Over a dozen Orthodox Presbyterian congregations have promoted their heritage by naming themselves “Westminster OPC.” When Garden Grove (CA) OPC adopted that name, it served a double purpose, as it also indicated its location. On August 2, 1998, the congregation moved to Westminster, California, a city two miles south that was founded as a temperance colony by Presbyterians in 1870. Even more encouraging than the name change, the purchase of the former Southern Baptist church building in Westminster nearly tripled square footage of space for the congregation that outgrew its former site.
The Garden Grove church began in 1951 when the Rev. Louis Knowles led Bible studies under the oversight of First OPC in Long Beach. Robert Morris served as the church’s organizing pastor, and when he took a teaching position at Valley Christian School, Edwards Elliott accepted a call to pastor the flock. He served from 1956 until his tragic death in a 1979 plane crash on his return home from General Assembly. Under the leadership of Elliott’s successor, William Warren, the church moved to Westminster. Since 2003 the Rev. B. J. Gorrell has faithfully shepherded the flock in Westminster.
Picture: The congregation in 1998 with Pastor Warren on the bottom far right.