"Downey Memorial Christian Church’s Story
"This is the story of a dream, of love, of fellowship, of life and yes of death; and interwoven into all is the
love of God. It is the story of how a few people gathered together to dedicate their lives so that a church might be born. Devoted to knowing God and to being His people in the world, they became family sharing hope, disappointment, excitement and tragedy, but always secure in the undergirding support of our the Lord.
"The sun rose on Downey on October 9, 1966, and it woke many of the community to a true day of excitement. For it was on this day that they were to see the fulfillment of a dream. This was the day of the public dedication of Downey Memorial Christian Church’s first “real” sanctuary. Eight and a half years of loving work, sharing life, worshiping and being part of a greater family had gone into this dream of building a congregation and, ultimately, a house of worship. It was not to be an ordinary structure, but truly a unique symbol of Christian beliefs – an inspiring testimony of this church’s warm Christian love and open invitation to a needy world.
"The dream began with an idea sparked in the mind of one man, Jack E. Robinson. When he, his wife Margaret and their four children moved to Downey, they were disappointed to find no Christian Church (Disciple of Christ). Immediately, Jack expressed to Margaret the thought that they should move together in an effort to establish a Disciples of Christ witness in their new community.
"So began a new movement in the history of the Christian Church. However, this was not to be the first Disciples Church in Downey. A century ago a Disciples Church had flourished, but later became independent over an early twentieth century dispute. The name Downey Memorial Christian Church eventually was chosen in memory of those early Disciple pioneers and of that short-lived movement.
"The First Worship Service was held on May 18, 1958. The official charter was established on March 29, 1959, there were forty-four charter members. They were not alone as many visitors began attending regularly as well. For the first two months of its life the church was served by the Rev. Louis Mayo, a retired Navy chaplain, who acted as Interim Pastor. On July 27, 1958, the Rev. Lewis Eloe became our first official Minister, serving the congregation and the community with vitality and excitement for the next two years." (Link.)
The large statue of Christ in the Chancel is lit at night, blessing all who pass the church.
Photos: Taken in June 2013 by SW.