Our Story

A History of Love & Worship: About Atherton

How it all started...

On Sunday, December 28, 1906, a meeting was held in the home of Mr. and Mrs. S. D. McQuinn under the leadership of the Los Angeles Baptist City Mission Society and Rev. C.C. Pierce, Pastor of the Memorial Baptist Church.
The purpose of the meeting was to organize the Figueroa Street Chapel, which later became Atherton Baptist Church. Forty people were in attendance, including Rev. and Mrs. E. H. Brooks, members of Memorial Baptist Church. Rev. Brooks became pastor of this pioneer group and Mrs. Brooks served as Superintendent of the Sunday School. The group continued to meet at the McQuinn home with an average attendance of twenty-five to thirty people.

With the aid of the Los Angeles Baptist City Mission Society and the Memorial Baptist Church property was purchased at Forty-ninth Place and Figueroa Street. A portable chapel was built on this site and Mrs. Hannah Atherton Baldwin donated six hundred dollars for the first payment. On March, 17, 1907, Rev. E. H. Brooks preached the first sermon in the new chapel. The president of Los Angeles Baptist Church and Rev. E. H. Brooks presided over the formal dedication of the new chapel on April 17, 1907.

With forty-four charter members and Rev. E. H. Brooks as pastor, the congregation became known as Figueroa Street Baptist Church on May 12, 1907. The membership continued to grow and plans were set in motion to purchase a new church building for ten thousand dollars. The church incorporated with seven members as trustees on May 1, 1910. Work on the new building started in October 1910. On the first Sunday of that month, the church’s name was officially changed to Atherton Baptist Church in appreciation of the assistance given by Mrs. Hannah Atherton Baldwin.
The church continued to grow in membership and Christian commitment. In June 1947, the congregation celebrated its fortieth anniversary with the purchase and dedication of the parsonage at 702 West 48th Street. The church also decided to relocate. In September 1954, with the cooperation and assistance of the Los Angeles Baptist City Mission Society, ten lots were purchased on the corner of 116th and Casmir Street in Hawthorne. This site became the home of Atherton Baptist Church. In November 1955, Rev. Kenneth Dunkelberger became the first pastor in the new location.
In 1976, Reverend Vernon Mitchell became the pastor of Atherton. Dr. Mitchell established Atherton Christian School and The ABC Daycare in 1985. He retired in 1999 after twenty-three years of committed service.
1980s ABC

Expanding The Vision... 

On November 4, 2001, Reverend Larry D. Weaver from Friendship Baptist Church of Yorba Linda became the pastor of Atherton. Pastor  Weaver brought new energy through God’s vision of education, rejuvenation, renovation and evangelization.

Today with over 1800 hundred members, Atherton is a vibrant and exciting church community. The congregation is actively involved in Christ-Centered community outreach programs, youth ministries, children’s ministry, nursery ministry, offering numerous classes, evangelism and multiple spirit -filled worship services for all age groups. Like our forefathers, Atherton continues to be a people of God, faithful and obedient to spreading God’s Word and His love. 

Be a part of our story...

Join us every Sunday as we gather to worship together in-person and online at 8 am and 11 am PT.