Santa Cruz County History - Religion & Spirituality

Santa Cruz Spirituality: Pentecostal
by Paul Tutwiler


  1. Various Pentecostal, no longer in existence
  2. Assemblies of God
  3. International Church of the Foursquare Gospel
  4. Pentecostal–United
  5. Pentecostal Holiness
  6. Pentecostal Church of God of America
  7. Various Pentecostal

An essay on the development of Pentecostalism in general and in Santa Cruz in particular can be found in the essay "Pentecostalism" in Chapter 5 Particulars.

Please note that "Church of God" appears 15 times in the alphabetical index as the whole name or part of the name of a congregation. Most of the congregations so named are or were Pentecostal.

Various Pentecostal, no longer in existence

» Pentecostal Tabernacle. Santa Cruz, 1909-1912.

In June and July, 1909 this congregation met at Garfield St. near Soquel Ave. (SC Surf, June 26 and July 10, 1909)

The Gospel Tabernacle at precisely the same address and with the same Pastor, Rev. L. A. (Lee) Wilkerson, was listed in the Surf on July 2, 1910. The Gospel Tabernacle at 108 Garfield, evidently the same as that listed in the Surf, was in Thurston 1910-1911 and 1912-1913. It is not in the list of churches in the Surf of July 4, 1914 and July 13, 1918.

The location of the Pentecostal Tabernacle – Gospel Tabernacle suggests that it is a forerunner of the Christian Life Center, which is listed below, in Assemblies of God. It does not seem that there was an organizational continuity between the two congregations, and, in any event, the Pentecostal Tabernacle is, to the best of my knowledge, the earliest Pentecostal church in Santa Cruz County.

For Pastor L. A. Wilkerson's role in the Advent Christian Church see Advent Christian Church.

» Pentecostal Mission. Santa Cruz, 1923.

At 335 Pacific Ave., this association is in the alphabetical and street address listings of The City Directory, 1923-1924, but not in the list of churches, and no pastor's name is given with it. One could suppose that it became the Pentecostal Assembly which is listed below under Christian Life Center in Assemblies of God.

» Church of God (1). Watsonville, 1929-1973.

Originally at 28 J St., (Polk 1929) this congregation, which was probably affiliated with the Church of God of Cleveland Tennessee, clearly remained on J St. (although its address became 428) through 1941. (Polk 1929-41) Then, by 1946 there was at 700 Madison St. a First Church of God, which remained there at least through 1973. (Polk 1946-73) I am supposing that these two names and two addresses are of the same congregation because by 1953 there is another Church of God at 600 Madison St. For this latter congregation see below, Church of God (2).

» Full Gospel Assembly. Santa Cruz, 1933-1936.

This congregation met at 10 Locust St., (Polk 1933 through 1935) and, although the church at this address in Polk 1936 was called Santa Cruz Pentecostal Mission, it can be supposed that the latter was a continuation of the earlier church.

» Full Gospel Mission. Watsonville, 1936-1981.

There was a Full Gospel Church at 12 Bridge St. in Polk 1936 and a Full Gospel Mission at 16 Bridge St. in Polk 1946. A church of the latter name appeared at 258 Main St. in Polk 1950. In 1961 there was a Full Gospel Mission of Watsonville. (Santa Cruz County Articles of Incorporation no. 2328)

Then, from 1961 through 1963 the Full Gospel Mission was at 236 Ford St. in Polk, and in the Yellow Pages the Church of God was at that address from 1963 through 1965. The Deliverance Temple, however, was at 236 Ford St. in Polk 1964. Still later, in the Yellow Pages from 1977 through 1981, the Deliverance Temple was at 524 Rogge St. I do not know how all these variously named congregations were interrelated, but I hesitate to consider them to have been separate associations.

» Latter Rain Gospel Association of Freedom, California. Watsonville, 1944.

The only information I have about this group is that it was incorporated in 1944. (Santa Cruz County Articles of Incorporation no. 1570) In the early years of Pentecostalism the term Latter Rain was used to refer to the outpouring of the Spirit in the current late stage of history. In 1947 it began to be applied to a specific Pentecostal movement in Canada and the United States which was at odds with the great majority of Pentecostals. ( 2008) Since the group in Freedom predated the Latter Rain Movement, it presumably used the term in the original sense. It is, however, not clear that the association came to exist physically. Not to be counted in totals.

» Church of God in Christ. Santa Cruz, 1953-1988.

At 1300 Fair Ave., (Polk 1953-88) this church appears to have been affiliated with the Church of God in Christ, which was established in 1894, has its headquarters in Memphis, and has over 3,000,000 members. (Melton, Encyclopedia p. 43 and *387) Beginning in 1964 its address is 1301 Fair Ave. Polk 1950 lists the Faith Temple of the Church of God in Christ at 1300 Fair Ave. and this appears to be the same congregation. Polk 1970 has Power House Of God in Christ at 1303 Fair Ave.

» Church of God (2). Watsonville, 1953-1964.

From 1953 through 1964 Polk listed a Church of God at 600 Madison, Watsonville. This appears to have been a Pentecostal congregation that disappeared, but I have no other information about it.

» Gospel Tabernacle. Watsonville, 1955-1959.

Polk gives the address of this church as 111 Green Valley Road from 1955 to 1958, and 113 Green Valley Road in 1959.

» Faith Tabernacle. Watsonville, 1960-1987.

Polk lists this church through this span of years at 113 Green Valley Road.

» Full Gospel Church of Davenport. 1959.

This congregation was incorporated in 1959, (Santa Cruz County Articles of Incorporation no. 2135). A person who was a resident of Davenport at the time told me in 2009 that the congregation lasted for "many years", that it met in a house, the pastor's she supposed, and that it helped immigrants "with business and legal practicalities".

» Pentecostal Tabernacle. Capitola, 1960.

Polk 1960 lists this congregation at 814 38th Ave.

» Pentecostal Temple. Santa Cruz, 1964-1971.

Polk 1964-1971 places this congregation at 513 Center St. I propose that this congregation was the same as the Santa Cruz Pentecostal Tabernacle Church Corp., which was incorporated in 1964. (Santa Cruz County Articles of Incorporation no. 2604)

» Jesus Name Temple. Watsonville, 1976-1989.

Polk 1986 through 1989 has this church at 130 Rodriguez St. There was a Church of the Living God Apostolic Temple at this address in the 1976 through 1978 Yellow Pages. I am supposing that the earlier congregation was related to the later one as its antecedent.

In an oral history from 1978 it is stated that there was a church attended by blacks on Rodriguez Street. The Church of the Living God Apostolic Temple seems to be the only church that would fit this description. The dialog recorded reads, "There aren't any blacks in Watsonville." "Yes there are! Their church is over there on Rodrigues[sic] Street, almost across from where Amelia lives." (Watsonville: "I Would Have Told it if I had a Chance." A Collection of Oral Histories of Ethnic People. Watsonville: International Senior Citizens' Center, 1978. p. 127, from interview with Lopez family conducted by Tina Starkey)

» Centro Cristiano. Watsonville, 1988.

Polk’s 1988’s entry for this church at 113 Green Valley Road is the only indication I have of its existence.

» New Jerusalem Church. Watsonville, 1990s

Opened in 1990 or 1991, (SC Sentinel, Nov. 15, 2005) this congregation was Pentecostal. (SC Sentinel, Dec. 17, 2005) Other items of information about it are in the SC Sentinel, April 12, 2005 and Jan. 21, 2006 and the Watsonville Pajaronian, Dec. 9, 2005. All this newspaper information is in connection with the trial of the former pastor for alleged sexual molestation of a minor female church member.

Assemblies of God

The Assemblies of God, one of the largest Pentecostal groups of churches, is Baptistic and Trinitarian, terms explained in Chapter 5 Particulars.

It is also both Evangelical and Fundamentalist, and its founding, in 1914, marked the beginning of Pentecostalism as a distinct set of denominations. (Melton, Encyclopedia *313)

» Christian Life Center. Santa Cruz. 1924-2010.

Glad Tidings Tabernacle
Glad Tidings Tabernacle
Image courtesy of P. Tutwiler.

In 1924 the Pentecostal Assembly was at 37 Soquel Ave., and in 1925 the Glad Tidings Pentecostal Assembly was at the same address. In 1927 the Glad Tidings Pentecostal Assembly was located at "Harrison, cor Ocean;" in 1929 its address was given as 25 Harrison; in 1937 it was at 125 Harrison; in 1948 it was at 125 Dakota. In the meanwhile, in 1927 it had changed its name to Glad Tidings Tabernacle of the Assemblies of God. (Santa Cruz County Articles of Incorporation no. 928) In 1949 it became the First Assembly of God Church of Santa Cruz, (also Santa Cruz County Articles of Incorporation no. 928) and by 1950 it had moved to 1005 Mission St. In 1977 it changed its name to Christian Life Center. The continuity expressed in this paragraph is clear from the articles of incorporation and from the year to year progression in the three kinds of listings in Polk 1924-1977: classified, alphabetical, and street address.

It is also necessary to know that the "Harrison" on which the church was located was "E From Garfield to Ocean 1 blk n of Soquel," and not the Harrison Street which was near Morrissey Blvd. The "Harrison" of the church became "Dakota" in 1946 or 1947. Moreover, in 1950, the first year of the First Assembly of God on Mission Street, the Dakota Avenue site had become Santa Cruz County offices, although the classified section still had the Glad Tidings Tabernacle there (as well as the First Assembly of God Church on Mission Street). In 2002 or 2003 the Christian Life Center absorbed the Christian Life Center Churches in Scotts Valley and in Aptos. The structure of the one in Scotts Valley became the Scotts Valley Community Center, but the other building was still for sale in September, 2003. (SC Sentinel, Sep. 14, 2003)

The Christian Life Center is affiliated with the General Council of the Assemblies of God, ( 2010) and its address is 1009 Mission St., Santa Cruz 95060, tel. 426-7733. (2010 Yellow Pages)

» Monte Vista Christian School. Watsonville, 1926-2010.

Grades 6 through 12, founded in 1929, this Interdenominational school is located at 2 School Way, Watsonville 95076, tel. 722-8178. ( 2010) A local observer tells me that the chapel was at one time connected with the Assemblies of God, but this is no longer the case.

» Pajaro First Assembly of God. Watsonville, 1937-1976.

The Full Gospel Church of Pajaro was incorporated in 1939; its name was changed to Pajaro First Assembly of God in 1963, at which time its address was 20 Salinas Road. (Santa Cruz County Articles of Incorporation no. 3332) I do not quite see how to reconcile with the incorporation facts the listings in Polk, which are:

  • There was a Pentecostal Church of Pajaro at 30 Salinas Road from 1937 to 1946.
  • The Full Gospel Church of Pajaro was at 20 Salinas Road in 1946.
  • The Pajaro First Assembly of God Church was at 505 San Juan Road, Watsonville from 1964 to 1973 — and 1976 in the Yellow Pages.

Nevertheless I propose that all the above information refers to one and only one congregation.

Pajaro Valley
View of Pajaro Valley from Hecker Pass, Watsonville
From Santa Cruz Public Libraries' Postcard Collection.

» Christian Fellowship Center. Santa Cruz, 1938-200?.

From 1938 through 1940 this church was called the Pentecostal Church of God and was located at 111 Grant Ave. In 1941 it remained at this address but was called the Bethel Pentecostal Church. In 1946 the Pentecostal Church of God was at 208 Hammond Avenue, but by 1950 its address was 140 Hammond. In 1955 the church at this latter address became the Bethel Assembly of God. By 1970 it was called Bethel Assembly of God Eastside. In 1980 it was still the Bethel Assembly of God, but in 1982 it was listed simply as the Assembly of God. From 1985 to 1988 the Christian Fellowship Center was at this address. All the information in this paragraph is from Polk 1938 through 1988.

In 2006, 2007, and 2008 the Christian Fellowship Center was not listed in the White or Yellow Pages, but the Assemblies of God website, 2008, claimed it and gave the telephone number of the pastor, 458-1265.

In February 2007 I visited the site and found a church structure, complete with a large cross, but no sign identifying it as host to a worshipping congregation.

Christian Fellowship Center
Christian Fellowship Center, Santa Cruz
Image courtesy of P. Tutwiler.

» Assembly of God Church. Soquel, 1949-2003.

This was organized in 1949 as the Friendly Community Church of the Assembly of God, and it moved to 2715 Porter St. in 1952. (SC Sentinel, Nov. 14, 1952) A new addition was dedicated in 1958. (SC Sentinel, Dec. 5, 1958) In 1970 ground was broken for the Soquel Assembly of God at 5630 Soquel Dr., (Cabrillo Times and Green Sheet, June 11, 1970) which was then called the Cabrillo Assembly of God. (Polk 1970 - 1980 and SC Sentinel, July 26, 1984) Still later it was called the Soquel Church of Grace, (1993 through 2002 Yellow Pages, which list it under Assemblies of God) and, before the building was sold to the Inner Light Ministries in 2003 it was also called simply Church of Grace. (SC Sentinel, Sep. 23, 2003)

» Aptos Christian Fellowship. 1950-2010.

In 1950 a group of people started a Bible study group in Valencia Hall, a former country schoolhouse in Aptos. (1998 Directory of the Aptos Assembly of God published by the Gospel Publishing House, Cleveland, Tennessee)

By 1954 they had been recognized as a congregation by the Assemblies of God, and soon after that they built a small church structure. They built (literally built, i. e., by volunteer labor) their present church, and dedicated it in 1979. (Eric Johnson, Aptos Assemblies of God Church: An Engagement in Myriad Acts. 1988 manuscript in UCSC Special Collections, pp. 5-6.) For some years it was known as the Assembly of God Aptos. (1975 and 1983 Yellow Pages.) Its address is 7200 Freedom Blvd., Aptos 95003, tel. 688-3312. (2010 Yellow Pages.)

» Bethany University. School, Scotts Valley, 1950-2010.

This institution is affiliated with the General Council of the Assemblies of God. In 1950 the Glad Tidings Bible Institute of Oakland moved to the Assemblies of God property called Bethany Park at 6457 Los Gatos Hwy., Santa Cruz. (Polk 1960) The Institute was renamed Bethany Bible College. (SC Sentinel, Sep 19, 1950)

From the website 2010:

"Bethany College is a four-year, regionally accredited, coeducational institution of higher education that has been operated by the Northern California and Nevada District of the Assemblies of God since 1919. The mission of the College is to prepare men and women for Christian leadership, whether within the church or in the larger society. Historically, Bethany has been the leading source of ministers and lay leaders for the supporting denomination, but more than a third of the students enrolled come from other Pentecostal, charismatic, and evangelical traditions."

The website in 2010 contains this and much more information about the institution.

On April 20, 2005 the Northern California and Nevada District Council of the Assemblies of God approved the change of name to Bethany University. (SC Sentinel, Apr. 25, 2005) Although the location has not changed, the present address is 800 Bethany Dr., Scotts Valley 95066, tel. 438-3800. (2010 Yellow Pages)

» Grace Temple. Watsonville, 1959-2010.

This church was incorporated in 1959 as the New Hope Chapel, Assembly of God, of Freedom, Calif. (Santa Cruz County Articles of Incorporation no. 2233) It was called New Hope Church (Polk 1959 through 1967) and New Hope Chapel-Assemblies of God, (Polk 1969 through 1973) both of which were at 311 Roache, a location that became 311 Airport Blvd.

In 1975 it incorporated as Grace Temple. (Santa Cruz County Articles of Incorporation no. 4134) Its address in the 1975 Yellow Pages was 209 Prospect. It was, however, at 311 Airport Blvd. in the SC Sentinel, July 26, 1984 and Polk 1986 and it is still there, tel. 722-5186. (2010 Yellow Pages)

Whether Grace Temple is, properly speaking, the lineal descendant of New Hope Chapel or its successor I do not know from the information presented here. However this may be, the present congregation is an affiliate of the Northern California and Nevada Council of the Assemblies of God. (obituary of a "pioneer member," Tranquillino Empleo Dizon, SC Sentinel, April 1, 2005)

» House of Prayer Community Church. Santa Cruz County, 1960-2010.

Since at least 1988, this church has been at 905 Amesti Road, Watsonville 95076, tel. 722-9243. (1988 through 2008 Yellow Pages) It was, however, incorporated in 1960 as the House of Prayer Assembly of God, (Santa Cruz County Articles of Incorporation no. 2363) which is the name under which it is listed in the 2010 Yellow Pages.

» Redwood Christian Center. Felton, 1963-2010.

From 1963 through 1980 this congregation was called Felton Assembly of God. (1963-1980 Yellow Pages) In 1966 it was incorporated as the Valley Assembly of God of Felton. (Santa Cruz County Articles of Incorporation no. 2931) The earliest entry I have for it under its current name is in the SC Sentinel, July 26, 1984. Located at 6869 Hwy. 9, Felton 95018, tel. 335-5307, (2010 Yellow Pages) it is listed on the Assemblies of God website, 2010.

» Faith Chapel Assembly of God. Boulder Creek, 1964.

The address of this congregation was Central Avenue, Boulder Creek. (Valley Press, Feb. 19, 1964)

» Scotts Valley Christian Center. 1964-2000.

The Scotts Valley Assembly of God Church was incorporated in 1958. (Santa Cruz County Articles of Incorporation no. 2081) Also known as the Assembly of God Scotts Valley, (1965 Yellow Pages) it became in 1972 the Maranatha Assembly of God and remained such until at least 1982. (1972-1982 Yellow Pages) In the period 1993 through 2000 it had the name Scotts Valley Christian Center. (1993 through 2000 Yellow Pages) Its address throughout all these years was 123 S. Navarra Drive.

» Templo El Calvario Spanish Assembly. Watsonville, 1966-1989.

As listed in Polk 1969 through 1972, the address is 152 Blackburn St., in 1973 through 1986 it is 517 Center St., and in 1988 through 1989 it is 731 Center St.

The Templo Universal Spanish Assembly of Watsonville, incorporated in 1966 (Santa Cruz County Articles of Incorporation no. 3379) may have been totally unrelated to the Templo El Calvario, but, not knowing anything else about it, I am placing it here on the likelihood that the difference is merely in the corporate versus the popular name.

» Sherwood Christian Schools. Santa Cruz County? 1967.

The only information I have about this entry is that it was incorporated in 1967 as an Assemblies of God facility. (Santa Cruz County Articles of Incorporation no. 3077) Not to be counted in totals.

» Green Valley Christian School. Watsonville, 1970-2010.

K-8, founded in 1970; accredited by the Association of Christian Schools International. According to its website, 2010, it is located at the Green Valley Christian Center, address 376 South Green Valley Road, Watsonville 95076, telephone number, 724-6505.

» Full Gospel Church of Las Lomas. Monterey County, 1975-2010.

The earliest date I have for this congregation is 1975. (1975 Yellow Pages) Listed on the Assemblies of God website 2010, it is located at 29 Willow Road, Watsonville 95076, tel. 722-1413. (2010 Yellow Pages)

» Green Valley Christian Center. Watsonville, 1977-2010.

Since its establishment in 1977, (1977 Yellow Pages) this congregation has been at 376 South Green Valley Road, Watsonville 95076, tel. 728-1424. ( 2010)

» Coast Chapel. Live Oak, 1980-2010.

In 1980 and 1981 this was the El Salvador Church, (1980-1981 Yellow Pages) but in 1980 it was also the Assembly of God Church. (Polk, 1980)

Referred to as the Redwood Coast Chapel in the SC Sentinel if Nov. 10, 2007, it was called the Coast Community Chapel in the 2003 Yellow Pages and on the Assemblies of God website, 2010. On its own website, 2010 and in the 2010 Yellow Pages its location is 1275 30th Ave., Santa Cruz 95062, tel. 475-4351.

» Faith Chapel. Capitola, 1982-1995.

This congregation's address in the SC Sentinel, July 26, 1984, and in the 1993 Yellow Pages was 120 Monterey Ave., the Capitola Theater. Generally, however, in that span of years it was listed without address in the Yellow Pages.

» Fasting Prayer Mountain of the World. Conf center, Scotts Valley, 1985-2010.

Established in 1985 by Korean immigrants who were members of the Korean Assemblies of God, which had a large center at "Fasting Prayer Mountain" there, this conference center retains informal links with Assemblies of God in San Jose, but is characterized by its co-pastors as non-denominational. (visit of July, 2004) It is located at 997 Lockhart Gulch Road, Scotts Valley 95066, tel. 335-5635. (2010 White Pages, which use the name Fasting Prayer Chapel)

» Solid Rock Church of Boulder Creek. 1992.

This congregation, which met in the Boulder Creek Recreation Hall, was identified in the 1992 Yellow Pages as being of the Assemblies of God.

» Seascape Community Church. Aptos, 1993-1998.

The Yellow Pages for each of the years 1993-1998 list this congregation under Assemblies of God, but give only a telephone number without an address.

» Puerta Camino Y Meta. Watsonville, 2003-2010

At 124 East Lake Ave., Watsonville 95076, tel. 728-9007, this congregation is listed under "Assemblies of God-Independent." (2010 Yellow Pages) and it is not listed in the Assemblies of God website, 2010.

» Sojourners Church. Scotts Valley, 2004-2010.

Meeting at the Scotts Valley Community Center, this congregation can be reached through its website, 2010 and an email address given on the Assemblies of God website 2010.

International Church of the Foursquare Gospel

The flamboyant, charismatic preacher Aimee Semple McPherson founded a congregation in the Angelus Temple, Los Angeles, in 1923, and by 1927 this had grown to be the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel. The four points to which its name refers are Christ as savior, baptizer, healer, and coming king. (Melton, Encyclopedia *329)

The International Church of the Foursquare Gospel is Baptistic and Trinitarian, terms explained in Chapter 5 Particulars.

» Foursquare Gospel Church. Santa Cruz, 1946-1988.

This church was at 1101 Bay St., Santa Cruz, (Polk 1948-1988) but one would suppose that it was a descendant of the Four Square Gospel [Church] at 12 Younglove Ave. in Polk 1946.

» Four Square Gospel Church. Watsonville, 1946-1969.

In Polk 1946 it was at 258 Main St., but it was at 527 Center St. in Polk 1950-1969. In 1969 Polk listed it simply as Foursquare Church.

» Lighthouse Christian Fellowship. Soquel, 1981-2010.

Founded in 1981, this congregation moved its worship location from the pastor's house to a hall in Twin Lakes College of Healing Arts, then to a room in a fitness center, and then to a storefront site in El Rancho Shopping Center on Portola Avenue, all by 1983. (Alfred S. L. Kwok, "Lighthouse Christian Fellowship." UCSC Humanities 61, Spring 1984. Manuscript in UCSC Special Collections)

In 1984 its address was 43 Rockview Dr., "Opal Cliffs," which is in Live Oak. (SC Sentinel, July 26, 1984) This last site may have been the pastor's address, but, however that may have been, the congregation has been worshiping at the present address, 4525 Soquel Dr., Soquel 95073, tel. 462-5452, since 1986. (1986 through 2008 Yellow Pages and 2010 White Pages)

The website 2010 states that Crosspoint Church is a new church, but its address and telephone number are those of Lighthouse Christian Fellowship, and the website copyright is to "Crosspoint Foursquare Church".

» New Hope. Scotts Valley, 1975-2010.

From 1975 until at least 1993 this congregation was known as the Community Foursquare Church of Scotts Valley, (1975 and 1993 Yellow Pages) but in 1998 it was listed as the Valley Praise Center. (1998 Yellow Pages) Since at least 2003 it has had its present name, and as it was from the beginning, it is at 4001 Granite Creek Road, Scotts Valley 95066, tel. 438-1771. (2003 and 2010 Yellow Pages)

» Coastlands. Aptos, 1984-2010.

This congregation was established on New Year's Eve, 1984 in the Soquel home of the founding pastor. It used several temporary places of worship, including the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Soquel, before moving to its present location. (SC Sentinel, Dec. 16, 2006)

In 1991 it began leasing its present location from Dominican Hospital, which had bought it from the Poor Clare Nuns. (SC Sentinel, May 24, 2007)

It claims "A non-religious approach to understanding the Christian faith." (SC Sentinel, May, 2003) It is, however, affiliated with the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel. ( 2010) In the 2010 Yellow Pages it is also called Aptos Foursquare Church. It is located at 280 State Park Dr., Aptos 95003, tel. 688-5775. (2010 Yellow Pages)

» Lighthouse Christian Fellowship. Watsonville, 1989-?

This Foursquare Gospel Church met at 113 Green Valley Road. (Told to me by one of its founding members.)

» Santa Cruz Chapel. 1992-2003.

The 1992 through 2003 Yellow Pages list this under "Churches-Foursquare Gospel," but it was not listed in either the 2004 Yellow Pages or White Pages. After it ceased to be a Foursquare Gospel church the building was privately owned, first by one party and then, after 2004, by another, who was using it as his residence, at 429 Pennsylvania Ave., in 2006. (private communication from the 2006 owner)

» Grace Fellowship. Scotts Valley, 1995-2004.

This church, at 6062 Graham Hill Road, Scotts Valley 95066, was listed in the White Pages starting in 1995 and in the Yellow Pages of 2004, but in 2005 it was in neither.


The United Pentecostal Church International was founded in 1945 from preexisting Pentecostal groupings. It is the largest non-Trinitarian Pentecostal church in North America. (Anderson, Pentecostalism, p. 49)

» United Pentecostal Church. Watsonville, 1950.

This church was at 25 Van Ness Ave. (Polk 1950)

» Cornerstone United Pentecostal Church. Watsonville, 1951-2010.

It appears that this congregation was incorporated in 1951 as the United Pentecostal Church of Watsonville. (Santa Cruz County Articles of Incorporation no. 1691) According to the founding pastor's obituary, which calls the church the First United Pentecostal Church, it was founded in 1953 or shortly after that. (SC Sentinel, Dec. 16, 2004)

Polk 1955 lists United Pentecostal [Church] at 457 Carey Ave., and Polk 1967 has it at its present address. The Yellow Pages have listed it at least since 1983, the name change occurring between 1998 and 2003. The present address is 302 Carey Ave., Watsonville 95076, tel. 724-2866. (2010 White Pages)

The congregation is listed on the United Pentecostal Church International website, 2010.

» Christ Temple. Santa Cruz, 1952-1980.

This church was dedicated in 1952. (SC Sentinel, Nov. 14, 1952) With 1335 Seabright Ave. as its address, it was listed specifically as the Christ Temple United Pentecostal Church in Polk 1980.

» First United Pentecostal Church of Santa Cruz. Live Oak, 1987-2010.

This congregation appeared, without address, in the 1987 Yellow Pages and it was still listed there in the same way in 2003. I observed from the street in 2004 a sign showing that the congregation was meeting in the facility of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at 2301 17th Ave., Live Oak, but since 2005 I no longer saw the sign.

Early in 2006 the United Pentecostal Church International website,, listed the congregation, giving only a telephone number, but in 2010 the website lists the telephone number, 476-4038, and an address, 111 Errett Circle, Santa Cruz. The 2010 White Pages also give the number, but not the address.

Pentecostal Holiness

With roots both Methodist and Baptist, dating back to the 19th century, the Pentecostal Holiness Church was established in 1911, and in 1975 it prefixed "International" to its name. Its headquarters are in Bethany, Oklahoma. ( 2008) The characteristic belief of all Pentecostal Holiness churches, as stated in Chapter 5 Particulars, is that the experience of the fullness of Christian life occurs in three stages. I presume that the first five following congregations, no longer in existence, were affiliated with it. The other congregations in this heading are certified as IPHC churches by the website.

» Santa Cruz Revival Center. Live Oak, 1946-1984.

In 1946, according to Polk, there was, among "miscellaneous churches," a Santa Cruz Revival Center at 26 Short St., and from 1984 to 1986 the Yellow Pages listed under Pentecostal Holiness a church of the same name at 1818 Felt St., Live Oak.

The Santa Cruz Revival Tabernacle was incorporated in 1957 in order to, among other purposes, "establish, operate and maintain missions, churches, societies, Bible Classes, and Christian Workers' Training Centers." (Santa Cruz County Articles of Incorporation no. 2012)

The Revival Center, Santa Cruz was incorporated in 1973 "for worship, Christian education, and evangelization" in connection with the North American Evangelistic Association. (Santa Cruz County Articles of Incorporation no. 3730)

Not having further information about any of these entries, I hesitate to think that they refer to multiple congregations.

» Pentecostal Holiness Church. Santa Cruz, 1950.

This church was at 139 Walnut Ave. (Polk 1950)

» Pentecostal Holiness Church. Live Oak, 1953-1975.

There was a church of this name at 1315 or 1331 Bulb Ave. from 1953 to 1975; the address given in Polk varied between the one and the other.

» Pentecostal Holiness Mission. Monterey County, 1955-1989.

Polk 1955 listed this church as Pentecostal Holiness, whereas Polk 1960 through 1967 had Pentecostal Holiness Mission. The 1975 Yellow Pages had at this address Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ International, and Polk 1986 through 1989 had Templo Bethlehem there. The address was 16 San Juan Road, Watsonville.

» Eastside Friendly Bible Church. Live Oak, 1964-1985.

In 1964 the East Side Friendly Bible Church was at 1319 Water St., Santa Cruz. (Polk 1964)

In 1970 the Santa Cruz Eastside Friendly Bible Church was at 1830 Felt St., and the Friendly Bible Church was at 885 17th Ave. (Polk 1970)

From 1974 to 1985 at 1818 Felt St. was the Santa Cruz Eastside Friendly Bible Church. (Polk 1974-1985) Nevertheless the SC Sentinel for July 26, 1984 lists the Christian Faith Center at 1818 Felt St.

» Iglesia Santa Pentecostes Templo Jerusalem. Watsonville, 1969-2010.

Polk 1969 through 1973 and the 1975 Yellow Pages have Templo Jerusalem at 9 Brooklyn St. This appears to be the same congregation as the Iglesia Santa Pentecostes Templo Jerusalem, as does the Iglesia de Dios at 209 Prospect in the 1978 Yellow Pages. The church's address in Polk 1989 was 702 Madison St., but the present address is 209 Prospect St., Watsonville 95076, tel. 724-7764. (2010 Yellow Pages)

» Christian Heritage Church. Watsonville, 1973-1989.

The Green Valley Pentecostal Holiness Church was at 336 Green Valley Road in Polk, 1973. This church appears to have become the Christian Heritage Church at the same address. (1983 Yellow Pages and SC Sentinel, July 26, 1984) In Polk 1989 the address of the Christian Heritage Church was 185 Westridge.

» Church of the Rock. Watsonville, 1988-1992.

In 1988, at 1818 Felt St., Live Oak, stood the Church of the Rock according to Polk. In 1991 the church of this name ceased to be on Felt, but in 1993 the Church on the Rock appeared at 2-1507 East Cliff in East Cliff Village, Live Oak. In 1995 the Live Oak church ceased to be listed, but the Pacific Christian Fellowship, as noted below, appeared in its place. These dates are from the Yellow Pages, where the church, like the Church on the Rock in Watsonville, was under the heading Charismatic.

» Church on the Rock. Watsonville, 1991-1999.

In 1991 a church with this name appeared at 185 Westridge Dr. Watsonville. Then, in 1997, the church on Westridge Dr. began to be called Watsonville Believers Christian Fellowship, but it no longer appeared in 2000. These dates are from the Yellow Pages, where the church, like the Church on the Rock in Live Oak, was under the heading Charismatic.

» Pacific Christian Fellowship. Live Oak, 1993-2010.

Founded in 1993, ( 2007), this church was at 2-1507 East Cliff (East Cliff Village) in 1995 and 1996 according to the Yellow Pages, but in 1997 it was at 2245 Capitola Road, Santa Cruz 95062, tel. 462-5064), where it was through 2006. (1997 and 2006 Yellow Pages) Since 2007, when the sign in front of the church was changed to read "Freedom House Church", the International Pentecostal Holiness Church website,, has listed this congregation. The 2010 Yellow Pages call the church Freedom House and they categorize the congregation as "Charismatic".

Pentecostal Church of God of America

The churches under this heading are affiliated with the Pentecostal Church of God of America, the headquarters of which are in Joplin, Missouri. ( 2010) The denomination was founded by a group of ministers who left the Assemblies of God in 1916, (Anderson, Pentecostalism, p. 56) although the church's website has 1919 as the year of its founding. The Pentecostal Church of God is Baptistic and Trinitarian, terms explained in Chapter 5 Particulars.

The Pentecostal Church of God of America became incorporated in Santa Cruz County in 1943, although its original place of business was to be Monterey County. (Santa Cruz County Articles of Incorporation no. 1838)

» Calvary Christian Center. Watsonville, 1955-2010.

This congregation was listed in the 1983 Yellow Pages and the SC Sentinel, July 26, 1984. It is at 524 Rogge St., Watsonville 95076, tel. 728-4040, (2010 Yellow Pages as Calvary Christian Church), and it is included in the Pentecostal Church of God website, 2010.

One supposes that this was the same congregation as the Pentecostal Church of God at 1201 Lincoln St., Watsonville in Polk 1955; at 9 Brooklyn St., Watsonville in Polk 1960; at 527 Center St., Watsonville in Polk 1961-1964; and at 524 Rogge St in Polk 1969 through 1989.

» Harbor Light Church. Live Oak, 1955-2010.

According to Polk 1955 and 1960 Bethel Chapel was the name of the church where Harbor Light is now found. In Polk 1964 and 1970 the Pentecostal Church of God was there, but the name was Harbor Light Gospel Tabernacle in Polk 1974 as well as the SC Sentinel, July 26, 1984. The address is 2008 17th Ave., Santa Cruz 95062, tel. 475-7763. (2010 Yellow Pages)

Various Pentecostal

» Bethel Tabernacle. Watsonville, 1921-2010.

Bethel Tabernacle
Bethel Tabernacle sign
with historic plaque in the background
Image courtesy of P. Tutwiler.

Founded in 1921 on the present site, (clipping — source lacking — in Pajaro Valley Historical Association Archives) this is the oldest existing Pentecostal congregation in Santa Cruz County. It is listed in the Pajaronian, Jan. 6, 1923 without an address and in the Santa Cruz County Directory for 1923-24 with its present address. A plaque on its façade states that it was dedicated on April 20, 1922. The address is 124 East Lake Ave., Watsonville 95076, tel. 724-7418. (2010 Yellow Pages)

» Apostolic Assembly. Watsonville, 1935-2010.

This church is at 113 E. Front St., Watsonville 95076, tel. 728-5228. (2010 White Pages)

The Apostolic Church was at 113 E. Front St., Watsonville in Polk 1969 through 1989. It appears that its linear antecedents were Full Gospel Tabernacle, 115 Van Ness Ave., (Polk 1935) Apostolic (Mexican) Church, 117 Van Ness Ave., (Polk 1946) and Iglesia Apostolica De La Fe En Cristo Jesus, 113 E Front St. (Polk 1960-62) It also appears that the Apostolic Assembly of the Faith in Christ Jesus, 113 E. Front St., Watsonville, listed in the SC Sentinel, July 26, 1984, was the very same congregation. In 2007, however, the website of the Apostolic Assembly of the Faith in Christ Jesus,, did not list a congregation at 113 E. Front St., and in 2008 this website domain is not that of a church or denomination.

» Mt. Olive Temple Church of God in Christ. Monterey County, 1946-2010.

Listed in the SC Sentinel, July 26, 1984, this appears to be the continuation of the Church of God in Christ at 61 Union St. in Polk 1946 and at 201 Gonda St. in Polk 1955. In Polk 1967 it appears, under its present name, at 116 Salinas Road, but Polk 1973 has it at the current address. This congregation appears to be the successor, probably by merger, with the Good Samaritan Church of God in Christ, which is listed at 20 Salinas Road in Polk 1960 through 1972. Its present address is 20 Salinas Road, Watsonville 95076, tel. 724-0855. (2010 White Pages)

» Calvary Community Church. Watsonville, 1946-2010.

The original location of this church, named Calvary Full Gospel Mission, was 140 Main St., Watsonville. (Polk 1946-50) Calvary Mission, 23 Porter Dr., Watsonville (Polk 1960) and Calvary Full Gospel Church, 23 Porter Dr. (Polk 1964) appear to be continuations of the same congregation. Since 1975 Calvary Community Church has been listed at 8145 Prunedale North Road. (1975 through 2007 Yellow Pages and 2010) The last of these listings gives the curch's location as Salinas, rather than Watsonville, and this seems to be accurate since 1975.

» Word of Life Church of God in Christ. Santa Cruz. 1966-2010.

In 1966 this congregation was called All Nations Church of God in Christ, (1966 Yellow Pages) and it was incorporated as such in 1977. (Santa Cruz County Articles of Incorporation no. 4420) In 1970 and 1980, however, it was called Church of God in Christ. (Polk 1970 and 1980) It appears to be affiliated with the Church of God in Christ of Memphis, Tennessee, the only existing congregation so affiliated in Santa Cruz County. It is at 231 Wilkes Cir., Santa Cruz 95060, tel. 427-1903. (2010 White Pages)

» Valley Vineyard Church. Scotts Valley, 1996-2010.

At 224 Mt. Hermon Road, Scotts Valley 95066, tel. 438-3456, (2010 Yellow Pages, where it is listed under both "Churches-Non-Denominational" and "Churches-Christian") this is a member of the Association of Vineyard Churches. ( 2010) It has been at its present location since 1996. (1996-2010 Yellow Pages) I surmise that the Vineyard Christian Church at 5274 Scotts Valley Dr. in 1995 (1995 White Pages), was the forerunner of Valley Vineyard.

In 1977 John Wimber founded a congregation, the Calvary Chapel of Yorba Linda, California, but in 1982 his group separated from the Calvary Chapel movement over the role of the manifestations of the Holy Spirit, which are central to the Vineyard movement. At that time he joined the Vineyard Movement, which was small, but in 2010 there are over 550 Vineyard churches in the United States, and over 1,500 in the world. ( 2010)

See Independent Fundamentalist Family for the Calvary Chapel movement.

» Iglesia de Jesucristo Israel. Watsonville, 1997?-2010.

This congregation met in 2007 and 2008, through September, at 20 Salinas Road in Pajaro, tel. 728-5737. (Yellow Pages) In 2010, however, its address is 480 Union St., Watsonville. (2010 Yellow Pages) Both the SC Sentinel and the Yellow Pages characterized it as "Apostolic", which indicates that it is Pentecostal.

» Hope Ministries. Watsonville, 1999-2004.

The Yellow Pages placed this congregation under "Churches-Apostolic," a heading which indicates the Pentecostal family. It was at 18 West Lake Ave., Watsonville 95076, tel. 728-2370. (1999 through 2004 Yellow Pages)

» Victory Outreach Church. Watsonville, 1996-2010.

According to its website, 2010, Victory Outreach is a Pentecostal denomination founded in 1967 by Sonny Arguinzoni for general Christian evangelization and specifically "to plant and develop churches, rehabilitation homes, and training centers in strategic cities of the world." Its greatest numerical strength is in California and Mexico.

In the 1996 through 2008 White Pages, from 1996 to 1999 Victory Outreach Church was at 24 Menker St., Watsonville, and from 2000 to 2006 it was at 200 Union St., Watsonville, but in 2007 and 2008 it was not listed. Nevertheless 2010 states that both Victory Outreach Watsonville (Hispanic), tel. 768-1843, and Victory Outreach Watsonville (Pajaro Valley), tel. 722-4812 are at 734 East Lake Ave., Suite 15.

» Christians for Biblical Equality. Santa Cruz County Chapter. Service org, Santa Cruz City, 2004-2010.

This association was founded in 1988 to promote equal treatment for women among Christians. Headquartered in Minneapolis, and including both individuals and churches as members, it belongs as an organization to the National Association of Evangelicals. The Santa Cruz Chapter is mentioned in the SC Sentinel, June 19, 2004, and its address, 616 Windham St., Santa Cruz 95062, is on the organization's website in 2010, which contains sufficient references to the gifts of the Holy Spirit to persuade me to place it in the Pentecostal family.

» Emmaus Christian Center. Conf center, Santa Clara County, 2005-2006.

This facility formerly at 520 Summit Rd., Watsonville 95076, was listed on the website under this name and also under Church of Emmaus in 2005 and 2006. Both entries were among "Other" in the long website lists of Korean churches in the broad San Francisco area. This rules out the possibility that the group is Catholic, Presbyterian, Baptist, Episcopalian, Evangelical, Adventist, or Methodist, and so I conclude that it is most probably Pentecostal.

In 2005 I located its entrance on Summit Road, 2.4 miles North of the beginning of the road, on the Santa Clara County side.

In 2010 it is not listed in the White Pages and it is no longer listed on In 2011 the owners of the property declared that the Emmaus Christian Center is no longer there.

» Harbor Fellowship. Santa Cruz, 2005?-2010.

This congregation meets at 1231 Bay Street, tel. 334-1413. It is associated with Grace International of Houston, Texas, with which it shares an evangelical, Pentecostal creed. ( 2010) It is a congregation of the Christian Evangelistic Assemblies. (SC Sentinel, Oct. 1, 2006) The Christian Evangelistic Assemblies were formerly known as the California Evangelistic Association. (Melton, Encyclopedia, *317)

» Crossroads Community Church of God. Watsonville, 2006-2010.

In 2006 the White Pages listed a Church of God at 48 Atkinson Lane, telephone 728-5497. In January, 2007 I observed that the sign on the church structure at that address read Crossroads Community Church of God. The website of the Church of God of Cleveland, Tennessee, calling it Watsonville-Crossroads Community, listed it as an affiliate with the address, P. O. Box 206, Watsonville, and the same telephone number, 728-5497. In 2010 the website has the same information but no street address.

» Iglesia de Dios Santa Cruz. Live Oak, 2006-2010.

The Church of God of Cleveland, Tennessee has listed this church, which it locates on 30th Avenue with no telephone number, since 2006 on its website, In 2010, however, I find it listed on, the website of the Church of God Northwestern Hispanic Region, the headquarters of which are in Fresno. This website gives the address, 1275 Brommer St., although it asserts that it is in Capitola, and the telephone number, 728-4041. The Fresno group website does not indicate, as far as I can see, its relationship with the Cleveland, Tennessee body.

» Apostolic Light House Mission Church. Santa Cruz, 2007-2008.

This church, as I observed in 2007 and 2008, is at 530 S. Branciforte, tel. 423-7506. Its sign states that it is of the Apostolic Assembly of the Faith in Christ Jesus, and this is confirmed in 2008, which, in addition to the church identification, described the Pentecostal nature of the denomination. In 2010 the church is neither on the Apostolic Assembly website nor in the White or Yellow Pages.

The structure at 530 S. Branciforte housed the Light & Life Community Free Methodist Church from 1955 to 1975. (See the Free Methodist section.)

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