Sunday, July 28, 2013

SE Corner of  Main Street and 2nd Street

St. Agnes Catholic Church
Zamora, California

"A post office opened in Prairie in 1857, changed its name to Black's Station  in 1876, and to Zamora in 1915....The town lends its name to a type of soil... grayish brown, slightly acid loam...used for growing orchards...

" a vibrant but unincorporated community... on Interstate 5... in the northern part of (California).... Zamora "was once a thriving little town with a hotel, two stores, a jail, blacksmith shops, a barbershop, a butcher shop, a medical office, a railroad depot, telegraph office, town hall, IOOF building, post office and six warehouses. There were schools and churches there, too. In 1949 and 1969 modern highways rolled through cutting the heart from the town. What was left was a town with 'no services', only a rebuilt IOOF building, a rebuilt town hall, the planing mill and St Agnes Catholic Church, the school building plus a few houses. But the pulse of the community does not stop with the removal of its heart." (Link 1.)
 "As of 1994, (included in) the following families (that) had owned land or lived in Zamora District for three or more generations (were those of)  Horgan, (and) Slaven... Bill and Joan Slaven raise sheep and world renowned border collies. Michael and Bridget Slaven, from County Tyrone, Ireland settled in Zamora's rolling hills in late 1800s. Their rolling hills pasture-land is home to Slaven's annual Zamora Hills Sheep Dog Trials.... These trials are one of the best known sheep dog trials in North America." (Link 1.) 

In 1908 these two families built St. Anges Catholic Church. On Christmas day 1912 one of the families daughters was baptised in the church.(REF.)

St. Agnes statue

The statue of St. Agnes in front of the church was added in 2004.  It was dedicated by the Bishop of Sacramento. (See plaque in photo below.)

Dedication plaque on statue base

Leading from the church and surrounding the statue is a memorial path outlined in red brick.  Many of the bricks have dedications and memorials. (See photos below.)

Memorial path to St. Agnes statue

 Memorial brick in path to the St Agnes statue

St. Agnes Catholic Church is unique in that the steeple/bell tower are placed at the back of the church. (See top photo.)  This original to the 1908 building.  

Pointed front window and marque

Other features of St Agnes are the pointed side and front windows, the round center Celtic window above the double front doors, and the wrought iron crosses decorating the front stair railings.

 Round Celtic window above the front doors

Cross detailing on front stair railings
Photos: Taken in June 2013 by SW.
Reference: Interview with Slaven/Horgan relative.
Link 1:,_California
Link 2:
God, be with the persecuted Christians through out the world. Amen

Sunday, July 21, 2013

                                                                                                                                 July 21, 2013

8348 3rd Street

First Baptist Church
Downey, California

"First Baptist Church of Downey is a Bible-believing, Bible preaching church committed to living out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20) and the Great Commandments (Mark 12:29-31) by making disciples who love the Lord with all their heart, all their soul, all their mind and all their strength.  We are just one part of the family of God, the church universal.  But here at First Baptist Church of Downey, we desire to build relationships with one another that are centered on the Bible and Jesus Christ." (Link 1.)

The first Baptist Church in Downey  was built in 1876.  This simple rectangular sanctuary with an entrance below a single peaked steeple was moved to Knott's Berry Farm in 1955 where it is used for wedding ceremonies.

1876 Church on church site

1876 Church at Knott's Berry Farm
(1955 Photo)

The Church was constructed in 1876 and built of Redwood. It was the first used as a house of worship by the First Baptist Church of Downey California. In 1922 the building was acquired by Saint Marks Episcopal Congregation and used until 1953. The Church was destined to be demolished when it was acquired by Walter Knott in 1955. The Church was torn down and reconstructed at Knott's Berry Farm and renamed the "Church of Reflections" Many of the Churches original fixtures were preserved.
The Church was located in Knott's Theme Park from 1955 to 2004. It was relocated (See Link 4.) to it's present address where numerous weddings take place every year. (Link 2.)

The second Baptist Church of Downey was constructed in 1955 and used for only ten years.
1955 Church Building

In 1965 the sanctuary/worship center building that is used today was built. (See top photo.)  A mosaic figure of Christ with the inscription  "Come Unto Me and Learn" is above the front doors of the building.  To the right of the entrance is a tall cross and a tablet of the ten commandments. (See photo below.) The corner stone and a heritage plaque are on the right corner of the building.

Ten Commandments

Corner Stone and Heritage Plaque

Deep tones of colored stained glass are used at the entrance and throughout the church narthex and sanctuary/worship center. Yellow glass crosses randomly run along the low wall at the entrance to the narthex.  A green glass cross is above the center doors.  The life sized statue of Christ washing the feet of one of the disciples sits in the corner of the narthex.

Entrance from  inside the Narthex

Narthex Statue
John 13:05 "Then he poured water into a basin 
and began to wash the disciples' feet,..."

The tall center cross of the sanctuary/worship center reredo is flanked by the banners "Make disciples for Jesus and Love one another" and "Give glory to God and enjoy him forever", floor to ceiling screens, and banks of organ pipes.  The chancel is filled with a stepped choir stand. At Christmas this has been used to present a "Living Christmas Tree".


Along the sides of the sanctuary/worship center are floor to ceiling pillars and two story rectangles of vivid stained glass windows.  Through the clear glass windows below, are a garden walk and a wall dotted with squares of colored glass. The balcony across the back of the sanctuary/worship center repeats the square design on its back wall.

Sanctuary/Worship Center Side Windows

Sanctuary/Worship Center Balcony

The First Baptist Church of Downey campus is a rectangle with a plaza in the center.  The sanctuary/worship center forms the anchor on the right.  A covered walkway is across the front row of offices and meeting rooms.  A colonnade stretches across the back of the rectangle.  Stamps Center is the left hand border.  And forward from Stamps Center is the Chapel with a cross, rounded exterior corners, and the double front doors with two half circle windows.


Separate Sunday worship services are held in both English and Spanish.

Sunday, September 29, 2013 the First Baptist church of Downey will be celebrating its 145th anniversary.  Congratulations!

Thank you: To congregation member Katheryn Tritz for a tour of the church
              and to Debbie Fox for information about the 145th anniversary.
Note: Suzanne and Alan Wilson attended the wedding of Betty and  Hal 
Lowen inthe original 1876 Church Building at Knott's Berry Farm.
Photos: Colored photos taken in June 2013 by SW.
(Link 1:)
Link 2:
Link 3:;jsessionid=BAE0372334F99F8F9E17C3135A609DD5?id=17000076
Link 4:
God, be with the persecuted Christians through out the world. Amen

Sunday, July 14, 2013

3080 Prince Edward Street

Mount St. Joseph Hospital Chapel
Vancouver, B.C. Canada

"Mount Saint Joseph Hospital opened in Vancouver in 1946, but it really started with the dream of a young Quebec girl, many years before.
"Délia Tetreault was born on February 4, 1865 in Marieville, a small country town near Montreal. In her memoirs she wrote that as a child she had a dream that marked her whole life:
"All of a sudden I saw a ripe wheat field as far as the eye can see. At a given moment, the ears of wheat changed into heads of children and I understood that they represented the children of the world. I was struck by this dream and told no one about it.
"The dream came true in 1902 when Délia Tetreault (in religious life known as Mother Mary of the Holy Spirit) along with two companions founded the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, the first missionary congregation for women in Canada. Mother Délia felt it was time for Canada to enter into the missionary movement of the Church, and she offered her life to this calling — reaching out to the poor, the underprivileged, and especially, those who did not know Jesus Christ.
"... it was no surprise when she responded to Archbishop Casey’s request and sent four Sisters to Vancouver in 1921. They moved into a home on Keefer Street where they provided health and education services, including a four-bed infirmary.
"In May 1924, the Sisters purchased another house at 236 Campbell Avenue and opened a dispensary. With the need for their services increasing tremendously, they built a new three-storey building next to their residence, and in 1928 opened St. Joseph’s Oriental Hospital. The Sisters started a second dispensary in 1936 at 795 Pender Street, which continued in operation until 1951, providing health services to the growing Asian community.
"Soon the facility on Campbell Street was no longer suited to the increasing demands of a quickly expanding population. The Sisters decided to acquire a larger piece of land, at 3080 Prince Edward Street, and to start work on a new hospital. In 1946 — the 25th anniversary of the arrival of the Sisters in Vancouver — Mount Saint Joseph Hospital (MSJ) was opened.
3080 Prince Edward Street
(Copy of photo on wall of hospital)
"Today, Mount Saint Joseph Hospital is a 240-bed acute and extended care facility with an international reputation for excellence in providing for the needs of multi-faith and multi-ethnic communities....
"During their 78 years in Vancouver, a total of 173 Sisters have served the people through health care, education, parish work and family counseling. Each and every Sister has tried to be faithful to the teaching of Mother Délia, who once said:
“Giving ourselves is our life! It is not enough to thank God in words…we must also transform our gratitude into actions…Let each of our lives be then through prayer, sacrifice and work a perpetual hymn of thanksgiving for ourselves and for all those who forget to thank the One to whom they owe everything. Let us be permeated with the thought, live by it thoroughly and leave it as a heritage to those who will replace us.”
Prince Edward Street Entrance

The main ground floor entrance of Mount St. Joseph Hospital remains on Prince Street.  At the entrance to this building is a statue of St. Joseph and the Christ Child.   

St. Joseph and the Christ Child.

The lovely hospital Chapel is down the hall in the rear of the first floor.   Statues are also featured here.  Central on the reredo is the golden Crucifix of Christ on the cross. Flanking the Crucifix are the statues of the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph with the Christ Child.

The Virgin Mary

St. Joseph with the Christ Child

In the front corner of the nave is a statue of Christ of the Sacred Heart.  Seating in the nave is a bank of 6 pews on one side and 7 pews on the other.  A small electric organ is in the back on the 6 pew side.  

Christ of the Sacred Heart

Lining the sides of the chapel are windows with colored glass featuring a cross. Below each windows are plaques of the Stations of the Cross.

Colored Glass Windows of the Chapel

Station of the Cross Plaque

Mass is held in the hospital Chapel in the afternoons. "Pastoral care services are available on a 24 hour basis for crisis/emergencies." (REF.) For patients and staff unable to attend services, prayers are broadcasted over a PA system.

Photos: Taken in May 2013 by SW.
Reference: Hospital pamphlet "Care of the Human Spirit".

Sunday, July 7, 2013

First Christian Church

                                                                                                                 July 7, 2013

10909 New Street (2013)

First Christian Church
Downey, California

"Love God,love people, serve the world."  This is the mandate of Downey First Christian Church (as stated on their business card).

"...William Justice, a farmer-preacher from Texas moved to Downey in the fall of 1868... on Sunday, January 3, 1869, Justice invited the community to hear this evangelist (B. F. Standefer), marking the first service of the Christian Church in Downey....M. D. Crawford, the secretary and attorney of the Downey Land and Improvement Association, also an elder of the church, arranged with the trustees of the church for the purchase of property near the center of town....for the honorary sum of one dollar. (As of 1969 it was) the oldest structure continuously used as a church building in the city of Downey.

1870's Church

 "A small frame building was constructed on the site at the corner of Fourth and New Streets.  Redwood lumber which was used to build the edifice was thrown overboard and floated ashore at Almitos Landing where it was loaded on wagons and hauled to Downey by a six-mule team supplied by the Skidmores.  A low porch spanned the front, and a spire was situated int he center of the roof above the porch.  Three rectangular windows were located on either side of the building .  Two front doors in either side of the porch were commonly used as entries during the early years.  Soon a project to purchase a bell was started.

Original Bell
(Now at corner of 4th and New Streets)

"During the early 1900s ...several improvements were made to the church building and property......In 1903 the floors were repainted-materials $6.70, labor $3.50. Carpet for the church (was purchased for) $56.45.  In 1904...chairs and draperies were purchased for the platform area-$22.60.  A large side vestibule was added.  The front doors and porch were removed and replaced by three windows.  The front steeple was removed and the church bell was located in a tower above the vestibule. (The church seems to have had an organ at this time since) materials for upholstering organ stool $.35 (was reported.)

"In 1937 Mrs. Sue Huff ...died, leaving the church $1500...  This became the nucleus of a fund with which the church built a wing on the north side of the building housing a kitchen, rest rooms, and several classrooms.

"In 1948 the interior of the  (church) building  was redecorated and furnished with new pews and pulpit furniture, wall-to-wall carpeting and new drapes.  A weekly printed church bulletin was introduced in the same year. (At this time the church was lead  by their woman minister, Mrs. Bertha Sewall, following the 1938 death of her minister husband Edward W. Sewall.)

"The construction of an educational building ...costing approximately $33,000 was completed in 1953.  It included a two-story structure with a large recreation area, a modern kitchen, church offices and several classrooms.

"Ground was broken in September, 1958, for a new building....the original building was retained intact and enclosed in the new structure behind a common front. 

1969 Church*

"The new sanctuary/worship center  was completed in November, 1959, at a cost of $160,000 and furnished at an approximate cost of $30,000.... By 1964 the church membership had grown to 700." (REF.)

The original 1870's church building became the center building in the complex.   (See 1969 photo above.) It was used as a chapel, class meeting room, etc. "Remnants of the illustrious history of Downey First Christian are maintained in the chapel and Heritage Hall area.  Several priceless mementos and other pieces of antique furniture from the old sanctuary are still preserved in the chapel including a stained-glass window taken from the original building." (REF.) 

"However, the ravages of time took is toll.  The City condemned the old building and it stood unused for a period until it was razed and replaced in 1980." The  contractor for this job was Goodman Church Builders. (George Boose) 

Sanctuary 1969

Sanctuary/Worship Center 2013

Photos from 1969 and 2013 show changes to this dramatic Worship Center.  The asymmetrical curved wooden chancel screen that formed the choir loft and pulpit was removed and individual upholstered chairs  replace the wooden pews. An elevated side pulpit and lectern were added. The rows of overhead light fixtures were changed. The stone reredo with its round center window of Christ praying and the cross detailing in the side walls remain.  

Sanctuary/Worship Center Side Windows

Also remaining as in the original 1959 Sanctuary/Worship Center are the colored glass windows each with at center stained glass insert that line the sides of the sanctuary and the tall rear stained glass window of Christ.

Colored and stained glass window at rear of Sanctuary/Worship Center

Note: "Downey is a city located in southeast Los Angeles County, CaliforniaUnited States, 21 km (13 mi) southeast of downtown Los Angeles. The city is best known as the birthplace of the Apollo space program, and is the city where pop singer Karen Carpenter lived and died. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 111,772." (Link 2.)

Thank you: To Associate Administrator Sarah Shead for a copy of the
               Reference pamphlet listed below and congregation member George
               Boose for additional details about the 1980 demolition and
Photos: Taken in June 2013 by SW.
Reference: "A Brief History of the First Christian Church at Downey 

Link 1:
Link 2:


God, be with the persecuted Christians through out the world. Amen