Historical Church
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The Oldest A/G house of worship in the USA. Oldest church in northern california


HISTORY

Tehama’s first church was erected in 1876. Until that time Tehama had been served by horseback missionaries who rode a circuit and visited the village regularly . It all started when Mrs. Jonnie Franks held prayer meetings in various homes in the community back in the early twenties.
As a result of these prayer meetings folks were interested and the group grew.

About this time Rev. Clyde Thompson assisted the group and this was the
beginning of the preaching services. In a short while after Rev. Thompson
Started preaching services , the little group secured the use of the church
located on the corners of third and D St. in Tehama in which to hold their
services With this forward step their number grew and they held regular
services.

Under the leadership of Mrs. Mary Smith Sunday school services were started and
a number of preachers carried on the preaching. The first of them were Rev.
Gilipan, followed by Mrs. Duncan, Rev. Briggs, Rev. Boyd Beck, Rev. Rittenberg
and Rev. Clark. In 1939 Rev. La Porte pastored and then Chester Williams.

From
this time on there was always someone here to preach. In 1941 under the
ministry of Rev. Pickle and Rev. Coryell the group was organized as “Tehama

Trinity Full Gospel Church” and they purchased the church from the Methodist
Conference which originally was the old Presbyterian church.

Pastors following were the Reverends Roy Warwich, John Dudley, John Graham, Wm.
Freeman and Bartley Rush. In 1954 under the leadership of Rev. Bartley Rush,
the local church re-organized and incorporated as the Full Gospel Assembly of
Tehama, and became identified with the Northern California and Nevada District
Council of the Assemblies of God whose parent organization is known as the
General Council of the Assemblies of God.

As part of this organization the local church has a part in a radio ministry which has a world-wide coverage and
also participates in the great world-wide missionary program of the Assemblies
of God. After the resignation of Rev. Bartley Rush, Rev. Edward B. Byram was
called as pastor. During his ministry the local group built Sunday school rooms
to take care of the growing congregation.

WalterBrightPictures

The construction was completed free of debt. In 1955 property was purchased
next door to the church and plans were made to build a parsonage. When the
building was completed they had a three bedroom house free of debt. All the
labor for this project was donated by the people of the congregation and their
friends. After serving the church for about six years Rev. Byram resigned the
church to accept a call from the Willits church.

The Rev. Bill Young was called as pastor and under his leadership the Sunday
school and congregation grew and there was need of another building. So the
Rev. Young and congregation built a multi-purpose building which serves as a
fellowship hall, recreation center and Sunday school room. Rev Young accepted a
call to Pastor the Assembly in Placerville. Then Rev Hilton Park became pastor
in 1961 and continued until, due to his wife’ health , he left the active
ministry. Rev Edward B Byram was called back as Pastor the latter part of May
of 1964, at present plans are to re-floor the church. The church wishes to
extend an invitation to all the people of the area that have no church home to
come worship with us.

The church is entirely constructed of California oak and redwood siding. It stands as sturdy and strong today as when it was first built.

The pews in this church are circular in style and amazingly beautiful. Made of eastern oak they are as hard and heavy as iron. In her book, Tehama: Little City of Big Trees, Clara Hough Hisken claims that “six pews would form a complete circle.” She also claims that they were especially ordered and designed by a firm in Michigan. But other stories of the pews coming to the USA over the horn is usually told by older church goers.

On the platform of the church there is a lighted cross that is said to be at least 100 years old.

There are also two platform chairs that are still in remarkably great condition. They have been around for many years. I was restored and refurbished in the early 80s. They now sit in the current pastor’s office

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