Personal Remembrance: Marilyn Hanks
Historical View of PCC
by Marilyn Hanks
As told in 2007
The first congregants of this church were Swedish-speaking immigrants to the Pasadena area—meeting first in houses for Bible study, then overflowing into a rented hall for worship. They eventually formed by charter the Swedish Evangelical Mission Church of Pasadena. Under the nurture of the First Covenant Church of Los Angeles, they continued to grow and in 1924 purchased this corner to build upon.
In the 1930s the church voted to hold services in English as well, in order to reach more of the community. There was another name change—to the “Evangelical Mission Covenant Church of Pasadena” and in the 1940s the facilities were enlarged and an active program of visitation under the encouragement of Pastor Arvid Carlson was begun to invite people into our fellowship. We became known as the friendly church in the heart of Pasadena.
Earnest and I began attending church here in 1951 on the enthusiastic recommendation of a former prostitute friend of mine. In the 1950s, 60s and 70s, always focusing on outreach, we seeded seven new churches in Southern California – from Santa Barbara to San Diego!
Covenant Women organized “circles” to assist missionaries on the fields—from bandages and medical supplies for hospitals in Congo to the purchase of vehicles to reach outlying villages. Of this church’s total budget, 60% went to missions.
For local needs we operated a “Help House” with donated food, clothing and household items.
“Cradle Roll,” taught by Naomi Johnston with help and funds from Covenant Women, was an hour-long meeting held in various homes to offer friendship and guidance to new mothers in the area. How to deal with colic and 2:00 a.m. feedings, etc., began the hour, with refreshments and fellowship, and a short Bible study brought it to a close. It was so successful it became a model for other denominations across the country.
We as a church have always reached out to others. What can you young families do to serve now?
View Additional Personal Remembrances:
- "The Evangelical Covenant Church of Pasadena, CA: A Brief History,” by Robert K. Johnston
- "The Legacy of Pasadena Covenant Church," by Elmer Fredrickson
- "STORIES of the Past and VISIONS of the Future," by Dr. Paul Johnston
- The Pasadena Covenanter, July 1970, including the Youth Dept's 130 Mile Walk