El Buen Pastor United Methodist Church will be celebrating its centennial of ministry to the community and the world on February 23 with Bishop Minerva Carcano. Church Historian Al Pineda, an El Buen Pastor UMC member since 1946, has prepared a booklet with a brief history of the church and the pastors that have served during its 100 years.

El Buen Pastor UMC to celebrate 100 years of community, world ministry

January 15, 2014
Santa Paula News

By Albino Pineda, El Buen Pastor UMC Historian

Special to the Santa Paula Times 

El Buen Pastor United Methodist Church of Santa Paula is preparing to celebrate 100 years of ministry to the community and the world.

The anniversary of El Buen Pastor Church will be held Sunday, February 23 at 11 a.m. with California-Pacific Annual Conference Bishop Minerva Carcano bringing the message for the centennial celebration.

El Buen Pastor UMC was given birth by representatives of five different local denominations late in the winter of 1913. Representatives from the Methodist, Presbyterian, Universalist, Church of Christ and Baptist churches formed a committee, which consulted with superintendents of Spanish work for the different dominations and ultimately passed the work on to the Methodists. 

Early the following year a Mexican pastor from Los Angeles was hired at $50 a week who would travel to Santa Paula three days a week to minister to the Spanish speaking community. 

A lot just east of what later became 10th Street was secured and a canvas tent put up which served as quarters for the minister as well as a meeting place. Just a few months later a small wooden chapel was built on the lot and the interdenominational committee formed a corporation...on July 15, 1915, it was registered as a non-profit religious organization known as The Spanish Union Mission of Santa Paula. 

This was the first Spanish Protestant religious organization to incorporate in the State of California. 

The corporation was made up of one pastor and one layperson of each of the five sponsoring local churches and according to letters in the archives, the work of the Mission was praised by local merchants and the community. The corporation supported the Mission until 1947 when all its assets were turned over to the Methodist Church Spanish Mission. In 1954 the present sanctuary and its annex were built with community resources and in 1967 the church became self-supporting. In 1971 the church registered as a religious corporation and in 1983 a two-story educational building was added. 

The church continues to hold two services on Sunday morning, one in Spanish at 9:30 a.m. and one in English at 11 a.m. On Sunday evening a bilingual service is held usually at 6 p.m. during summer months and 3 p.m. in the winter. 

The church buildings have been used through the years by a variety of community groups for meetings, an adult day-care center and as a homeless shelter among other uses. 

El Buen Pastor United Methodist Church has produced several clergy and many good lay leaders.

The anniversary of El Buen Pastor Church will be held February 23 at 11 a.m. with California-Pacific Annual Conference Bishop Minerva Carcano bringing the message for the centennial celebration.

The church is located at 1029 E. Santa Paula St. 

To reach its pastor, the Rev. Dr. Myrian Monnet call 805-525-7268 or email elbuenpastor.umc@verizon.net





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