A Brief History of Westminster Christian Assembly
(Compiled in November, 1999)
Sometime prior to 1961, Jack and Lois Peters, former members of Immanuel Christian Assembly (ICA), in Los Angeles, California, contacted ICA and suggested that they consider establishing an independent Fellowship of Christian Assemblies church in the rapidly growing suburbs of Orange County, California. Rev. Paul Zettersten, then pastor of ICA, was responsible for initiating the founding of Westminster Christian Assembly (WCA), in Westminster, California.
In 1961 David and Edith Bakken were called to pastor a small group of people who gathered in a converted home on Bolsa Street, west of Newland Street, in Midway City. On June 28, 1964, ICA authorized the purchase of the present location of WCA, a former turkey ranch consisting of a residence and a utility building on ¾ acres, for $42,000. Ground was broken for the sanctuary on May 21, 1967, with the chapel (currently the fellowship hall) being dedicated on November 14, 1968. Pastor Bakken resigned in the summer of 1971.
In 1971, Richard and Ellen Carlson became the pastors of WCA. Under their leadership WCA grew from nine people to an average of two hundred seventy six by 1980. In addition, a new facility was built and dedicated on November 18, 1979. During this time WCA became active in missions work in Honduras. Pastor Carlson resigned in 1983 to pioneer a new church in Palm Desert, California.
Dan and Karen Fick (Dick and Ellen Carlson’s daughter and son-in-law, and former associate pastors) became the senior pastors in 1983 and served until May of 1987. A dramatic change in the surrounding community led to a gradual decline in attendance. However WCA remained an active church—especially in their missions work in Honduras.
Ed and Marilyn Toews assumed pastoral leadership in June of 1987 and served until 1989.
Bob and Laverne Emerson then became WCA pastors in 1989 and served until the summer of 1997.
Following Bob Emerson’s resignation, WCA began a search for a senior pastor. In the interim, Clifford and Jan Larson served as pastors from the summer of 1997 until April, 1998.
After serving Garden Grove First Assembly of God for twelve years, Ken and Susan Schoening were called to serve as pastors of WCA in April of 1998.