St. Georges celebrated our 125th year in 2016
Our history has been one of strength, staying power, growth and renewal.
Stop by Heritage Hill Park in Lake Forest, and you can visit the small redwood church, St. George's first building, built in 1891.
The church was part of an early business enterprise to attract British citizens to the El Toro area. Eventually, they all left; the church remains.
At various times we have provided worship space for Jewish, Greek Orthodox, and Baptist faith communities.
Drought and torrential rains contributed to the church's early rough and tumble existence while serving fruit workers and wealthy families in the surrounding agrarian community. Circuit-riding priests initially served St. George's as communities such as Anaheim, Tustin, Santa Ana and Orange grew.
In 1964 with the opening of Leisure World and the development of Mission Viejo, the mission church of St. George's began to experience a new influx of families.
In 1966, the Rev. Frederick C. Hammond became vicar-in-charge and was later called as the church's first rector. A new church building was erected at its present location, at 23802 Avenida de la Carlota and was dedicated in 1969. The abobe tiles that can be seen in the memorial fountain were created by members and lined the periphery of the original Carlota building.
Commemorating our history in South Orange County has been a year of celebration, joy, renewal and re-visioning our mission and ministry in this community and the world.
Above left, the original church building as depicted in St. George's stained glass windows in the sanctuary. Above right, at one of several church celebrations commemorating 125 years in South Orange County.
Celebrations, clockwise, this page from above left: Commemorative 125th Anniversary Quilt, created by Katie Dunbar, Picnic after a worship service at the origial church in Heritage Hill Park. Lake Forest, Beryl Pidgeon, the longest-attending membver rings the bell to start worship in the orginal church; Beth Dancy and Mercedese Bantz, with a commemorative banner. The page below:
St. George's in the Lake Forest 4th of July Parade; "St. George" (Mike Ziegler) and "the Dragon" (Kathie Killen) square off during the Parade and the parade marchers have their own cheering section.