All Saints began its life as a mission church in 1923. The new mission church was envisioned by the rector of Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church in Long Beach and was designed to serve the growing population of the city. The St. Luke’s Brotherhood of Saint Andrew undertook the initial steps to begin the project. The first services of All Saints Church were held at Horace Mann School; just a stones throw from the current location of the parish.
In 1925 the committed members of the parish acquired the church’s current location. Two lay readers from the parish began services at this site in a small bungalow. From these humble beginnings All Saints Church began to grow.
On September 22, 1929 the first service was conducted in the newly constructed church building. The local paper, The Long Beach Press-Telegram, described the new building as a “Rural Rustic Design, Unique and Artistic in Every Detail”.
The first rector of the parish, the Reverend F. Augustus Martyr, began his ministry at All Saints in February of 1928 and continued through 1952. Fr. Augustus saw the congregation through the 1933 Long Beach earthquake, the improvements to the structure needed to make it sound, and the many gifts the parish received that enhanced its sense of holy space. During this period the main altar and reredos were added. In addition, a hand carved pulpit and lectern began their use.
After Fr. Augustus left, All Saints enjoyed the service of four rectors between 1952 and 1975. The style and form of the worship developed over this time, and more improvements were made to the structure of the building and the grounds.
This period saw the nave expand to its current cruciform shape and a family worship service was added. The last priest of this time was Fr. Donald Behm, who was rector from 1966 to 1975. In 1966 a young parishioner by the name of William Thompson applied for, and was given, the unanimous support of the vestry for postulancy for Holy Orders. In 1973 Fr. Bill Thompson returned to All Saints as curate and in 1975 when Fr. Behm took another assignment, Fr. Bill was elected the sixth rector of All Saints Parish.
Fr. Bill was the rector of All Saints from 1975 to 2012. This latest period of All Saints history has been challenging and exciting. By God’s grace, spiritual growth and strength occurred. And physically, there have been additions to the parish structure, such as: a columbarium to house the ashes of the saints who have gone before us and a much needed, much improved preschool space.
In 2004 with Fr. Bill’s guidance and the vestry’s unanimous concurrence, the parish voted overwhelmingly to sever ties with the recently renamed The Episcopal Church (TEC) and ask the Anglican Church of Uganda for oversight and protection. The congregation, for many years, had watched TEC drift away from the Truth of the Gospel, and could no longer be a part of that drift. So from August of 2004 and continuing for about 6 years, All Saints Church was a parish of the Anglican Church of Uganda, in the diocese of Luweero. Our Godly bishop during this time was the Right Reverend Evans Kisseka. Bishop Evans, and the diocese of Luweero, took us in at great monetary cost to our new diocese and the Anglican Church of Uganda. By standing with us for the Truth of the Gospel they lost all the financial support of TEC. However, this relationship that began in 2004 continues to this day. And, as an aside, the union spawned many short-term mission trips from All Saints to Luweero and vice-versa. This recent activity is a very important period in the life of the parish. Although some people view this position as controversial, it was a stand that the parish had to make in order to remain true to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
As a result of the decisions of faithful Anglicans around North America leaving the Episcopal Church, Godly Archbishops from the Global South called for the formation of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), which is our new province. We also had the formation of our own diocese, The Diocese of Western Anglicans, and the election of our own bishop. The new diocese is especially dear to All Saints because our new bishop was our own Fr. Bill Thompson who served from 2009 to 2014.
All Saints has the privilege to purchase from the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles our beautiful place of worship and home-based for mission. We are in a Capital Campaign until August 2018.
Under the leadership of Archbishop Duncan who served from 2009 to 2014, the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) saw membership and attendance grow dramatically. Ed Stetzer, President of LifeWay Research Division said, “Nearly 500 churches in 5 years is a remarkable feat for any group of Christians. And North American Anglicans should be asking themselves, ‘What does God want us to do with this momentum and vitality!’ ACNA brothers and sisters!! Celebrate a truly remarkable move of God.” The College of Bishops in June 2014 chose The Right Rev. Dr. Foley Beach to be the next Archbishop of ACNA.
The Rector Search Committee of All Saints in 2012 voted unanimously to recommend and the Vestry unanimously voted to hire The Rev. Dr. Scott Pedersen to lead the church as Rector. Fr. Scott brings experience in and a love for discipleship and mission. You can read more about Fr. Scott under the clergy link on our website.
The history of All Saints parish is long and varied, and dedicated to spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We put all our faith and trust in the God of creation and redemption. We believe that Holy Scripture is God breathed and the truth. Our past, our present, and our future has always been, and is now, centered on the truth that there is only one way to the Father through Jesus Christ.