Time it was, and what a time it was, it was
A time of innocence, a time of confidences
Long ago, it must be, I have a photograph
Preserve your memories, they're all that's left you
Paul Simon
Thanks to Gary Cliser for creating this video for me.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Immanuel Baptist Church, La Puente, California, Church history from 1953 to 1958

Immanuel Southern Baptist Church was my church home from 1953 to 1965. My memories of the church and all those who attended with me seems to take on a magical feel. We lived in the same neighborhood, attended the same schools, and went to the same church. We were a close group that lasted until we went to high school. My mother documented much of the early history in pictures.

Reverend Drake started the church in his home in 1953. That was the same year we moved to La Puente, California. Photo taken in 1954 with my brother and I with Faye Drake, wife of our first pastor. 

In the Spring of 1955, ground was broken for the first building of the new church location at 15847 Francisquito Ave, La Puente, California. My brother and I are in the second picture. I am the one in front of the sign, shading my eyes and my brother is in front of me. 

At the time of the groundbreaking, the church was meeting at the Women's Clubhouse in La Puente, California. The 1954 Mother Daughter banquet was held there. I am in the center picture. 

In 1955, the Mother Daughter Banquet was still at the Women's Clubhouse. Ruth Linda Wadley, my best friend, was sitting between her mother, Lida and big sister, Dorothy 

I am in the center of the picture below. 

September 4, 1955, the first building was dedicated.  Rev. Benny Bates, P Boyd Smith, Rev. Glen Smith, Pastor, Mrs. George Myers holding the Pastor's daughter, and George Myers are gathered at the front door. 

The church was a long rectangular building. In the front, there were church offices, then the sanctuary. In the back was a crying room where parents could still here the message and take care of the baby at the same time. There was no nursery to drop the little ones off and everyone went to church together. This is a picture of the crying room.

September 1956, my family at church. The two young ladies are Patsy and  Sandra Peach.

My mother directing the Primary Choir in April 1957. This was the day of the ground breaking for the 2nd building. 

Most of the work was done by the church family. This is Oscar Moser doing the cement work for the foundation. 

2nd building going up but the church it didn't get in the way of Vacation Bible School. 

The only one I recognize in these pictures is me, scowling in the top photo and Birdie Baker, corralling the kids. She is on the left next to the building. 
The Reverend Clyde Rich was the pastor at the time of the groundbreaking. There would later be a third building, a sanctuary on the corner of the property. I don't have pictures for that but do have lots and lots of memories of the church and the kids I grew up with. I am posting these pictures in hopes that someone will know some of these people. 

I believe that this Southern Baptist Church is no longer active but that does not take away from the time we spent as a church family and the work that God did through this church. 

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