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This page has articles written about the history of Emmanuel Episcopal Church of Fullerton. Click on the tabs above to read the articles. The tabs are named with the dates that the articles were written.

The following is from a document written in 1976

The Early History of Emmanuel Episcopal Church

As a result of the population explosion in Orange County, the establishment of an Episcopal mission in West Fullerton was conceptualized in the late 1950's. The vestry of St. Andrews Church in Fullerton were the prime movers in initiating action that resulted in the establishment of Emmanuel Church in March of 1962. The mission was assured as a result of many people in the area formally petitioning Bishop Bloy.

Worship services began on the first Sunday in Advent, December 2, 1962, in temporary quarters at the North Orange County YMCA. The Reverend Wesley A. Havermale, Dean of the Long Beach Convocation, was the celebrant. During the first year, services were conducted by supply clergy and lay readers. Emmanuel Mission came into formal union with convention at the 68th Diocesan Convention in 1963.

In 1963 Bishop Bloy appointed Father Paul D. Edwards as Vicar of Emmanuel Mission. Father Paul Edwards celebrated his first eucharist at Emmanuel the first Sunday in Advent, 1963, when the mission was one year old. He continues as Vicar to the present time (Fr. Paul retired in 1995).

From a congregation of 35 families in its first year, Emmanuel grew in the next five years to 130 families. For nearly the last five years, Emmanuel Mission has been completely self-supporting.

Emmanuel's permanent church site was established when three acres of land were purchased on Valencia Mesa Drive in Northwest Fullerton by the Diocese in September, 1965. Groundbreaking ceremonies were held on September 7, 1969, with construction starting shortly thereafter. The new church was entered in June, 1970. The hexagonal design with center altar is the only one of its kind in the area. It emphasizes the early church's traditional form of worship. The parish hall was named Havermale Hall in honor of the former dean of the Long Beach Convocation.

Community involvement has played a vital role at Emmanuel. One important example of this is the "Fullerton Rap Line" founded by Fr. Edwards in June of 1969 to provide an outlet to help teenagers who become involved with drugs. This came then under sponsorship of the North Orange County Human Relations Council.

In October, 1971, Emmanuel began a 4-year period of sharing of facilities with Friendship Baptist Church of Fullerton. Friendship was carrying on a building program during this period, and in 1975 that congregation was able to complete their new facilities and dedicate their church in South Fullerton. The Emmanuel community was able to help their friends further in a financial way by contributing to their purchase of land. When they ran out of funds at the beginning of the rainy season, we gave Friendship $500 for a roof for their new church. This 4-year period was extremely rewarding spiritually to both communities.

The above is only representative of Emmanuel's growth and Christian stewardship. Included high on the list of Emmanuel's priorities is its commitment to Missionary Outreach— a tithe of its total income.

Listed below are many of the opportunities for Christian expression, growth and participation in the Emmanuel family:

  • a large group of men and women lay readers
  • sponsorship of seminarians
  • a diversified musical programseveral prayer, sharing and bible study groups
  • youth programs under the direction of dedicated adult church members
  • participation of many Emmanuel couples in Episcopal marriage encounter sessions
  • many are also Cursillo participants
  • an active chapter of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew
  • a large and well trained group of dedicated women on the Altar Guild
  • a weekly sharing, prayer and bible study group with one of its principal disciplines to support the presiding Bishop's Fund on a weekly basis
  • a diversified adult educational program which had included such Christian spiritual leaders as Agnes Sanford
  • a well supplied and furnished pre-school nursery program which serves the community
  • sharing gifts with the East Los Angeles parish in their annual Ephiphany service
  • participation in evangelical programs such as Faith Alive and regular annual church retreats to Camp Stevens attended by over 100 members of the congregation each year
  • shared family camping experiences in the high Sierras
  • the sponsorship of a Boy Scout troop
  • a Bishop's Committee which regularly uses the power of prayer in reaching many of its decisions

The opportunities at Emmanuel Church for spiritual growth and Christian sharing and commitment are continually open to the direction of the Lord.

The following is from the September, 2013 issue of the Emmanuel Epistle

Emmanuel Celebration This Month!

This month we celebrate a cornucopia of anniversaries. Fifty years ago Fr. Paul and a group of hearty missionary-minded people started Emmanuel Episcopal Church at the local YMCA. Forty years ago Emmanuel Preschool was launched and within a few years joined by Elizabeth Oates, and later by several other current Emmanuelites. This year Nancy Shively celebrates seventeen years of ministry as its wonderful director. Thirty years ago I came on board as the “new kid on the block” and stuck around long enough to become the “senior” pastor. Eighteen years ago Mo Lyn began her work as Associate bringing a multitude of talents and new ministries to enliven our congregation. And we could celebrate an unending list of other anniversaries of important people and events. Actually on September 29th we are going to go just that! Patty McDaneld and her committee are putting together a multi-sensory celebration of the life of Emmanuel, which will begin with a single service at 9am and continue with a BBQ and festivities. Bishop Diane will join us for the service, and we’re hoping for some Emmanuel Alumni to also be part of the celebration.

Thanks to Fr. Paul’s pioneering spirit, we have always been on the cutting edge of church life. Emmanuel was one of the first congregations to have women lay readers, girl acolytes, and to support women for ordained ministry. Equal rights and fair housing were important issues in the parish. We were in the forefront of the charismatic movement, which lifted up the work of the Holy Spirit and led to a desire for spiritual growth supported by movements such as Bethel Bible Study, Cursillo, Marriage Encounter, Faith Alive, and Life in the Spirit seminars. Outreach ministries such as Million Meals began, connection with Church of the Epiphany initiated, Fullerton Interfaith Emergency Services, Martha House, Aids Walk, Crop Walk, Episcopal Service Alliance and a black Baptist church supported, and over 75 refugees given housing. During those early years the church building, Havermale Hall, and later Edwards’ Hall were constructed, and in 1977 the church became a parish. I came to Emmanuel in 1983 and joined Fr. Paul to become the “Grace Brothers” as these ministries developed and the grace of God proclaimed.

Since becoming Rector in the mid 90’s and later joined by Mo Lyn, we continued that legacy with Fr. Paul as Rector Emeritus. The Good Shepherd Hall was built, narthex transformed into the Angel Chapel, Labyrinth built, Taize begun, St. Francis Garden constructed, and a variety of new ministries initiated. Those years saw the birth of Project Dignity, the founding of L’Arche Wavecrest for people with disabilities, Kairos and Kairos Outside prison ministry, Daughters of the King, the Alpha program for those new in Christ, and Catechesis of the Good Shepherd for our children. We instituted new celebrations such as the Blessing of the Animals, baptism by immersion, Las Posadas, Fifth Sunday BBQs, and a trip to the Holy Land. We started multimedia ministry through laptop on Sundays, virtual Advent and Lenten videos, Emmanuel website, weekly blurb, and various expressions by Emmanuel artists. In the new millennium Emmanuel had Companions in Christ, training for those wanting to be Spiritual Directors, Healing Touch, ongoing Cursillo support and participation, SAGE, LIGA, Legacy Fund, the Emmanuel Community Demonstration Garden, Peace Pole, Drum Circle, Supper Groups, Book Club, and—more recently—the Parachute Group, and T-Party Men’s Bible Study. Whew! Emmanuel has also had a significant impact on the leadership of the church. Over the years we have sponsored thirteen people for ordained ministry (including one who became a bishop!) and have had a major influence for Christ on both clergy and lay people throughout the wider church.

And this just scratches the surface! I’m sure you can think of other great programs and ministries that are near and dear to your heart. None of this would have happened without the inspiration and perspiration of all of you who have given so faithfully of your time, talent, and treasure, and have made Emmanuel the amazing place that it is. Thank you!!! Through these programs and activities we have lived out our mission to “discover, celebrate, and share Emmanuel: God with us.” Because things tend to happen so gracefully at Emmanuel, we sometimes don’t realize how many things have unfolded in our relatively short history. It is good to reflect (at least every 50 years or so!) on the amazing, redemptive, healing, empowering, joyful, and spirit-filled work that the Lord has done in our midst. To God be the glory. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

 

With love in Christ,

Fr. Rob

The following is from the September 19, 2013 issue of the Emmanuel Blurb

Anniversary Adventures #2!!!

(a whirlwind tour of Emmanuel history by Fr. Rob)

Thanks to Fr. Paul's pioneering spirit, we have always been on the cutting edge of church life. Emmanuel was one of the first congregations to have women lay readers, girl acolytes, and to support women for ordained ministry. Equal rights and fair housing were important issues in the parish. We were in the forefront of the charismatic movement, which lifted up the work of the Holy Spirit and led to a desire for spiritual growth supported by movements such as Bethel Bible Study, Cursillo, Marriage Encounter, Faith Alive, and Life in the Spirit seminars. Outreach ministries such as Million Meals began, connection with Church of the Epiphany initiated, Fullerton Interfaith Emergency Services, Martha House, Aids Walk, Crop Walk, Episcopal Service Alliance and a black Baptist church supported, and over 75 refugees given housing. During those early years the church building, Havermale Hall, and later Edwards' Hall were constructed, and in 1977 the church became a parish. I came to Emmanuel in 1983 and joined Fr. Paul to become the "Grace Brothers" as these ministries developed and the grace of God proclaimed.

Since becoming Rector in the mid 90's and later joined by Mo Lyn, we continued that legacy with Fr. Paul as Rector Emeritus. The Good Shepherd Hall was built, narthex transformed into the Angel Chapel, Labyrinth built, Taize begun, St. Francis Garden constructed, and a variety of new ministries initiated. Those years saw the birth of Project Dignity, the founding of L'Arche Wavecrest for people with disabilities, Kairos and Kairos Outside prison ministry, Daughters of the King, the Alpha program for those new in Christ, and Catechesis of the Good Shepherd for our children. We instituted new celebrations such as the Blessing of the Animals, baptism by immersion, Las Posadas, Fifth Sunday BBQs, and a trip to the Holy Land. We started multimedia ministry through laptop on Sundays, virtual Advent and Lenten videos, Emmanuel website, weekly blurb, and various expressions by Emmanuel artists. In the new millennium Emmanuel had Companions in Christ, training for those wanting to be Spiritual Directors, Healing Touch, ongoing Cursillo support and participation, SAGE, LIGA, Legacy Fund, the Emmanuel Community Demonstration Garden, Peace Pole, Drum Circle, Supper Groups, Book Club, and-more recently-the Parachute Group, and T-Party Men's Bible Study. Whew! Emmanuel has also had a significant impact on the leadership of the church. Over the years we have sponsored thirteen people for ordained ministry (including one who became a bishop!) and have had a major influence for Christ on both clergy and lay people throughout the wider church.

And this just scratches the surface! I'm sure you can think of other great programs and ministries that are near and dear to your heart. None of this would have happened without the inspiration and perspiration of all of you who have given so faithfully of your time, talent, and treasure, and have made Emmanuel the amazing place that it is. Thank you!!! Through these programs and activities we have lived out our mission to "discover, celebrate, and share Emmanuel: God with us." Because things tend to happen so gracefully at Emmanuel, we sometimes don't realize how many things have unfolded in our relatively short history. It is good to reflect (at least every 50 years or so!) on the amazing, redemptive, healing, empowering, joyful, and spirit-filled work that the Lord has done in our midst. To God be the glory. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

With love in Christ,

Fr. Rob