OUR STORY

St. Andrew’s started with a group of thirty people, led by Reverend Henry C.S. Keeton. The group met together in January 1946 with the hope of establishing a new Presbyterian church in Redondo Beach. On February 24, 1946, this small group held their first worship service in the Redondo Beach Women’s Club. On June 9, 1946, with 100 charter members, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church was officially organized.

The congregation soon outgrew its facilities, and the first building fund drive began. Land was purchased at the corner of Avenue D and Pacific Coast Highway. Ground was broken, and the first building was dedicated, all by the fall of 1948. That first building was known as The Chapel.

In 1949, Reverend Keeton resigned due to ill health, and Dr. William McCullough picked up the mantle and served until August 1950. The Reverend Paul Clover Cox was then called to shepherd the flock of 225. As membership continued to increase, a two-story addition to The Chapel was built, containing church offices and Sunday school rooms.

Following the 1951 building addition, the increase in membership moved so quickly that the session called for an assistant-to-the-pastor to support Reverend Cox. Mr. Arthur Owens, a retired Presbyterian missionary, joined the staff to assist during this time of multiple Sunday services and Sunday school hours.

In the early 1950’s, a sister church relationship was established with El Siloe Presbyterian Church, a Hispanic congregation in East Los Angeles. This relationship continued for approximately twenty years, during which time, the two congregations fellowshipped together and were mutually supportive in faithful outreach to both communities.

A second fund drive began in the spring of 1955. With the membership now at 800, a third service was added to Sunday mornings. On Easter morning of 1958, a glorious celebration was held in the newly completed sanctuary. To those present, it was a thrilling affirmation of God’s hand at work in His ministry at St. Andrew’s.

Around 1960, St. Andrew’s established a thrift shop at the Presbyterian Neighborhood House located in Bell Gardens, a suburb southeast of Los Angeles. Members of St. Andrew’s collected and sorted the items for sale and staffed the shop for many years.

In the mid-1970’s, Orchidea Van Beek, a member of St. Andrew’s, established a home church for Hispanics in the Harbor City area. They soon outgrew the capacity of a home and moved into The Chapel at St. Andrew’s. Here, they worshipped regularly and became known as the Agape Fellowship. In 1983, Ministerio Hispano Agape was accepted by the Presbytery as a mission church. On September 19, 1983, Orchidea was ordained as its pastor. This congregation, now known as Iglesia Presbiteriana Agape, continues to minister in the Harbor City area.

St. Andrew’s grew quickly to approximately 2600 members in 1968. The next milestone was reached in June 1975, when the final mortgage payment was made. A mortgage-burning ceremony was held in July of that year.

Reverend Cox retired in 1988. Reverends Richard Dorst and Rollin Hughes served in the interim until, in January 1990, the Reverend Mark Nazarian was called as senior pastor. Pastor Mark Nazarian currently serves the flock at St. Andrews. He has been joined over the years by Reverend Bill Steele, Reverend Martin Smith, and most recently, Reverend Peter Dunn and Reverend Chelsea Ham.