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Our purpose is to fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Commission as we Connect with God and others; Grow in a vibrant small group; Serve the church, the community, and the world; and Go and share the Good News.
Connect, Grow, Serve, and Go combined with Acts 1:8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” is the vision of Magnolia Church. In one form or another, this has been the vision of Magnolia Church throughout its history.
When plans were being finalized to move California Baptist College to its present location in Riverside, the concept of Magnolia Avenue Southern Baptist Church was born in the hearts and minds of a few students and faculty members who began to pray and plan for such a church even before moving to the city. These were under a deep conviction that a church adjacent to the college was essential to under-girding the spiritual life of the college family as well as to meet the challenge of a growing city. Thus, an early vision of Connect, Grow, Serve, and Go led to the location, organization, and development of Magnolia Church.
Since that humble beginning in 1955, Magnolia Church has continued to live out and broaden its vision to a growing Inland Empire. This broadening has included the physical expansion of the Magnolia Church campus. Under the leadership of former pastors Sparkie Norquist, Dr. T.W. Medearis, Walter A. Pegg, Dr. A. Larry Nixon, Dr. William O. Crews, Doug Metzger, current senior pastor Dr. Montia Setzler and the commitment of the Magnolia Church members, the campus currently comprises 100,000 square feet of worship and education space with a current resident membership of over 2500.
Although ministry programs have changed over time, there has been a consistent focus on discipleship and evangelism to train church members to effectively live out the church’s vision within the church family and the community at large. In the past twenty-five years, Magnolia Church has helped plant Korean, Spanish, and Arabic language groups to reach the increasingly diverse “Jerusalem” that is the Inland Empire. Having a desire to truly embrace Acts 1:8, Magnolia Church has further extended its vision to encompass its Judea and Samaria.
Magnolia Church youth and adults have traveled to major cities in the West, New York, Mexico, Canada, and Asia in an ongoing effort to aid churches, physically and spiritually, to spread the gospel. The church has a commitment in Southeast Asia with churches traveling throughout the year to Connect and Serve in this part of the world. Connect, Grow, Serve, and Go and Acts 1:8 are not just words. They are integral to the identity, history, and mission of Magnolia Church to, “lead people to become authentic followers of Jesus Christ” in our Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to “the ends of the earth.”