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Calvary's History: Missions & Ministry in the 1930's

16Evangelism, Locally and Worldwide

Two things emphasized again and again in the beginning years of the 30’s were, “get the Word out” and “get missionaries out”. The Evangelistic Committee Chairman at the close of this decade was Coy Maret. (Coy became the Pastor of Emmanuel Faith Community Church in Escondido, CA, where he served until the time of his death in 1971.) In Calvary’s 1939 Annual Report he wrote, “No success can be had without prayer”. Prayer meetings were held weekly for the various ministries of this committee. From the beginning, Calvary Church was known for its passion to establish active evangelistic ministries both locally and worldwide.


Local Ministries Begin

The Women’s Missionary Society

2The Women’s Missionary Society began on November 19, 1931 with 60 members. Its purpose was to pray and financially meet the needs of missionaries sharing Christ around the world. Hudson Taylor’s son (Howard) and daughter-in-law, and Cameron Townsend and his wife, were among the first of many missionaries to speak to this new group. The Women’s Missionary Society was later changed to Daytime Missionary Fellowship.

Radio Ministry

Realizing the opportunity that radio provided in getting the Word out, the Sunday Services were broadcast over KREG.

Girls’ Clubs

Euodia Clubs for girls were held at Willard and Lathrop Junior High Schools and the Eteri Club for girls was held at Santa Ana High School. These clubs had an average attendance of 75 girls weekly with more than 30 girls receiving Christ each year. “These clubs have a real objective in view in Bible teaching and soul winning and should be remembered in prayer.

4Rural Sunday School

Under the auspices of the American Sunday School Union, several people from Calvary Church helped start Sunday Schools in Los Alamitos and Villa Park. There were many decisions for Christ at both locations.

Child Evangelism Fellowship

Eighteen classes were held in members’ homes with about 200 children attending each week. Many children received Christ as a result of this new ministry.

Costa Mesa Mexican Children’s Work

3A work had begun at Monte Vista School in Costa Mesa to reach the children of Mexican migrant workers. When the leader of this work was unable to continue, Calvary Church was asked to take it over. This work continued for several years and reported good attendance and many children receiving Christ.



Japanese Children’s Work

Seeing the need to reach the many Japanese children living in the area, a weekly class was started to share the gospel with them. This class grew until there were about 30 children attending each week with many professing faith in Christ.

Vacation Bible School

Vacation Bible School began in 1932 as an outreach to the children of Orange County and continues each summer to this day as one of our largest evangelistic outreach ministries. The first years were directed by students from Biola.

1 Jail Ministry and Hospital Ministries

Both of these ministries began in 1932. Calvary’s first hospital ministry was at Orange County Hospital, which is now UCI Medical Center.

The Los Angeles Rescue Mission and the San Pedro Mission

These ministries began the following year in 1933. A folding organ was purchased to take to these outreach meetings. Young people were encouraged to learn to play the accordion as it would be a useful instrument for local as well as foreign evangelism.

Worldwide Missions Begin

As mentioned in the first paragraph of this publication, Calvary was determined to “get the Word out” and “get missionaries out”. The stories below give you a peek into the lives and ministries of some of those who were instrumental in the development of our missions ministry.

6Charles Hurlburt

Charles and Alta Hurlburt, charter members of Calvary, served as missionaries in Africa for many years. He was the first general director of Africa Inland Mission. An interesting fact about Charles Hurlburt is that, before going to Africa in 1899, he founded the Philadelphia School of the Bible where Michael Samsvick, our fourth pastor would graduate many years later.

After several years in Africa, he returned to the states for a short time of recruiting and fund raising. During this time, he spoke in many churches telling of his work in Africa. While in Washington D.C. he was invited to have an interview with President Theodore Roosevelt, who contemplated a trip to Africa. The president asked many questions and promised to see Mr. Hurlburt again in Kenya. The meeting in Washington was not a chance meeting, for it was President Roosevelt who later secured permission from the King of Belgium for the first party of AIM missionaries to enter the Belgian Congo.

14When President Roosevelt arrived in Africa he visited the Hurlburts at the mission station in Kijabi, Kenya. The first building of the Rift Valley Academy had just been completed, and while Roosevelt was there (August 4, 1909) Charles Hurlburt asked him to lay the cornerstone and dedicate the building. Many children of our missionary families have attended Rift Valley Academy over the years and some of our missionaries have served as teachers at the school.

By 1931 Charles Hurlburt had returned from Africa for good and was serving as Superintendent of Biola. He was a friend of Frank Lindgren and came to help get the work started at the newly established Calvary Church. During his time at Biola and Calvary he recruited many missionaries for Africa.

John and Betty Aerni

Betty Ortlieb married Charles Hurlburt Jr., the son of Charles and Alta. They served with AIM in the Congo until the death of Charles Jr. four years later. Betty returned to Santa Ana to live with Charles and Alta and became a member of Calvary Church. Two years later she left for Switzerland to visit her mother and while there she met and married John Aerni. John and Betty served as Calvary
missionaries for many years in both Spain and France.
(They were TEAM's first missionaries in Spain.)

Cameron Townsend and Wycliffe Bible Translators

5 Cameron Townsend and his wife Elvira were actively involved at Calvary Church
during the years of 1932 and 1933. However, Cameron’s connection with Calvary began several years earlier when his family moved to Santa Ana and he was a student in Eugene Griset’s Sunday School class at the Greenville Community Church. Seeing that Mr. Griset was not married, Cameron introduced him to his sister Lula. Cameron was a good matchmaker and soon his sister and his Sunday School teacher were married. This began the connections of the Townsends, Grisets, Kenneth Pike, and Calvary Church.

7 Years later, when Cameron Townsend was doing translation work in Mexico, his wife became quite ill. The Grisets’ daughter, Evelyn, was sent to help care for her Aunt Elvira and while there met Kenneth Pike, who was also interested in linguistic work. Three years later Kenneth and Evelyn were married in Mexico City.

The Townsends’ involvement with Calvary Church began when they were ill and recuperating at the home of Lula and Eugene Griset. It was during this time that they applied for membership at Calvary. They often spoke at the worship services and the missionary society meetings. This was the beginning of Calvary’s interest in Bible translation.

The Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) and Wycliffe Bible Translators were formally organized in 1942. At that time, Cameron Townsend returned to Calvary Church and challenged our young people to join Wycliffe and give their lives to this exciting new ministry of Bible translation. Our missionaries Kenneth and Evelyn Pike, John and Genevieve McIntosh, Neil and Jane Nellis and Bethel Bower Blount each have spoken of being challenged and answering God’s call to missions through the challenge of “Uncle Cam”.

Our own Turner Blount was part of a team that began translation of the Scriptures into Navajo. This was Wycliffe’s first U.S. language project. Cameron and Elvira Townsend visited Turner in the Navajo village in 1944.

With the move of Wycliffe’s headquarters to Santa Ana in 1960, Calvary was blessed to have many more Wycliffe missionaries join our church family.

“Not since the third century has there been a man like Cameron Townsend who attempted so much, and saw so many dreams realized in his lifetime.” ~ Kenneth Pike

Ken Pike

Ken Pike, often referred to as “God’s Scholar”, played an important role in Calvary’s commitment to Bible Translation. Having heard of Cameron Townsend and his new work in Bible translation, he decided to attend the newly organized Summer Institute of Linguistics to see if he would be any good at it. It was here he discovered what would become his life work. His first Wycliffe assignment was in Mexico, and it was here that he met and married Evelyn Griset who would become his life-long partner and fellow linguist. Together they lived and worked among the Mixtec people analyzing the language and developing an alphabet. After many years they were able to complete the first of Wycliffe’s Bible translations, the San Miguel New Testament.

8This was the beginning of a career in which he would become an internationally recognized linguist, educator and Christian statesman, lecturing in 43 countries and being nominated 16 consecutive times for the Nobel Prize.

He spent 65 years decoding many languages that had previously only been spoken, dividing his time between teaching in university classrooms and working in the field.

Ken and Evelyn visited Calvary Church many times beginning in the late 30’s, often speaking in the worship services, missionary groups and young people’s meetings. During the 1940’s Ken and Evelyn lived in Santa Ana. During that time Ken served as an Elder of Calvary Church. His leadership during these days was invaluable. “He brought tears to our eyes and passion to our hearts both for the Word of God and the peoples of the earth.”Ken went home to be with the Lord in 2000.

Calvary’s First Missionaries

At the height of the depression years, with a great deal of faith and commitment, Calvary Church sent out their first missionaries, Harold and Dauphine Tuggy. This decision was made after much prayer and would be just the beginning of the fulfillment of Calvary’s Purpose Statement - To further the missionary effort not only at home, but around the world.

Harold and Dauphine Tuggy

10 On August 25, 1924, with their young son Edward, Harold and Dauphine sailed out of Los Angeles on the S.S. Manchuria on their way to Venezuela as missionaries of the Orinoco River Mission. Shortly after their arrival their second son, Alfred, was born. Four more children would join the family.

9Mr. and Mrs. Tuggy became members of Calvary Church on May 29, 1932. They were on their first furlough after having served for six years in Venezuela. They spoke at many of the meetings of the church and stirred much interest and commitment for missions outreach. Before returning to Venezuela to serve their second term, the Tuggys were commissioned as Calvary Church’s first missionaries.

The Tuggys were among the first missionaries in Eastern Venezuela. Their early years were spent planting churches in many different locations. In 1942, they moved to the Bible Institute in Las Delicias in the mountains of Caripe, where they were to spend the remainder of their lives. After serving as Director of the Bible Institute for many years, Harold Tuggy died on August 10, 1970. Dauphine continued until 1984 having served 60 years in Venezuela. She went home to be with the Lord in 1991.

As our first missionaries, Harold and Dauphine Tuggy, were loved, cared for and supported with prayer and finances for a total of 59 years. Their missionary legacy lives on through their children. Edward Tuggy (the oldest son of Harold and Dauphine), along with his wife Eleanor, served as Calvary missionaries with the Orinoco River Mission in Venezuela for 25 years (1948-1974). John Tuggy and his wife, Sheila, are serving with Wycliffe Bible Translators in Peru, translating the Scriptures into the Shapra Candoshi tongue. They have served as Calvary missionaries for the past 50 years.

The 30’s Come to a Close

During the first decade of Calvary’s history it is recorded that, in addition to our first missionaries, the Tuggys, financial support was given to 23 missionaries in various parts of the world, 15 foreign missions agencies and 19 different local ministries. Many of these agencies and local ministries have been continuously supported to this day.

Frank Lindgren Resigns

As the 30’s came to a close, Frank Lindgren resigned as Pastor of Calvary Church. He felt that he had finished the work that God had called him to do. He had seen the beginning of a new church that was faithful to God’s Word and the Great Commission.

12Dr. Eugene Nida

Following the resignation of Pastor Lindgren, Eugene Nida served as Interim Pastor. Nida, although in his early 20’s, had become a noted linguist. While serving at Calvary, he was actively recruiting for Wycliffe at college campuses. He later joined the American Bible Society and for over 40 years served as Executive Secretary for Translations. He is known as a premier linguist and translation consultant and has influenced the Bibles read by most Christians around the world. His ministry at Calvary, although for only a short time, did much to advance the missionary effort both at home and around the world.

E.S. and Mary Goodner

11E.S. Goodner served as Calvary’s first Sunday School Superintendent. He held this position for almost 15 years during which time he also served on the first Board of Directors of Wycliffe. The Mary Goodner Circle, the young women’s missionary society, was named for Mrs. Goodner. E.S. and Mary Goodner were instrumental in sending many missionaries to the field, two of which were their daughters, Marguerite (and Harry) Owens to China and Jane (and Neil) Nellis to Mexico.


The early days were difficult but, with hope and courage, the country was slowly emerging from the depression. The small group that had started a new church in 1931 grew, and the atmosphere at the end of the decade was one of praising God and looking to Him with great expectation for the future.


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