A Brief History of the Church of Christ in Fillmore, California,
1919 to 2017
According to George Biggers, formerly of Ojai, Fillmore is the oldest Church of Christ in Ventura County, having begun about 1919. There were two families and a single man meeting at that time. George was the oldest of eight children and his family farmed in Santa Paula Canyon and drove the thirteen miles over to Fillmore every Sunday by horse and team.
In 1925 the church met in the home of J.H. Moore, and in that year W. W. Pace held a meeting. Roy Key preached for a period of time, later Jack Morris The church met for a time on Main Street in Fillmore, later meeting in “Tipperary Flats” in North Fillmore. Reed Dement reported that by 1937 the church was meeting at First and Mountain View Streets. Marion C. Davis was hired full time and the church began to grow.
In 1961 Howard Ewing came to work with the church and helped make plans for a new building which was completed in 1964. The church still meets in that building at 219 Mountain View Street, but two class room wings have been added, including a fellowship hall. Preachers during this period included Ralph Downey, Parker Lacefield and Hank Wiser, who helped with the inception of the Joy Bus Program and in 1975 Philip Wall began working with the church.
At its height, the church had three buses serving the community in Fillmore on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights. In 1979 Raye Kramar came to Fillmore, and began an outreach to the Spanish population. Jose Alvarado and Vicente Sumaran followed him. Other ministers since then included Harvey Stowe, Mickey Rutland, Barry Fike and Robert Russell. Today the church is thankful to have one church with two languages, and looks forward to continuing to share Good News with our neighbors in Fillmore.