Wintersburg was founded in 1904 as a mission seeking to reach Japanese farmers in the Huntington Beach area. The church’s congregants were mainly first-generation Japanese immigrants, seeking a community where they could learn more about Christ as well as English and American culture. After two and a half decades of faithful service and growth, the mission was finally granted church status in 1930 as the Japanese Presbyterian Church of Wintersburg, eventually being named Wintersburg Presbyterian Church.
Unfortunately in 1942, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, authorizing the incarceration of Japanese nationals and Japanese-American citizens. After three months of repeated raids by the FBI, the church was no longer able to meet as over 80 elders, pastors, and congregants were incarcerated. Many of Wintersburg’s members lost everything in the internment.
Despite this tremendous hardship, the members of Wintersburg returned after the end of World War II. The church was reopened in October 1945 and began to rebuild. After two decades of growth, in 1965, Wintersburg moved to its current location in order to accommodate the larger congregation. However, even this new, larger chapel could not contain Wintersburg’s growth. From 1982 to 1994, Wintersburg constructed a larger sanctuary, multiple classrooms for children’s ministry, and a large social hall in order to accommodate our growing community. By God’s grace, the mortgage on this rapid expansion was paid off in 2002.
Today, Wintersburg is poised for great change for the future. In June 2014, Wintersburg was graciously and freely dismissed from the PCUSA to ECO due to theological difference. Then, in 2015, we began construction work on a sports gym to support our growing evangelistic sports program. As we look forward, we are excited to see where God will take our church.