New Church Plant, November 7, 2009 to February 27, 2010
The Los Alamitos Seventh-day Adventist Affiliate Group met for the first time on Sabbath, November 7, 2009. There were twenty in attendance. Dr. Ed Allred provided the facilities to get things started. There were only nineteen members in the group of original founders and most were members of the Garden Grove Seventh-day Adventist Church. They had a vision of working for God in a city without any Adventist church.
Pastor Norman Yergen was asked to lead the group. He had been the interim pastor at Garden Grove, and was also working for La Sierra University as the Assistant Vice President for Advancement.
It took a lot of hard work to get the facilities ready for worship services including chairs, hymnals, a platform and a sound system. Weston Dick was appointed the Church Administrator and was responsible for ordering and purchasing all the supplies and equipment. Weston and Sherrill Dick worked on furnishing and decorating the empty building. Within two months Michael and Mercedes Whitford joined with the first two children, Andrew and Joshua. Michael was asked to managed the sound system.
|Founding members (l to r): Ed Allred, Glenn Hamilton, Dorothy Hamilton, Lance Hamilton, Lisa Ann Summers Fatima Armas, Sergio Armas, Weston Dick, Sherrill Dick, Ted Nyman, Evalynn Nyman, Joanne Potts, William Potts, Gladys Clark, JoAnn Plinke, Emmett Watts, Barbara Watts, Mirtis Ferrari, Pastor Norman Yergen|
Affiliate Group: February 27, 2010 to November 10, 2012
Elder Mario Perez, Assistant to the President, brought approval from the Southeastern California Conference for Los Alamitos to become an affiliate group on February 27, 2010, and by May 2010 there forty in attendance.
The founders became the first church board, and church officers were selected for the 2010-2012 years. Sergio Armas was appointed as Head Elder, with Fatima Armas, JoAnn Plinke, and Lisa Summers also serving as elders. Lance Hamilton became the Head Deacon with Ken Blasius, Glenn Hamilton, Ted Nyman and Bill Potts also serving as deacons. Fatima Armas became the Head Deaconness, with Sherrill Dick, Mirtis Ferrari, Beatriz Trippy, Mercedes Whitford, and Barbara Watts also serving as deaconesses. Sherrill Dick organized the café, JoAnn Plinke and several ladies provided the fellowship luncheons, and everyone joined the social committee. The greeters, Fatima Armas, Sherrill Dick, Glen Hamilton, Dorothy Hamilton, Lance Hamilton, Mirtis Ferrari, and Bill and Joanne Potts made visitors feel welcome. Beverly Maravilla, a religion student at La Sierra University, was hired to develop the Children’s Sabbath School and Israel Flores was hired to play piano on Sabbath. Weston Dick became the first Treasurer, followed by Fatima Armas.
In October to December of 2010 about twenty-five people transferred from the Norwalk Seventh-day Adventist Church.
James Woods, the director of music for Orangewood Academy, soon joined the group and provided all the music programs. He was joined by organist Jennifer King from the Norwalk Church.
Barbara Watts, Evalynn Nyman, Joanne Potts, and Sherrill Dick formed the decorating committee and have made the facilities look beautiful. A church website was developed, and the first year was celebrated with Pastor Gerald Penick, Southeastern California Conference President, as the guest speaker. Children’s Sabbath School classes, led by Ruth Miller, went from one to four and included Cradle Roll, Kindergarten, Primary, and Junior.
There were five adult classes including one in Spanish taught by Sergio Armas, and a Youth-Collegiate class led by Steve Zeller and Melinda Vollmer. Ken Blasius added a beautiful mural to the Kindergarten classroom walls. DeeDee and PeeWee Santoyo began the Kids’ Club for activities and hikes on Sabbath afternoon for the young children. Sergio Armas became the Chaplain for the Race Course, and he and Fatima hold meetings in the facilities on Sunday for the employees of the track. One employee, Jose Hernandez, was recently baptized.
Pastor Don Vollmer and his wife Melinda joined the staff in July 2012. Don is a retired pastor from the Southeastern California Conference, and he and Melissa are doing the important work of visiting the members.
Rives Wiggins became the first person to join our membership by Profession of Faith. Liza Foster and Tim Bui were baptized in July and August of 2012 as the result of Bible studies given by Sandy Everett.
In September 2012 new officers were selected to serve for the years 2012-2014. Rob and Sandy Everett, Sergio and Fatima Armas, and Steve Zeller were selected as Elders. Lance Hamilton continued as Head Deacon, Sally Staiger became the Head Deaconness, and Thalia Van Matre the Church Clerk. Three of the original founders, Gladys Clark, Dorothy Hamilton and Emmett Watts, have since passed away.Attendance rose to an average of about ninety, with one hundred thirty-seven as the high in attendance.
Company: November 10, 2012 to Present
The Los Alamitos Seventh-day Adventist Affiliate Group became the Los Alamitos Seventh-day Adventist Company on November 10, 2012. Elder Gerald Penick, the President of the Southeastern California Confernece was the keynote speaker. Conference Secretary Pastor Sandra Roberts conducted the organization ceremony and the signing of the charter. There were 61 persons that formed the new company membership, and there were 124 in attendance.
Lisa Ann Summers
Pastor Donald Vollmer
Pastor Norman Yergen
Pastor Ruben Escalante, with his wife Penny, became the new Senior Pastor on July 13, 2013. Pastor Escalante had most recently been the Director of Education for the Arizona Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, and prior to that the Principal of Orangewood Academy.
Two youth, William Bui and Arkilles Joshua, Jr., were baptized on July 27, 2013 by Pastor Vollmer, and another youth, Andrew Whitford, was baptized on March 22, 2014 by Pastor Escalante, all after Bible studies with Sandy Everett.
|November 7, 2009||Opening Day. There were 19 founding members. All were members of the Garden Grove Seventh-day Adventist Church.|
|February 27, 2010||Elder Perez brought approval from the Southeastern California Conference to be officially recognized as the Los Alamitos Seventh-day Adventist Affiliate Group.|
|May 1, 2010||Six-month anniversary. Approximately 40 in attendance.|
|October 30, 2010||Celebrated 1-year anniversary with Conference President Gerald Penick speaking. Approximately 60 in attendance.|
|November 5, 2011||Celebrated 2-year anniversary. Approximately 70 in attendance.|
|November 10, 2012||Officially organized as a Southeastern California Conference company. There were 124 in attendance. Conference President Pastor Gerald Penick was the guest speaker. Conference Secretary Pastor Sandra Roberts conducted the organization ceremony and the signing of the charter. There were 61 who became charter members of the Los Alamitos Seventh-day Adventist Company.|
|December 1, 2012||Orangewood Academy gave the Sabbath music program, and there were 217 persons in attendance.|
|July 13, 2013||Pastor Ruben Escalante became the Senior Pastor, 129 persons were in attendance.|