Sunday, April 10, 2011

Downey First Church—and remembering Grace Baptist

Downey First Church steepleDowney First Church baptistry

My mom has been bugging me for a while, "What about our old church?" So today, I stopped by what is now Downey First Church.

When I was growing up, this was Grace Baptist Church. There's a main street in Downey called "Old River School Road," and apparently there actually was an old River School. I'm told that this schoolhouse became the sanctuary for Grace Baptist. When I was still in elementary school, the church built a beautiful new sanctuary, and the old schoolhouse became our fellowship hall.

This afternoon, I met Charlie Koo, the English Ministry Pastor. When I explained why I was there, he welcomed me to look around and take pictures. The sanctuary looked much as I remember it, with the cross in the baptistry (above).

Downey First Church outdoor eatingDowney First Church buildingBut everything else was different. I hunted and hunted through my old photos for some pictures to show you, but couldn't find a thing. Charlie explained that a fire a couple of years ago led them to tear down the old schoolhouse building and replace it with a new facility (left). And the old "Fireside Room" and kitchen was completely gone, replaced by this open-air eating and social area (right).

Downey First Church lunchDowney First Church membersWhile I was inside taking pictures, I met Julian (standing, on the left), an aspiring videographer. He's a Downey Daily Photos subscriber, and he soon made me feel like a minor celebrity. The service that had just ended is made up almost entirely of college and professional young people, who were now lunching together and enjoying each other's fellowship. Julian and the others invited me to join them for lunch, and I had a great time talking with them and getting to know a little bit about them.

Thanks, everyone, for reassuring me that while some of the buildings are gone, the Spirit is still there.


  1. Great post! I'm glad you were able to reconnect, glad you shared that experience here.

  2. Thanks for stopping by Pam! Hopefully we'll see each other again.


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