Below is an excerpt from a reading given at a May 30, 1926 “Homecoming Service”:
In the fall of 1905, some Christian people were worshipping in a little store-room on what was then known as City Hall Ave., facing Eighth Street off Market. Among these were L. J. Tollifson, Thomas Matthews and wife, Bro. Garrett and others, who with the encouragement of Rev. P. G. Linaweaver, then Superintendent of the Northern California District and Pastor of Oakland Nazarene Church, were contemplating the organization of a Church of the Nazarene in San Francisco, when owing to some difficulty, they were compelled to vacate the premises and were without a place in which to worship.
At this juncture, the writer, a traveling salesman and a local preacher at the time in Howard St. Methodist Episcopal Church, having been greatly blessed in a meeting he had just attended at the First Church of the Nazarene, Los Angeles, felt definitely called to throw in his lot with the Nazarenes, and to that end rented a store room himself on Valencia St. near 14th St., and invited the City Hall Ave., friends to come there to worship, which was done and meetings were held regularly for several months until he received a letter from Rev. C. B. Langdon, an old friend and Free Methodist Evangelist, then on the coast, and he wrote Bro. Langdon and asked him if he would be willing to come to San Francisco and take charge of a little band of holiness people who were bent on starting a Nazarene work in San Francisco, and if so, would he come without promise of salary and trust God for results. Bro. Langdon replied saying that he would come and pending his arrival, the writer sent out letters to all Christian people he knew around the Bay District, inviting them to a great holiness rally the following Sunday afternoon in the Valencia St. Hall with Bro. Langdon in charge.
The hall which had a seating capacity of one hundred was well filled and a gracious meeting followed at the close of which, souls sought and found the Lord, and several united themselves together for the purpose of planting a Nazarene Church in San Francisco, and in January, 1906, Bro. Langdon having himself united with the Nazarene Church in Oakland, was regularly appointed Pastor by the District Superintendent, and organized a class of which the following were charter members: Walter Hiskey, C. B. Howard, Bro. Nichols, Mrs. Eliza Schultz, Mrs. Rampe, and Mr. Joseph Grant, deaconess, and the writer, H.H.B. Ciprico.
A former pastor, Rev. P.T. Mammen (and Pastor Jeff’s father) offered this reflection upon the church’s 90th year anniversary:
A preaching station was opened by a few believers in 1905 in San Francisco which later became the First Church of the Nazarene. Proclaiming the life changing power of the grace of God in a very spiritually needy city was their objective. Dynamic preaching of the Word of God brought about such a tremendous change in many lives that a fellowship was formed which later became the First Church of the Nazarene.
Looking back to the original vision of the founding members of this church will enable us to capture the fire that burned within them. This was a fire of holiness to burn away the dross of sin, a fire of new zeal that was needed for the body of believers to succeed in their mission. Through many determined leaders who gave their lives for the progress of this church the original vision is flourishing, This week joining together with the psalmist we recount the many blessing from the Lord and offer Him sacrifice of praise. We have come through earthquakes, fire, storms, floods, rockslides and inner city flight. Through it all, we have experienced the mighty miracle working arm of the Lord lifting us up, sustaining us and leading us like a shepherd.
We pause to thank the Lord for every pastor, local elder and deacon, trustee, and the many wonderful people who have given of their lives and their resources to keep this church as a beacon on the hill for the glory of God. Thank you for being a part of this vision. Together, we can carry the torch that was lit in 1905
|1905 – 1908||C. B. Langdon||1954 – 1960||Ira Paul Dumas|
|1908 – 1910||C. W. Welts||1960 – 1965||Glenn A. Chaffee|
|1910 – 1918||Thomas Murish||1965 – 1967||James H. Ingalls|
|1919 – 1924||Donnel J. Smith||1967 – 1973||Fletcher Galloway|
|1924 – 1927||I. W. Young||1973 – 1976||Lowell P. Moore|
|1927 – 1928||W. M. Mack||1976 – 1983||William N. Hodge|
|1928 – 1932||J. W. Henry||1983 – 1985||Brett M. Eshelman|
|1932 – 1934||Henry B. Wallin||1985 – 1991||Fred J. Forster|
|1934 – 1941||J. George Taylorson||1991 – 1993||Michael Funk|
|1941 – 1950||A. Elwood Sanner||1993 – 1994||Richard Bisson|
|1950 – 1954||Wilson Lanpher||1994 – 2003||P.T. Mammen|
|2003 – now||Jeff Mammen|