, Real Life Ministries
Real Life Ministries church in Honolulu was organized in 1999. It was a daughter church of Calvary Baptist. Mike Cape was the first pastor. Their target ministry was Second and Third Generation American-Born Asian. They minister to a significant number of military families stationed near and around Pearl Harbor.
Fairfield, Yiu Mienh Community Church
Fairfield Yiu Mienh Community Church was started in 1999 and recognized by the NCBC in January 2000. It was a daughter church of the Oakland Mien congregation.
Clovis, Eastside Church
The Eastside Church of Clovis was started in 2000 as a daughter church of Northwest, New Covenant, and Central Community of Fresno and First Baptist of Kingsburg. It was begun with about 30 adults and now has about 120 attendees for the 10:00 a.m. Sunday morning service. The service is contemporary and Bible centered. There is a Sunday school for the children and on Wednesday night a service of worship, fellowship and Bible study with usually 25 attending. They do not own their building but meet at a church facility available for them. Rev. Wade Robinson was the founding and present Pastor. The church was recognized by the NCBC in 2001.
Bakersfield, Filipino-American Community Church
The Bakersfield Filipino-American Community Church was organized in August 2002 and recognized by the NCBC in April 2003. Their current pastor is Noel Capanas.
Tracy, New Hope Community Church
Rev. James Hanna felt called by God to start a church and resigned from the Calvary Baptist Church in Turlock in July 2000 to go to Tracy. He began by having Bible studies and prayer meetings once a month with the help of some former Calvary members. The Hanna children invited their school friends who brought their parents. With the word getting out a group began meeting at the Williams Middle School. The New Hope Community Church was organized in 2003 with seven charter members. The services are now held at the Wanda Hirsch Elementary School each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. It is a contemporary service and 60-70 people attend each week.
Citrus Heights, Iglesia Bautista Nueva Jerusalen
Steven and Dina Panasiuk started Iglesia Bautista Nueva Jerusalen in Citrus Heights September, 2001. The church meets at Antelope Road Christian Fellowship (Church of God). Iglesia Nueva Jerusalen grew rapidly because there are no Hispanic churches in the area. God blessed this church with wonderful people, especially with one couple, Roberto and Mimi Ragas. Roberto and Mimi came from Argentina many years ago. They were devout Catholics, but when they heard that the pastor of Iglesia Nueva Jerusalen was also from Argentina they decided to visit and meet the pastor. They liked the church, came a second time, accepted the Lord and were baptized in their older years. Both Roberto and Mimi love people and love to serve. They are in charge of the social events. Mimi organizes different events and does all the decoration in the church. They even invite the whole church to their home to celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, so this way they can invite their unsaved friends. They also have their home open for weekly Bible studies. After Steven Panasiuk retired, Luis Lopez took over the pastoral position and Iglesia Nueva Jerusalen continues to draw Hispanic people in the area.
Clovis, New Harvest Church
Rev. Mitch Ribera organized New Harvest Church in Clovis in 2001 with about 200 members from the Northwest Church of Fresno who followed him for the purpose of planting a church in Clovis. The meetings have been held in the Clovis High School and 10 acres of property has been purchased for a new facility. The church holds two contemporary services on Sundays, at 9:00 and 10:30 with a total of about 800 adults and 300 children. Sunday School is held during both services. Other activities and meetings are bringing the Gospel to the area for God’s glory.
Paso Robles, Harvest Bible Church
Harvest Bible Church is a bilingual, multicultural church that was born in October of 2002 in Paso Robles. Pastor Chris and Mara Swanson are the church planting couple that launched this groundbreaking church. Chris is the son of BGC missionary parents who served in Argentina.
The Coastal LEAD Team of the NCBC had been praying for years that the Lord would open the door for a church to be planted that would target the 2nd and 3rd generation Hispanic community along the Central Coast. Originally intended for Santa Maria, it was decided to launch in Paso Robles as the Swansons were already established in the community. Chris and Mara had been in fulltime ministry for 11 years when they were approached by the area BGC pastors to prayerfully consider this project. In the fall of 2002, a group of five families who had been led to join the “launch team” gathered in the Swanson home to begin dreaming. A bilingual, community Bible Study was launched out of First Baptist Church (sister BGC church in Paso Robles). Within three months, a core had been established who desired to begin worshipping together. Saturday evenings were intentionally chosen as the gathering time for this baby church. Worshipping and preaching bilingually, Pastor Chris and his team gathered with the 30+ people on the stage of First Baptist Church Ministry Center. A variety of outreach events followed as the Harvest family continued to grow. The Harvest Bible Church was officially started with 15 charter members. Average attendance is 120.
During the Easter season of 2003, a “soft launch” was planned. Using the 40 Days of Purpose campaign as a foundational tool, the Harvest community prepared. At that first “official” service, over 100 people attended. As 2003 continued to unfold, the growing Harvest family continued bilingual ministry as well as adding missions to their ministries. A team headed to Mexico to minister. Many new believers were added and baptisms were taking place. Multiple teams have traveled to Guatemala, Argentina, and Mexico. This is a missional church, seeking to be real, relevant and relational, touching the physical and emotional needs of the multicultural community while pointing them to the only answer, Jesus Christ.
The following churches were started and recognized but have since either dissolved or were disaffiliated from the NCBC:
San Jose, Vietnamese
Pleasanton, Iglesia La Palabra
Bakersfield, Shalimar Hispanic
Squaw Valley, Kings Canyon Bible
Lincoln, Twin Creeks
Bay Point, Encuentro con Dios
A chronological listing of churches contained in this report:
Oakland, Lakeside 1885
San Francisco, Temple
San Jose, Willow Glen 1887
Kingsburg, First 1901
Turlock, Calvary 1908
Santa Maria, Grace 1950
Dinuba, First 1951
Tracy, Grace 1952
Strathmore First 1954
Concord, Fair Oaks 1955
Fresno, Northwest 1958
Lompoc, Calvary 1959
Napa, Grace 1959
San Jose, East Valley 1960
Grover Beach, Bethel 1962
Atascadera, Berean 1966
Fairfield, Parkway 1966
Santa Rosa, Bethel 1969
Richmond, Hope 1969
Paso Robles, First 1970
Caruthers, Calvary 1972
San Jose, Berryessa 1972
Aiea, Calvary Church of the Pacific 1974
Visalia, Valley Bible 1976
Madera, Iglesia 1977
North Fork, Hillside 1978
Brentwood, Golden Hills 1983
Fresno, New Covenant 1987
San Francisco, Tiferet 1987
Sacramento, Fil-Am Evang. 1988
Alameda, Bay Farm 1988
Dublin, Cross Winds 1988
Oakland, Bay Area Christian 1988
Hayward, Filipino 1988
Kapolei, Aloha 1989
Oakland, Yiu Mienh 1989
Sacramento, Iglesia 1990
So. San Francisco, Iglesia 1990
Stockton, First 1990
San Francisco, Park Presidio Bible 1990
Half Moon Bay 1992
Alameda, International Gospel Church 1992
Woodville, Iglesia 1992
Benicia, New Harbor 1992
Solvang, Trinity 1993
Rio Vista, Windborn 1993
Santa Maria, Crosspoint 1993
San Jose, Cornerstone 1993
Woodland, Iglesia 1993
Hollister, Grace 1995
Sacramento, Evangel 1996
So.San Francisco, First 1996
Elk Grove, Discovery 1997
Fresno, Central Comm. 1997
Oakland, Vietnamese 1997
Sacramento, Vietnamese 1998
Roseville, Banqueting Table 1998
Vacaville, Centro 1999
Honolulu, Real Life 1999
Fairfield, Yiu Mienh 1999
Clovis, Eastside 2000
Bakersfield, Fil-Am Comm. 2002
San Francisco, Gen-X
Fresno, Tower Mosaic
Tracy, New Hope 2003
Citrus Heights, Iglesia 2001
Clovis, New Harvest 2001
Paso Robles, Harvest 2002