Olive Through the Ages

Churches: Presbyterian church at Olive

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While researching St. Paul's Lutheran Church's history at Olive, I came across the existence of a Presbyterian Church which pre-dated it. The two churches had a connection in that St. Paul's congregation purchased their first sanctuary from the Presbyterian congregation at Olive. However, the question remains as to where the Presbyterians went after leaving their church in Olive.

My thanks to Orange County historian Phil Brigandi for contributing content to this article from a few of his valuable resources.


The church with the oldest history in Olive Heights

Presbyterian Church at Olive  
Presbyterian Church at Olive in 1899.  

Olive's first church was the Presbyterian Church at Olive, established near present day North Orange Christian Church on Lincoln Avenue.

On November 15, 1896, 12 members of the First Presbyterian Church of Orange were dismissed by letter to assist in the formation of a new church at Olive. Among these members were Mr. and Mrs. D.P. Crawford.

The Los Angeles Times reported on December 5, 1897 that the site for the proposed church was currently being graded. On February 25, 1898, the Times announced the first services were to be held that Sunday the 27th at 3:30 p.m. Services were to be conducted by Reverend Alexander A. Parker of Orange, pastor at that church since 1883, and Reverend Stone of Anaheim.

The church was dedicated on November 6, 1898 in a widely attended afternoon ceremony conducted by the two reverends.

A rare image of the church is pictured here (click/tap the thumbnail image above to view a larger image of the church and its surrounding area in a separate window or tab). This photo was taken in 1899.

The congregation remained at this location until about 1907, after which time the Crawfords returned to the church in Orange, and Reverend Parker no longer served as pastor of the Orange church. The church in Olive was sold that April to the founders of St. Paul's Lutheran Church.

Sources: ProQuest Historical Newspapers, Los Angeles Times: 1881-1986; St. Paul's Lutheran Church History: 1907-2007, A Century of Blessings, by Sue Cramer, published 2007; Fifty Years of Service, 1874-1924 (50th anniversary history of the First Presbyterian Church of Orange), by Sam and Alice Armor.





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