Under the leadership of Carl New acting as mission pastor, a mission work began with 32 spirit filled individuals meeting at the La Sierra Grange Hall in 1963. Through God’s blessing and growth, the mission became an organized church, La Sierra 1st Southern Baptist Church, in April 1964. At the organizational service, the area missionary, Earl Crawford, prayed that God would dedicate this church to be a mighty missionary New Testament Church. La Sierra First Southern Baptist Church (LSBC) filed the church’s Articles of Incorporation and was endorsed by the Calif. Dept. of Corporations on October 1st, 1965. LSBC was able to secure the purchase of reclaimed swamp land at the corner of Gramercy Place and Mitchell Ave. Construction on the first building began in the summer of 1967.
Just after the foundation had been poured, Pastor Carl New experienced heart problems and resigned as LSBC’s pastor. LSBC called Bro. R. W. Wyatt to fill the vacancy and he arrived Dec. 7 1967. Bro. Wyatt was a skilled carpenter and led the church members in the construction effort. As the church neared completion, an explosion caused by the chemicals being used to line the baptistry resulted in an extensive fire. Despite the setbacks the building was completed and the auditorium was filled with used seats and a pulpit made by Bro. Wyatt. Bro. Wyatt resigned as pastor in December 1969 and for several months the pulpit was filled by several of the Deacons. Carl New returned for a few months, followed by Dossie Hamilton.
William “Bill” Whaley, a retired Air Force Sergeant was called and ordained as the Pastor. Under Pastor Bill Whaley, the church experienced growth in attendance and finances. A second construction project in 1971/1972 added a Fellowship Hall, Kitchen, and additional classroom space. Upon Pastor Bill Whaley leaving in July 1979, LSBC was served by Dean Carlton of Cal Baptist College as an interim Pastor. Robert Harr responded to the call of LSBC and served as Pastor from June 1980 until December 1982. Pastor Harr and his wife Cindy felt called to mission work and left to serve as SBC missionaries to Brazil.
Pastor James “Jim” Hunton and his family came from Texas in March of 1983 and led LSBC through many years of growth and evangelistic outreach. In May of 2005, Pastor Jim learned he had cancer and was given a few months to live. God had other plans. In spite of the surgeries and other cancer treatments, Pastor Jim remained in the pulpit until October 2006. Pastor Jim went home to glory a few weeks later. LSBC was blessed with several retired pastors as members that filled in. In December 2006, Pastor Bill Villasenor was asked to serve as the interim pastor. In July of 2007, LSBC called Pastor Mike Yeamans to come as Pastor. Pastor Mike was serving as the Pastor of the All Nation Fellowship that was renting space from LSBC. All Nations Fellowship was invited to join LSBC and form a united congregation. Pastor Mike faithfully served LSBC for nearly a decade. In June of 2017, Robert Jewett was called as Pastor. Prior to LSBC, Pastor Robert had served the Lord in various capacities including long-term missions work in Germany, planting a church, and serving as a lead pastor. LSBC is looking forward to God faithfully using Pastor Robert to lead the church into the next chapter that God has planned. To God be the glory!