San Diego in the 1920s

Ask any San Diegan and they'll tell you that in the 1920s San Diego was just a dot on the map, not much more than a quaint getaway for residents of its metropolitan neighbor 100 miles to the north, Los Angeles.

In truth, by the time our fellowship was founded in 1922, San Diego already had a 150-year history as a sizable European-styled town. It enjoyed a bustling downtown and several growing suburbs, serving as well as the county seat for a dozen neighboring farming towns and smaller cities.

By 1922, San Diego had already played host to one international world's-fair-styled event, the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. Today the fair's buildings command the center of the city's famed Balboa park, an area larger than New York's Central Park, that is also home to the World Famous San Diego Zoo.

The image at the top of the page shows downtown San Diego as it was in 1923. The view might look familiar to present-day residents, looking north on 5th Avenue toward Balboa Park. Harkening back to its historic roots, the street is now the hub of the Gaslamp District, popular for its huge variety of dining and entertainment destinations.




A History with a Future

Building at 6th & Fir, about 1925
The first permanent building near Balboa Park at 6th and Fir served San Diego´s growing Pentecostal community.
City View Church was established soon after a citywide evangelistic event in 1922 that attracted over 10,000 people to Balboa Park's Spreckels outdoor organ pavilion. The crusade was led by Aimee Semple McPherson, a wildly popular evangelist of the day. Originally calling itself the Gospel Tabernacle, the congregation met in a clapboard structure built within a month´s time following the Organ Pavilion event.

That facility was soon replaced by a more substantial structure located adjacent to Balboa Park. The church at Sixth and Fir became well-established in the local Christian community.

The following decades were marked by a growing influence in San Diego as the church, then known as San Diego First Assembly of God, grew to address its changing culture. With a rapidly growing military presence, both from the massive military bases and wartime aeronautics industries based here, the church's outreach to military men and families became a central focus.

Sunday school photo, about 1953
In the 1950s, the popularity of Sunday schools was impressive enough to be classified as a national "movement." This 1952 photo shows just a fraction of First Assemlby's Sunday classes.

The city continued to grow in the 1950s, as post-war transplants from all over the nation discovered San Diego to be a great place to raise their baby boomer children. Likewise in the '60s, a new generation of younger worshipers who were seeking a deeper, more authentic relationship with God found "6th and Fir" to be a good place to grow in their newfound faith.

In the 1970s the church experienced growing pains that recognized the restrictions of the one-half-square-block downtown property. In 1973 the congregation elected to move to a new, 9-acre location at the expanding city´s geographic center.

The church building, dedicated in 1976, would provide the needed room for growth. In the two following decades, the main building comprising the sanctuary, fellowship center and chapel would be joined by a 60-unit retirement complex, an education building, a kid-friendly children´s center and a dedicated, state-of-the-art youth center.

Innovative in the ´70s, the horizontal, fan-shaped sanctuary has become a modern standard for new church construction.

In 2012 City View Church celebrated its 90th year serving the people and communities of the greater San Diego area.

Recent pastors of City View Church include Richard Dresselhaus, who pastored from 1970-2003, Todd Hudnall, 2003-2005, and Bob Buschman, 2005-2014.

City View's current pastor, Troy Singleterry, became lead pastor in April of 2015. He continues the tradition of providing a Spirit-filled, Christ-centered presence at the heart of our community, leading City View Church forward to a place of ever-expanding influence and growth in Southern California.




City View Church
8404 Phyllis Pl · San Diego, CA 92123
Contact us: info@CityViewSD.com




Office Hours
Mon.-Fri., 9 am - 5 pm
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