The Story of the SDA Fellowship of Rancho Cucamonga
It all started one Sabbath afternoon in 2004, outside the University Church at Loma Linda. Pr Themba Mzizi and Dr. Omari Onyango had just attended an afternoon music program and met for the first time outside the Church. After exchanging a few pleasantries, Dr. Onyango shared his past church planting experience while in Huston Texas and his desire to do something similar here in California. This conversation became the beginning of a series of meetings mainly at the Juniper Avenue SDA church and at the Loma Linda Medical Center Cafeteria with an enlarged membership ensured. Martin Howard, Senior pastor of Juniper Avenue Seventh day Adventist church, Truth Ncube, Dr. Ayuka Oendo, Dr.Simba Kananga Dr. Onyango and Pastor Themba Mhlambi Mzizi became members of an exploration committee tasked to identify a city in the Inland Empire that did not have an Adventist church presence.
The group identified the cities of Rancho Cucamonga and Alta Loma as the cities that did not have a regular SDA presence. Drs. Oendo and Onyango were sent to scout out on possible venues that can be utilized for services. After three places turned them down, they identified the United Methodist Church on Church Street and Archibald which became the first meeting place for worship on January 7, 2006.
The planning committee’s vision for the new group was:
1. To embark on an evangelistic program through living a life style that would attract people to Jesus Christ;
2. To identify and address the spiritual, emotional and physical needs of residents in the Western part of the Southeastern California Conference territory, namely Upland, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana and parts of Pomona;
3. To establish a permanent Adventist church presence and to provide opportunity for individual members to utilize their spiritual gifts through serving in the church while waiting for the soon coming of Jesus.
Thus the Seventh Day Adventist Fellowship of Rancho Cucamonga was officially established as a Branch Sabbath School of Juniper Seventh Day Adventist Church in January 7, 2006.
With the purpose of establishing a multicultural Seventh Day Adventist presence which is Christ centered and Gospel oriented in the cities of Rancho Cucamonga and Alta Loma with a vision to uphold and present the good news of the gospel of Christ to the community while embracing social, cultural and ethnic diversity.
What started as a Branch Sabbath School with a membership of 13 on January 7, 2006 was officially granted an Affiliate Group status by the Southeastern California conference in 2008. On September, 24, 2011 the Rancho Cucamonga Affiliate Group was organized as a company. Two years later, on January 26, 2013 it was organized into church hood.
The church has currently a membership of 135 in good and regular standing. The Lord keeps on adding to our numbers men and women who have a zeal for soul winning.
The Rancho Cucamonga Seventh day Adventist church is committed in presenting the simple old time religion to the worshipers and to the community by upholding the Seventh day Adventist church values.
Believing in the priesthood of all believers, at Rancho Cucamonga, we equip the saints for worship and service by according members opportunity to participate in all church programs. As a church we believe that our reason for existence is to build the kingdom of God in the lives of our children and in the community. Without investing in the lives of our children and our community, the kingdom of God cannot be established. It is for this reason were have purchased two $1,300,000 properties were God is worshiped in spirit and in truth as well as the physical needs of the community are met. One building is used as a sanctuary for worshiping God and the other building is used as the Youth and Community service center for doing the ministries of the church. Since the purchase of the second building which is being used as the youth and community service center towards the end of 2016, the church has embarked on the renovation so that this building can provide a conducive environment for doing the ministries. The renovation project is in three phases. In phase one we did construct three rooms, two that are used as Sabbath school class rooms and the other room is used as the janitor’s closet. We have also constructed an upstairs storage space big enough for all church storage needs.
The church has so far spent almost $26,000 for the phase one renovations.
In November, we started construction on phase two with the help of the Southeastern California conference at an estimated cost of $35,000. In this phase, three rooms that will serve as counseling offices were the community will have individual one on one counseling sessions, one on one monthly dental checks, blood sugar and blood pressure examinations for the community and as a conference room for group counseling, health and nutrition seminars, financial education seminars, smoke cessation seminars and board meetings.
Phase three will cost about $30,000 that is for putting up community service pantry, kitchen, community service registration office, youth center renovation and also refurbishing the two bath rooms.
Some of the future plans and projections of the church are:
Numerically expand the Kingdom of God in the Community through personal and public evangelism programs.
Establish and promote on going spiritual, emotional, social, mental and physical health education to the Rancho Cucamonga community that are managed by the church’s Health and Temperance Department.
Establish a permanent place where the Millennials will have an opportunity to discover the relevance of God in their lives.
Sponsor a missionary project outside the North America Division territory once every two years.
Sponsor on going monthly Marriage and Family life programs for the church and the community.
The commitment and dedication in establishing the kingdom of God in this community of Rancho Cucamonga is not a lip service. The members have committed themselves in making sure that the monthly mortgage of $5,410.00 is paid and that the three Youth and Community Service Center building phases are completed to the honor and glory of God. Your prayers and financial support of any amount to this noble cause is greatly appreciated. Your monitory gifts are tax deductible and for more information on how you can be a part of this ministry you can contact the church secretary Ms. Edith Castro at 909-944-7744, email@example.com, or at www.ranchoadventist.org You can also give to Rancho Church building fund on line by simple visiting https://adventistgiving.org/#/org/ANPMRC/envelope/start
Thank you for being a part of this journey of faith in the building of God’s kingdom.
Pastor Themba Mhlambi Mzizi, Ph.D.