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History

A CHALLENGED BEGINNING

Olive Grove Church traces its beginning back to 1925 when two families from Orange County moved to a small farming community in the Lakeview valley, east of Perris. After meeting regularly for prayer, they became burdened to establish a church that would meet the needs of the local area. With the assistance of the Mennonite Brethren in Christ Church in Orange, a building in nearby Ethanac was purchased and an infant community church was born. As the only other branch of the Mennonite Brethren denomination in California, the young congregation slowly grew under its new pastor Roy Mudge until the onset of the Great Depression forced it to close.

Eager to find a place for worship, John Wesley Smith, one of the original founding members, devised a plan to move the Ethanac building to a property in Nuevo that was donated by a prominent local farmer. An eight mile moving project commenced with a team of mules pulling the building through the dirt streets, muddied by stormy weather. Needless to say, the building became stuck and hauling was delayed. However, after a few weeks, the small building came to rest on its permanent new foundation in Nuevo. The church was once again open for service and became known as the Nuevo Mennonite Brethren in Christ Church.

 

A TIME FOR GROWTH

By the mid 40s, the congregation had outgrown their small building. A committee was formed to raise funds and build new facilities. After a successful campaign, ground breaking began in 1946 on another donated parcel located one block away on Nuevo Road. In the winter of 1948, the congregation moved into the new building for their first service. Near the same time, the name of the denomination changed. The church was now known as the Nuevo United Missionary Church and was officially commissioned by Dr. Cornelius P. Haggard, president of Azusa Pacific College.

Through the late 40s and into the 60s, the church flourished under the leadership and ministry of numerous dynamic pastors who were committed to biblical discipleship in the community. In addition, the campus itself was expanding. The congregation purchased the Nuevo Community Hall across the street from the sanctuary to serve as a fellowship hall and built a parsonage for its pastor and family. As a result of increasing growth and church mergers, the denomination changed its name a final time in order to more plainly reflect its value in church planting and world missions. It became known simply as the

Missionary Church

. Then, to demonstrate its commitment to denominational values and consistent presence in the Lakeview valley, the church changed its name to Nuevo Community Church.

A PROMISING FUTURE

God’s will for the church is to multiply and grow in relationship with Him. In recent decades, the ministry of Nuevo Community Church continued to grow In 2010, the church purchased 18 acres of land on the corner of Olivas Ave. and Nuevo Rd. Remaining faithful to the call of making disciples, the vision for this property is to ensure that for many generations, people will be transformed to be followers of Christ in Nuevo and Lakeview. In 2012, Nuevo Community Church changed its name again to Olive Grove Church, a name that reflects the church’s purpose to multiply and plant more churches.