The Beginning Stages
The church of Christ started in the recreation room of the WWII housing facility located at 5th avenue, where the Chula Vista shopping center is located today.
The minister at the time was Bro. Harris Goodwin who later moved to Los Angeles and preached for the Hollywood church of Christ where famous singers Pat Boone and Sunny James led the singing. After this, Bro. Harris because the minister of a congregation in Honduras (South America).
At the time the church was meeting at the recreation center, baptisms were held at the Hillcrest church of Christ or the Front and Beach street church of Christ (downtown San Diego).
After outgrowing recreation room, the congregation purchased a piece of land at 231 4th avenue in Chula Vista, which had a two-story home on it. A church building was later built facing 4th avenue with the house remaining for the minister’s use. At that time, Bro. Lloyd Ellis stayed and served the church for many years and continued to serve the church when it moved to L Street. Besides being the minister at L Street, Bro. Ellis helped establish the bible institute in Tijuana Mexico where local men could take classes in preparation of becoming ministers in Mexico. Bro. Ellis continued to work for many years with the brethren in Tijuana even after he retired from being the full time minister. He also helped move the old Front and Beach street church building from downtown San Diego to a site in Tijuana to be used as a church of Christ.
Setting the Foundation
The Palomar street church of Christ was established by some of the members of the 4th avenue congregation to help spread the word in the southern part of Chula Vista.
After outgrowing the 4th avenue building, land was purchased at 470 L Street in Chula Vista and the 4th avenue property was sold to the City of Chula Vista and is now the Chula Vista Chamber of Commerce.
The congregation move to the L street location after the building was completed. The L street congregation is still there to this day and the Southwestern Christian School uses part of their land.
History of the Palomar street church of Christ
On June 3rd, 1962 Bro. M.A. Wright preached to a small group assembled in the 600 block of Third Avenue in Chula Vista. A month later, on July 4th 1962, ground was broken for the church building at 301 E. Palomar Street. The following October the church was meeting in the yet unfinished facility.
On May 12, 1963, the building was completed and on that afternoon and area wide singing was held at 301. E. Palomar Street at which time the building was officially dedicated to the cause of which our Lord died.
Bro. Harvey Young came to work with this group of New Testament Christians on August 15th, 1964 and labored with them until July, 1970. Bro. Hugh Tinsley came on board and worked as the evangelist for the following year ending his stay in 1972.
The congregation selected three men to serve as elders in 1972 and they were appointed to this office on June 18, 1972 by Bro. J.J. Turner a visiting evangelist. The three elders were: Bro. A.G. Figueroa, Bro. J.D. Mangum and Bro. Ed Wojciechowski (J.D and Ed were part of the original members that came from 4th avenue and helped establish the Palomar congregation). The first deacons were appointed on August 27, 1972. They were Bro. Sam Congemo, Bro Jim Flori, Bro. Larry Loveland, Bro. Dusty Sullivan and Bro. Lecil Treat.
In September 1972 and evangelist named Bro. Charles D. Partain came to work with this group of Christians and on March 4th, 1973, Bro George Riley, Bro. Ed Carlson and Bro. George Moore was appointed as additional deacons.
Building Almost Complete
In 1973, the church started the Joy Bus ministry. This lasted to 1981. Bro. Milton hunt was the director and Bro. Pat Garrett and Bro. Curtis Johnson were the bus captains. Each bus had its own bus workers, a secretary and an activity director. The activity director made bible material to teach the children as the buses moved around Chula Vista. These were dedicated people who got here an hour and a half before service to their routes and pick up the children. The buses went out each Sunday morning and Wednesday evening for eight years and approximately 175 children were picked up each time. Bus captains and directors went out each Saturday to check on the children that were absent.
On March 31 1974, Bro’s Robert Garrett and Curtis Johnson were appointed as deacons. On April 13, 1975, Bro’s Pete Campbell and Milton Hunt were appointed as deacons and on that same day, Bro George Riley was appointed to be an elder, resigning as deacon upon accepting the eldership.
The Palomar congregation also supported the La Mesa. Mexico church of Christ in Tijuana for many years. Group of people from Palomar went down several times a year to visit the congregation there and to show their support and see how everyone was doing. In later years, the church in La Mesa Mexico was able to support itself.
In September 1975, Bro Charles Partain moves to Palm Spring for a short time. During this interval, Bro. David Epler served as minister until Bro. Partain returned in June 1976. On November 21, 1976 Bro. J.D. Mangum was re-appointed to the eldership having resigned on January 11, 1975. Bro Charles Partain was also appointed to serve as an elder on November 21, 1976 (in addition to his preaching duties). The appointment was made by elder-preacher, Bro David Desha of Escondido, CA. Bro. Paul Holland was appointed as a deacon in December 12, 1976.
In the fall of 1976, plans were formulated to have a special contribution on February 27, 1977 with the goal being $25,000.00. On the strength of the forthcoming contribution and a loan in the amount of $40,000.00 ground was broken on January 28th, 1977 and the existing annex was built for classrooms and fellowship hall along with landscaping and other improvements.
During these years several of the above mentioned deacons and elders had either resigned office or moved to another city or congregation in the area. On October 2, 1977 the church hired Bro. Steve Kay as associate minister. On March 11, 1979 Bro’s J.D. Mangum and Ed Wojciechowski resigned as elders.
On April 1, 1979 Bro. Milton Hunt resigned as deacon and was appointed as an elder to serve with Bro Charles Partain. On May 20, 1979 Bro’s Les Doty and Jim Holland were appointed to serve as deacons with Bro. Pete Campbell. On June 3, 1979 Bro. Charles Partain resigned as preacher and elder effective June 17, 1979 and the associate minister, Bro. Steve Kay accepted to take over the full time preaching position.
A Place to call home
On June 17, 1979 Bro Harry Richy along with Pete Campbell (who resigned as deacon) were appointed elders to serve with Bro. Milton Hunt. On that same day Harding Paine and Merl Mills were appointed deacons to work with Jim Holland, Curtis Johnson and Les Doty.
In 1980, Bro. Ray Legget was appointed deacon when Jim Holland moved to Central California. Jim Holland later became a minister of the Gospel and a schoolteacher.
In February of 1981 Bro. Steve Kay resigned the preaching position to move to Northern California and Wayne Williams was hired as the minister. On September, 1982, along with his preaching duties, Bro. Wayne Williams was appointed to the eldership.
In October 1982, bro. Pete Campbell resigned from the eldership due to health problems (Bro. Pete Campbell passed away on November 17, 1982).
In January 1983, Bro. Wayne Williams left unannounced leaving the congregation with no elders or deacons. From that time on the congregation had different ministers from around the area preach the word until Bro. Melvin Thomas was hired on February 5, 1984.
In 1992, three men accepted the work of associate ministers, they were; Bro’s Keith Goosby, C.J. Jackson and James Patterson. In 1997 Bro. Geno Merriweather accepted the position of the third associate minister. Bro. Melvin Thomas resigned as minister in October 1998.
We had three associate ministers for a while until Bro. Keith Goosby resigned being away with the Navy. Bro. Geno Merriweather left on September 2, 2000 to take a preaching position in Northern California and Bro. C.J Jackson accepted the position as the minister until moving out of town in 2003.
In June 2002, a Spanish ministry was started in the Annex with Bro. Jose Torres being the minister. In 2013, Jose Torres moved to Northern California and Bro. Angel Valles became our Spanish minister.
Upon returning from his military commitment Bro. Keith Goosby became the full time minister (2003) and served until retiring in 2009. From 2009 until 2011, we were served by local brethren coming in to preach the gospel until Bro. Ed Bush was hired in 2011.
Bro. Ed Bush moved to the Midwest in 2013 and we were served by local brethren until Bro. Stanley Harmon was hired as the full time preacher. Bro. Harmon moved to Los Angeles and is now preaching at the Hawthorn church of Christ.
In 2013, Bro Darrell Williams was preaching on an interim basis and in 2014 was hired as the full time. In 2015 Bro’s Mike Foster, Angel Valles and Darrell Williams were appointed elders by Bro. Anthony Feaster, a local elder-minister from Raven Street Church of Christ in San Diego, Ca.
In putting together the history of this local assembly, we have attempted to make an accurate account of this congregation for past generations and those yet to come, but we make mistakes, however God does not and only heaven is the accurate account to be found, therefore, Let us join hearts in the One faith for which our Lord died and move forward with our marching orders: “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).
Honor all men, love the brotherhood and fear God.
God bless you all
Palomar Street church of Christ