It was 1974, when Yeshua came into my heart and changed my life altogether. While in Optometry school this happened. At the same time, the same Jewish believer that shared his faith with me was sharing it with another student from Cal State Fullerton. This young man came to know Yeshua months later, and only later did this Jewish believer bring us together. This new Jewish believer was Michael Davis. He shared his faith with his mother, father, brother and sister-in-law, and his 83 year old grandmother from Russia. All of them came to faith in Yeshua.
The parents lived in Norwalk, California. Their neighbors, the Mendozas, began to disciple them and started bible studies in the living room. At this time, we could not imagine what the Lord had in store for us. At this time, we were also going to a Hebrew Christian fellowship in Orange, Shalom Scripture Studies, where we learned the Jewishness of the faith.
Yet it was not enough. We wanted to have a synagogue with a Torah, and an ark and read from the Siddur (the Jewish prayer book). We did not just want the trappings. There were a few people who had the vision in these early times, including Ray Gannon. He gave us our start. We did break away early in our time together, to form a congregation without any affiliations. The name we chose was Temple Aviv Judea in 1978. We were incorporated the following year. We continued to worship Friday evenings in their home.
We moved out of their home a year later, leasing from churches along the way. We were in Norwalk, then La Mirada, La Palma, and Orange, Yorba Linda, Orange again. We acquired two Torahs, few arks. It was a rough road, with many mountains and valleys along the way. Our biggest bump in the road was the loss of Mike's parents in the 1990's and finally the loss of Michael himself in 2004 from a long illness.
We were down to about ten core people at this time. We could have ended it then and there. but the Lord spoke to all of us and they unanimously felt that I should take up the mantle and lead the congregation. The last ten years, has been rough but also fulfilling. The Lord has brought the finest to this congregation for such a time as this. We have one purpose and vision and we are ready to move.
The Dream: as I said earlier, it was a dream for us from the very beginning, that we have our own building. After 35+ years, I was beginning to resign to the fact that it was only a dream. One of our congregants of over 10 years, Ruby Shehadi, a Middle Eastern Christian, became good friends with us. She, being a real estate agent, had the same dream also. After 36 years, the dream was born. We purchased a building in Fullerton, California. All both Ruby and I could say, 'it was the hand of the Lord!!'
Because of this, we believe that we will be used mightily to bring forth the good news of Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah, to the Jew first, and also to the Nations. All are welcome to participate in this ministry…. Come join with us in this monumental moment in time. Come see what the Lord is about to do!! Let us Dream Big!!