So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors [shepherds] and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. -- Ephesions 4:11-13
On January 25, 2015 the San Diego Church of Christ proudly appointed Ron Brumley once again to the eldership of the congregation. Once again Ron, responded to the call to shepherd God's flock. For many it was a historic moment seeing Ron address the congregation as our elder. Many members remember the days when every Sunday, the service was opened and closed by elders Ron Brumley and George Havins. Ron and George were originally appointed elders in 1978. In 1989 Ron and Linda moved to Chicago to build up an eldership there.
Over the next several decades the Brumleys have traveled the world building elderships and family ministries in many congregations. For the past two years Ron and Linda have traveled between Seattle and San Diego serving the leadership groups and strengthening their own elderships. In many ways Ron is an elder's elder. This is attested to by the fact that his son Greg, an elder of the Seattle Church of Christ, was there to participate in his appointment. This may be the first time most of us have ever seen a father and son serve as elders! The San Diego church now has four elders with the hope of appointing more in the future. This marks a great step in our progress to restore and strengthen biblical leadership in our congregation.
History of the San Diego church
The San Diego Church began as a humble house church on Commotion Lane in Poway. The small multi-family church began with an average attendance of 48 people including children. In 1965 Ron and Linda Brumley to move to Poway from Escondido to help the work there. They gave a one-year commitment that turned into 25 years. The church met on Sunday mornings, Sunday nights and Wednesday nights, and had Bible studies with people using the Jule Miller film strips.
In 1967 the Brumleys also recruited the Havins family along with their three kids from the Escondido Church of Christ. With them came Dorothy and Clell Lundy and their two kids. The membership grew to 40 in 1969 necessitating the sale of the Commotion Lane house church to move into rented space at Valley Middle school.
During the late 1960s and early 1970s the men of the congregation rotated preaching duties. Also joining the Poway group during these early years were Jim and Lynda Mays and their three kids. Phil Lester, who later became the first paid preacher, was baptized as a high school junior in 1970 as was his brother Mike shortly thereafter. Phil and Barb Hurtado were baptized in the early 1970s as well.
In 1973 the Poway Church building was built, for a mere $80,000, with a 350 seat auditorium on the corner of Twin Peaks and Midland Roads. The membership of the church was approximately 80 at this time. Phil Lester (now in the New York City Church of Christ) began doing most of the preaching and teaching for the church. The Poway Church sponsored Phil to attend the White's Ferry Road School of Preaching from 1974-1976. He returned and preached for the group from 1976 to 1979. George Havins and Ron Brumley were appointed elders for the Poway Church in the spring of 1978. The Fulcher family also joined the Poway Church at this time.
In 1979 Andy and Rita Lindo came from the Crossroads Church of Christ in Gainesville, Florida. With their arrival came the ties and influence of the Crossroads Church campus ministry which brought the practice of "prayer partners" and "Soul Talks," and laid the foundation for an amazing campus ministry in San Diego (a campus ministry that has produced hundreds of leaders who have led ministries all around the world). Alongside the Lindos, Ed and Karen Townsend and Jess and Cindy Asper helped lead the singles and campus ministries. During this time, future leaders such as the Chacons, Chukes , Carrillos, Mays, Ketterings, Veloz, Hammons, Tachers and many more, were converted. In 1981, persecution broke out against the small congregation. Picketers paraded in front of the building in Poway. The church continued to grow at an even faster pace. At this time Simon Hinn was baptized at SDSU, and went back to the Middle East where his entire family became Christians.
In 1984 the Poway congregation moved from the building on Twin Peaks to Madison High and then Hale Jr. High in San Diego. The Poway Church of Christ then became the Mission Church of Christ. In 1985 the entire ministry staff moved to Boston for further training. The church remained steady under the leadership of elders Ron Brumley and George Havins. In 1986, Gordon and Theresa Ferguson along with Gregg and Cathy Marutzky moved to San Diego to take over leadership. The four couples formed a united team leadership that caused the congregation to experience many blessings and great victories. The Mission Church of Christ moved into the El Cortez in downtown San Diego. The congregation began the practice of "discipling" one another following the example of other congregations. Families like the Oakes, the Browns, the Simmons and the Rosenquists and Randy Haragan moved to San Diego to help build up the church. It was during these years that the congregation held the "Life Campaign" where nearly the entire church moved into the San Diego State campus dorms for a campaign that included daily morning devotionals, door knocking, eating meals together and amazing fellowship.
By 1987, the church was having an average attendance of 768 and experiencing daily baptisms. At the end of 1987, once again the staff moved to Boston for further training. Also in 1987 San Diego financially supported the planting of Mexico City and the Carrillos were sent to become a part of the mission team. Bruce and Robin Williams along with Dave and Cathy Eastman were sent by the Boston Church to help the San Diego Church become part of the then-called "Boston Movement." The Williams' led the church through a church-wide recommitment period calling it a "reconstruction."
The Mission Church became the San Diego Church of Christ at this time. Beginning in 1988, San Diego planted and helped "reconstruct" congregations in Phoenix, Orange County, Tucson, Albuquerque, Las Vegas, Houston and Bakersfield. Also in 1989 Dave and Judy Weger moved to San Diego while the Williams' moved to Chicago. During that time the Ritzendollars were baptized. By 1990, attendance grew to nearly 1900 every Sunday with a contribution of $25,000 per week. Mission teams were sent to Reno, Las Cruces, Flagstaff, Tijuana, and Mexicali. The Spanish ministry grew rapidly across San Diego County. In 1993 the Boston Movement formally adopted the name the International Churches of Christ. Also in 1993, after serving as missionaries in India, Guillermo and Terry Adame moved to San Diego to lead the church. They would lead the church for the next ten years. Martin and Carmen Bentley arrived from Latin America to help the work in the Southbay area. Later that year, Jerry Jordan and Martin Bentley were appointed elders.
San Diego also became part of the Middle East world sector of missions. In 1995 the congregation adopted support of the churches in Egypt, Jordan, Saudia Arabia, Bahrain and United Arab Emirates. By 1999, membership grew past 2000 and 1.6 million dollars was raised for world missions. In 2000, Jeff and Lisa Chacon returned to San Diego. In 2002, San Diego adopted the Philippine family of churches as well. San Diego drew leadership families from the Middle East like the Wadstroms, the Shoffs from Asia, and the Fosters from Los Angeles. The Hodges, Villalobos, Snyders and Nitchoffs also helped build the church during this time.
In 2002, the International Churches of Christ experienced a massive and widespread reorganization. The changes caused a membership decline and compelled leaders to re-examine some of the church's practices. The Lord's discipline resulted in a five-year decline in membership, contributions and attendance. Elders Jerry Jordan and Jim Mays guided the church through these tumultuous times. In 2004, Robert and Michele Carrillo returned to San Diego from the New York City Church. In 2006, the San Diego and Guadalajara churches worked together to plant a brand new church in Zacatecas, Mexico. The Zacatecas Church has been growing rapidly and in turn has helped other church plantings in Mexico. Mark and Cindy Wilkinson were brought from San Antonio to help rebuild the West region of San Diego.
In 2008, the San Diego Church took on the responsibility to help the work in Mexico by supporting the Guadalajara Church of Christ and its family of church plantings. After being hired full-time, the Carrillos asked Shane and Sara Engel (the Youth Ministry couple of the New York City Church of Christ) to come and help rebuild the Youth and Family Ministry in San Diego. Shortly thereafter, the Adames (after themselves returning to the ministry) brought Jon and Yung Gore to help grow the Youth and Family Ministry in the Pomerado Region. Janet Schalk was hired to rebuild the admin of the congregation as well. Todd Spath came on staff at this time to serve the Inland Valley Region. After restarting the Spanish Ministry, Luis and Silvia Mendez were appointed evangelist and women's ministry leaders in 2009. Since then, the Mendezes have served as a missionary evangelist couple to 10 of the Mexican churches that San Diego supports. In 2013 the Peacocks came from Washington and the Shults family from Oklahoma to serve the congregation in the North and South regions of the county.
A whole new generation of leaders has arisen from our summer internship programs. Many have been hired fulltime such as Rachelle Sanvictorres, Alexis Carrillo, Ashley Williams, Peter Chacon, Briana Grimes, Mallory Melchor-Post, Joe Clouse, Daniel Kinnard and Kirk Valle.
In 2010, the campus ministry restarted with a new focus, and quickly began growing again. In two years the campus ministry grew from eight to 70. Tony and Jenae Owens were brought from Arizona in 2012 along with interns Jeremy Melcher-Post and Evan Grimes to help build the great San Diego Campus Ministry to reach the over 250,000 students in San Diego County.
The Youth and Family ministry of San Diego is growing in amazing ways as it effectively wins the hearts and souls of a new generation of San Diegans. Names well-known in the history of the church like Chacon, Lester, Hermosillo, Roberts, Meuller, Mendez, Adame, Carrillo and Schultz (Havens) are spreading the gospel on high school and university campuses across the county. Also in 2010, the Mission Center of Hope opened its doors as a center for training volunteers to serve in the Orphan Brigade, Homeless Brigade, Urban Surf, Youth Corps, Volunteer Corps and many other community outreach projects. With a newfound conviction, the members of the San Diego Church are having a great impact on the homeless community of downtown, foster kids, and the orphan community in Tijuana. Each region of the church serves in various ways both the local community and global community.
Since 2008 the congregation has been experiencing steady growth in faith, love, membership and contribution, while the leadership of the ministry staff, administration, eldership and board have grown stronger, healthier and more united in mind and heart. In 2015 the SDCC hired Ray Schalk to be lead administer of the San Diego church. Today the congregation is experiencing unprecedented unity, fruit and fun even while we continue to grow spiritually and continually repent. The theme of 2015 "All about Jesus" has breathed a fresh breath of zeal and excitement into the body of Christ, even as we continue to advance God's kingdom!
Shared from the San Diego Church of Christ