Mike Davis and I met in 1974 in Fullerton, California. A Jewish Believer shared the Good News to each of us separately. In time, when we both believed, he brought us together. Mike’s parents and his 83-year old grandmother became believers shortly after. Two doors down on Flatbush Avenue in Norwalk, California, lived a non-Jewish family that loved the L-rd. They gently discipled Mike's parents and grandmother by having informal Bible studies on Friday evenings.
This Bible study was opened to all and it grew. Within a year, on February 24, 1978, we became one of the very first Messianic Jewish congregations in the country and the world. Being Jews, we began to understand the concept that we can still believe in Yeshua and remain and practice as Jews.
Mike became the founding Messianic Rabbi and I became the cantor. The first item on the agenda was to obtain a Kosher Torah and an ark. We were not only blessed with one Torah, but with two! During our first 35 years, we moved around Southern California like a family living in a tent, from Norwalk, to La Mirada, to La Palma, and then Orange, and Yorba Linda, and then back to Orange. From the beginning, we have been a steady witness for our Jewish Messiah Yeshua!
I met my wife Hilary and we were married at Temple Aviv Judea in 1979. The congregation has celebrated many life cycles such as weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs and funerals. Mike Davis went home to the L-rd in August 2004 and I was licensed and ordained as the Messianic Rabbi.
Since 2004, TAJ has been growing and diligently fulfilling its mission to reach out to the Lost Sheep of Israel and to open its doors to the Jews and to the Nations. We truly are a place where the walls of partition between Jews and Gentiles have been broken down.
On October 1, 2014, after 36 years of moving from one facility to another, we finally purchased and moved into our own place in Fullerton. Because of our faith and trust in Him, He secured a loan for us. Like the majority of Messianic congregations, we know what it is like to not have our own building and to lease instead.
We are right on Commonwealth, a busy main street in Fullerton, just a few blocks from downtown.
We presently lease our building to two church congregations. Their rent pays for our basic mortgage, however it does restrict our ministry "to the Jew first, and to the Nations" and to grow and to reach out to the Jewish community.
Part of our vision is to create Aviv Judea Messianic Jewish Community Center that would be open to all.
Imagine a full time place for Torah learning, a place to dialogue about Yeshua the Messiah, a place to have Friday night Shabbat dinners open to the community, a Library and Gift Shop.
These are all dreams until we pay off the loan and get the full use of our building.
But it is nothing but a miracle that we are in our own building.