Our History

89 Years in the South Bay
In 1929, the devotion of Lewis Coates, Paul Walker, and Robert Reinhard to the teaching of the Gospel launched the long history of Redeemer Presbyterian Church. These three friends, with the aide of the men’s Christian organization, the Fisherman’s Club, began meeting in a small one-room hall on the Manhattan Beach strand. The group of worshippers continued to expand and in 1931, they received the sponsorship of the Christian Missionary Alliance. Prayer meetings began two years later and the following year the first pastor, Dr. A.F. McKinney, began preaching on Sunday mornings. With the help of Holmes Coates, superintendent of the Sunday School department, the church services expanded and the Marine Chapel continued to expand, necessitating a building fund for a more permanent location.

A down payment of one hundred dollars was placed on a vacant hall located on Fourth Street, Manhattan Beach in October 1935. Members of the congregation converted the hall into a simple chapel and Calvary Memorial held its first service on December 15, 1935. The church continued to grow in numbers the next couple years and required multiple renovations to accommodate its people. In 1937, incorporation papers were filed with the State of California as a fundamental, nondenominational Christian church. That same year, A.H. Ackley, was called as pastor and the first two missionaries of Calvary Memorial were established.

Dr. A.H. Ackley continued as pastor until 1943 and through his tenure many activities were developed for children, young adults, and adults. There were annual Sunday School picnics, volleyball games, and a young adult Friday Night Club. The church was without a pastor for nine months until Ray Weld was called to the pulpit, where he served until 1945. Following much prayer for God’s leading, the congregation voted to affiliate with a Presbyterian denomination. With a recommendation by one of the original church founders, Paul Walker, to affiliate with the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC), a congregational meeting was called to discuss the origins of the denomination. Through this time, Clifford Smith was called and accepted the pastorship in 1945.

In 1946 Calvary Memorial sought and was accepted into the OPC denomination, and the church was officially named the Orthodox Presbyterian Church of Manhattan Beach. Its first elders were ordained that same year. Clifford Smith resigned in 1947 and was followed by Wilson Albright, called in 1948. During his tenure, two charter members purchased new property for the church and it was held it in a trust until construction could begin. Over a five-year span a new two-unit building was erected at 500 Manhattan Beach Boulevard. Pastor Paul Lovik preached his first sermon in 1957 and served for five years. More renovation occurred during his tenure to accommodate the growing attendance at Sunday School.
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Pastor Ralph Clough began his pastorate in 1962 and served diligently for twelve years. During his pastorship, there was a large growth of the youth in the church and an associate pastor, Calvin Malcor began his work in 1971. The youth program expanded under his leadership. Following the senior pastor’s death, Malcor became interim pastor until Michael Stingley became pastor in 1974 and remained until 1981. Calvin Malcor accepted a call for missionary work in 1977. Following Michael Stingley’s departure, Ruling Elder John Reynolds was called as interim pastor until 1982, at which time Mark House began his pastorship. John Reynolds still serves as a ruling elder at this time.
In 1989, the church changed denominations to the Presbyterian Church in America. Mark House served as pastor until 1991, and Eric Stratmeyer and Pastor Hugh Brom served until early 1993, when Rob McPherson accepted a call to be pastor. He remained pastor until late 1994, and was without a pastor for approximately one year. Jerrard Heard became pastor of the church in 1996. Through his ten-year pastorship, the church sold its Manhattan Beach building in 2000 and relocated more inland to the Torrance Cultural Arts Center, where it changed its name to Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Torrance.

In 2003, Redeemer moved to Hawthorne Boulevard in south Torrance. Following Pastor Heard’s resignation in 2006, John Rantal pastored for two years. In 2010, after a period of revitalization with James J. Kim, Geoff Shaw was called as Redeemer’s pastor till late 2014. The following year, Jang K. (JK) Kim shepherded Redeemer until July 2018.
Worship the Triune God, proclaim the gospel,
equip believers, and reach the South Bay
and the world for Christ.
Copyright © 2018
Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Torrance
Serving the South Bay