Paradise First Assembly


In 1936, a small group of people, under the leadership of Rev. and Mrs. Wicks, of Gridley, California, started the Assembly of God church in Paradise, California. Among the charter members of the church were: Mrs. Nyda McEwen, Mrs. Marta McCullough, Mrs. Ella Davis, and Mrs. Dorothy Wishmer. The names of others were not recorded.

Mrs. Ella Bear and Rev. William Kern were pastors who followed the Wicks. The church occupied, as temporary quarters, a house at Black Olive and Skyway. It was during Rev. Kern’s pastorate that the first church was built on North Libby Road. The building was very small, but was adequate as their sanctuary for the next few years. In 1946, Rev. Ray Parks took the pastorate. On February 11, 1948, the church was incorporated and became affiliated with the Northern California Nevada District Assemblies of God with headquarters in Springfield, Missouri.

In 1948, Rev. Parks heard of “army chapels” that were being sold at Camp Beale, Marysville, and arranged to purchase one from the government for $2,000. The church purchased property at 6280 Clark Road and the chapel was moved to Paradise, piece by piece, where the members of the congregation, along with Pastor Parks, worked to reconstruct it. The work took several years, but was finally completed. The church would call this location “home” for the next thirty-six years.

In 1961, Rev. Ray and Mrs. Parks resigned. The membership called their son, Rev. Glen Parks, formerly of North Highlands, California, to continue the work of the church. Pastors to follow Rev. Glen Parks were Leslie Lewis, who under his ministry, purchased property behind the church and built a parsonage, William Austin, Allen Keil, Gene Riggs, and Bob Robertson.

Under the leadership of Pastor Bob Robertson, the church purchased the CMA building and property. On September 9, 1984, the church had its first service at the new property located at 955 Elliott Road, where the church still resides.