In the early 1920’s, a group of L.I.F.E. Bible College students erected a revival tent on the property of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in Los Angeles. Originally called the Florence Goodyear Branch of Angelus Temple, the group soon organized a church and became known as the Goodyear Foursquare Lighthouse.
For a time, services were held in a store building, but the church quickly outgrew that facility. On June 6, 1926, ground was broken for a new place of worship at 1417 East Florence Avenue in Los Angeles.
When Rev. and Mrs. A.C. Wegner became pastors in 1934, the church was called the Goodyear Foursquare Gospel Church, a change that had occurred in 1932. The Wegners, who were pastors until 1938, were succeeded by Rev. and Mrs. Wesley Norgaard.
As the area around the church developed into an industrial center, members began moving east into outlying communities.
In 1953, God led the church to purchase 1 1/8 acres in an undeveloped area 100 blocks east on Florence Avenue. The property, in what is now Santa Fe Springs, was covered with orange and avocado trees.
The men and women of the church worked faithfully for more than two years on their new project, Florence Avenue Foursquare Church. Dedication of the sanctuary took place on June 3, 1956, the church’s thirtieth year.
During the 1960’s, the church continued to outgrow its facilities. A Christian Education Building and Fellowship Hall were erected in 1961, and plans for a Christian Life Center were being made.
Having served as pastors for nine years, the Woods left Florence Avenue Foursquare Church in 1968, and in 1969, Rev. and Mrs. Paul Jones stepped in as the new pastors of the ever-growing church.
In 1972, the Joneses moved on to supervise the organization’s Southern California District, and the congregation welcomed new pastors, Rev. and Mrs. Paul Risser.
Construction of the Christian Life Center was completed in 1975, providing area for a gymnasium and additional Sunday School classrooms, as well as housing the Santa Fe Springs Christian School.
During the 1980’s the Lord continued to bless Florence Avenue with growth, multifaceted ministries and with an ever-expanding vision. The continued growth of the church necessitated the construction of a new sanctuary. In January of 1989, ground was broken for an 1,100 seat sanctuary next to where the original chapel once stood.
On August 5, 1990, the doors of this beautiful new sanctuary were opened for the first time. And on September 16, 1990, the sanctuary was officially dedicated. In attendance was Florence Avenue/Goodyear’s first pastor, Luther Plankenhorn, who graced us with a prayer of dedication. Throughout the 1990’s, our church grew in unity, love, and an ever-growing heart to reach the lost.
In 1998, after 26 years as the Pastor of Florence Avenue, our church was honored again, when Dr. Paul Risser became the President of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel. It was then that the torch was passed and the next season of Florence Avenue’s great history began. On August 9, 1998, Rev. and Mrs. Terry Risser became the new pastors at Florence Avenue.
In 2003, we began our “Building Our Future… One Life At A Time” campaign with the vision of constructing first a Children’s Center and Pre-School, then a Youth Center. Over the last three years our church has given generously to make our dream a reality.
June 11th, 2006 marked the 80th anniversary of our church’s beginning in June 1926. We came together to break ground for our new Children’s Center and Pre-School to invest in our future generations and prepare our hearts for God’s plans in the days to come.
In April 2008, we opened our new Children’s Center and Preschool enabling us to touch countless young people for Christ through salvation and helping them grow to know Christ.