1943 to 1955
Sometime in the year of 1943, a group of people apparently saw the need for a Sunday school and church in the La Presa area of Spring Valley in San Diego County, California. At that time the closest church was in Lemon Grove, California. The first church services of the soon to be La Presa Community Church were held in a vacant grocery store on the north side of Jamacha Road, opposite of Gillespie Street. Later on, when the store re-opened, Mr. and Mrs. Sauder's offered the use of a building on their of property. In August of 1945, Articles of Incorporation were formed and filed with he Secretary of State. The signers were Rev. Allan A. Hughes, Ruby Evans, H.P. Wallace, Burt Smith, and Frank E. Mccarty. In September of 1945, Capital Incomes Corp. (T.C. Grable, Vice President) deeded a 100 X 150 foot parcel of land on the south side of Jamacha Road between Gillespie Street and Kempton Street to the church. Sylvia Wilfony made arrangements for a 20 X 26 foot building to be moved onto the land. The first regular pastor of the church was Rev. Dan Apra. Members of the church in 1947 were Daniel Apra, Virginia Apra, Ruby Evans, Sylvia Wilfony, Robert Phelps, Allene Phelps, Virginia Ford and Ann Caldwell. When Rev. Apra left to assume a pastorate elsewhere, there were temporary pastors.In December 1953, Rev. Knudsen sent in his resignation as pastor and suggested that Rev. George Norwag take over the ministry. The congregation and Rev. Norwag were both agreeable to this suggestion. In May 1955, Rev. and Mrs. Don Tinsley of the La Mesa Foursquare Gospel Church approached Rev. Norwag about the possibility of using La Presa Church while their new church was being built, probably for about six months--certain terms to be worked out. This was brought before the church and it was agreed that the Foursquare Church could use the church and it was agreed that the Foursquare Church could use the church on an alternate basis with La Presa Church.
Rev. Norwag left the church early in 1956 due to poor health.In April 1956, a meeting was held to discuss hiring a another minister. It was suggested that Rev. Howard Peirce, from Oregon, might be interested. He accepted the position, and was pastor until April of 1958, when he resigned to go to Washington. Josephine Hutchings was elected as pastor in April of 1958. It was during her tenure that the first water was piped to the church. Up until this time it had not been possible. A pipeline was laid to a spot at the extension of Sweetwater Lane, where Mr. King agreed to have the meter set on his property. In December of 1958, restrooms and a nursery were built in the front of the church. At a meeting in April 1959, Mrs.Hutchings spoke in favor of entering a Pentecostal denomination. However., the consensus was to leave the church a non-denominational community church. It was at this meeting Mrs. Hutching gave her resignation. From April 26, 1959 thru July 19, 1959 there were guest speakers and then on July 26, 1959, Rev. Bernard Olsen was received as pastor. In September 1960, plans were made for remodeling and/or adding to the present church, and also to try to acquire a 25 foot strip of land at the rear of the church from Mrs. Amy, and a strip to the east for parking from Emil Caldwell. None of these plans were accomplished. Sometime during this period, a piano was donated by Mr. and Mrs. Harry Martens. At a meeting in April 1961, there was a discussion about purchasing a duplex to be moved on to the church property, but this plan was shelved. Rev. Olsen May 14, 1961. There were guest speakers from May 21, 1961 to October 1, 1961. Rev Walter Bush was accepted as pastor on October 8, 1961, a position he held until July 7, 1963, when he left to become a missionary thru Baptist Mid-Mission to Honduras. Rev. J.W. Morrison served as interim pastor until September 1963. There were guest speakers from September until December 1963.
On December 15, 1963, Rev. C.W. Searle became pastor and served until May 16, 1964, then on May 24, 1964, Rev. Morrison again took over as pastor until May of 1965. Again, there were guest speakers until June 27, 1965 when Mr. C.R Laffon accepted the pastorate.When C. R. Laffoon took over, he was a licensed minister, but not yet ordained . A couple from the community wanted him to marry them but Mr. Laffoon wanted to be ordained first, which he was in 1966. He then performed his first wedding ceremony in the church. A comment was made that considering the church's past history, Rev. Laffoon would only last two years at the most as pastor of La Presa Community Church. The atmosphere of the church at this time was unsettled, to say the least, and growth was slow. The congregation realized that they needed a dedicated minister who was willing to stick to it no matter what! God brought just that minister in Rev. C.R. Laffoon. Yes, he has had his times of discouragement, but has been faithful and hung in there and because of that God will reward him. In 1968, a building was purchase through a loan from a member of the community, and moved onto the lot adjacent to the church. This loan was paid off in March of 1973, and a dedication service was held where the agreement for the loan was burned. In September of 1976, a new set of by-laws were written to follow more after the pattern set in the N.T. for government and discipline in the church. After being led by God, Pastor Laffoon taught on the importance of the N.T. Pattern. After much prayer and fasting the by-laws were accepted. During the summer of 1977 the first baptistery was built. Prior to this, baptisms were held in a local church after their evening services for a small rental fee. On June 26, 1977, the baptistery was dedicated. A beautiful painting of a river scene was painted behind it by Mary Weldy, a member of the church. In the summer of 1973, the church decided to accept Peter L. Shipley as their deacon. This makes him the first deacon the church had ever had. Since January of 1979, the church has been under going remodeling by Pastor and church members. This is a slow process, but when it is completed we can take joy. Prior to this time, chairs were being used. November 3rd of 2004, Rev. C R Lafoon goes on to be with the LORD after several years as a faithful service to the LORD. Assistant Pastor Peter L. Shipley is named Senior Pastor for 2005. In conclusion, the vision God has given for La Presa Community Church is to make his house a place of refuge where people can go and be blessed the day he comes again for His Church. For we know, "For other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid , which is Jesus Christ." " For the LORD Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the LORD in the air; and so shall we ever be with the LORD." AMEN