|Frank & Maude Huling came to Buena Park in the early 1930’s to plant a gospel preaching church. Frank was an Army Captain in World War I. He was an acquaintance of J Gresham Machen & R. A. Torrey, both of whom encouraged him in his church planting efforts. Maude was formerly the Dean of Women at BIOLA.
During the depression, they bought 1.5 acres, & turned it into a small ranch. Soon they became known in town for their Christian work, singing, children’s training, & Frank was especially known for his bold preaching. In early 1933 they rented space in an old store front & held gospel meetings there until the 1933 earthquake forced them out. They then moved into an old chapel. The poor conditions didn’t discourage growth, & the congregation soon outgrew the small building.
In 1934, the Hulings gave almost half of their land for the church to build its own structure. Despite their total lack of money, the members waited on the Lord for materials, & assembled the building with their own hands. The church incorporated & held its inaugural service April 1st.
Pastor Huling faithfully served BCBP until his untimely death in 1946. He fell from the steeple attempting to install a set of chimes. Despite this grave setback, the church continued to grow. BCBP even became involved in planting another local congregation, Community Bible Church in Norwalk.
As the 1950’s came, the church recognized the need for classroom space. The remainder of the old Huling property (now the Jain Center) was sold to raise funds for the construction of the Education Building. It was completed in 1956, & in the following year, the church opened Huling Christian School. The school ran for several years, enrolling over 80 students per annum.
In the ‘60’s attendance was really booming. Sunday AM services commonly hosted 175 attendees, & often there were as many or more present for the PM service. Through-out the ‘50’s, ‘60’s, & ‘70’s, BCBP was known as a young people’s church. Scores of teens & collegians named this as their church home. Among them, many committed their lives to full time Christian service, & BCBP still supports several of these as missionaries.
In 1980, the extensive remodeling of the Main Hall was completed, the pleasant effects of which are enjoyed today. The 80’s was also a period of real difficulty. During pastoral transitions, the church suffered significant conflict & reduction. By the early ‘90’s, there were only a couple dozen or so remaining members. When Pastor Best died in ‘96, the church’s future seemed in doubt.
Pastor Alan Lenz came that same year to pastor the faithful core, & God used him to prepare the ministry for the period of growth that would follow. During his tenure Pastor Manuel Gonzalez was invited to establish a Spanish speaking church on the campus. Iglesia Biblica Agape is an independent church which we are glad to host in partnership for the sake of the gospel.
In 1999, Pastor Lenz’s friend & seminary classmate, Scott Bashoor, was called to serve as the current pastor. Since then the church has seen noticeable growth with diverse age groups represented. Today there is a sense of excitement in the church as ministries form, reform, & renew. As always, the heartbeat of the church’s life is the systematic, verse by verse exposition & application of God’s Word.
We are thankful that we have not only a long & storied history, but also that we have a wonderful future as we press forward into God’s grace.