Our Identity Statement
First Christian Church of Fullerton is a member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), which states: “We are Disciples of Christ, a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world. As part of the one body of Christ we welcome all to the Lord’s Table as God has welcomed us.”
But what does that mean?
We Commit to Include ALL in God's Family
Our desire for inclusivity and embrace of diversity is not in spite of our Christian tradition, it is because of our Christian identity. We take seriously that all are made in the image of God and that Christ has removed all the barriers that we create to divide us.
As an Open and Affirming Congregation, we are committed to being a community in which all people are loved — women and men, young and old, all sexual orientations and gender identities, all classes and abilities. We are a community in which all people learn to love by following the example of Jesus and through the Spirit of God.
We Study Scripture for Ourselves
We are called to study and read scripture for ourselves. Rather than having tests of faith and creedal statements, we critically and thoughtfully study scripture, taking into account the history and background – the context – in which it was written. The Bible is a collection of several distinct perspectives on the character of God and identity of a specific nation (what we typically call the “Old Testament”) and the character of God taught and expressed by Jesus and his earliest followers (what we typically call the “New Testament”). Understanding these collections takes into account cultural, linguistic, philosophical, and contemporary factors to determine how to understand, relate to, and live out our faith.
We Answer God's Call for Justice
We move to answer God’s call for justice particularly in the areas of care for the earth, the challenges for women and children, poverty and hunger and immigration. We seek to do this work in cooperation with other people of faith. Some say we “get dirty for Jesus” as a way of conveying the hands‑on mission orientation of many of our faith communities.
We Practice Unity and Inclusion at the Lord's Table
All are welcome to the Lord’s Table for the sake of mission and for the sake of the world as the one family of God. Most congregations do this by celebrating communion every Sunday. That’s also why we use a chalice as our logo. The practice of communion is a ceremony that remembers one of Jesus’ final lessons to his disciples‑ that his physical presence, like bread, is given to accomplish God’s redemptive plan and that his blood, like wine, is given freely to bring all things back into balance with one another.
We Practice Believer Baptism
A person makes the choice to follow God’s call rather than the choice being made for them (as an infant, for example). Baptism is a rite of passage for membership in the Church and also a reminder that every person is called to serve God – the idea of the “priesthood of all believers.”
We Are A Movement for Christian Unity
We honor our heritage as a movement for Christian unity by cooperating and partnering with other faith communities to work for bringing about wholeness – healing and justice – in the world. This is what it means to be “ecumenical.”
We also honor the heritage of Christian unity by staying together in community as a witness to the world that even when we disagree we can still make room, welcoming all as Christ has welcomed us. Our spiritual ancestors were fond of saying, “unity, not uniformity” and that in essential matters we would have unity and in non‑essential matters we would appreciate diversity, but it all matters we would reflect the love of Christ.
First Christian Church was founded in 1905 by Charles Chapman (who Chapman Avenue and Chapman University would be named after) to serve the spiritual and community needs of the those living and working in the recently incorporated town of Fullerton. As the city has grown from an early agricultural producer, to manufacturing and industry, and now an education and arts community, the church has grown to reflect the distinctive identity of its community. Located in downtown Fullerton at the corner of Harbor and Wilshire, it is in the epicenter of the city’s vibrant downtown district and remains a foundation of the city’s life.
The foundation of our church is rooted in the Restoration Movement‑ a Christian revival movement that emphasized local leadership, Christian unity, and the ability of all people to serve in ministry.
Our leadership is structured similarly to a non‑profit organization, with an unpaid Board of Elders that provide spiritual and administrative direction for the church and committees which direct key initiatives: Outreach, Discipleship, Worship, and Stewardship.
Dr. Mandye Yates
Assistant Music Director
Chair of Elders
Minister of Older Adults
Children and Youth Director
Carrie Van Diest
Bookkeeper / Webmaster