Eld. Carson had seen the fulfillment of his dream to erect a church and Saints Home for God's people, but the work, strain and pressures began to take their toll and he became ill, and departed this life on July 16, 1924. Before his departure and with affirmation of his Official Board, he chose Eld. Floyd I. Douglas as his successor.
Bishop Floyd I. Douglas
1923 - 1950
Leaving a successful pastorate in Kentucky,
Eld. Douglas and his devoted wife, Sis. Annie Belle Douglas, arrived in Los Angeles in August 1924. Eld. Douglas was a man of deep faith and sincere belief in God. He had a profound understanding of the Apostolic doctrine; and while a man of pride, he possessed humility and great spiritual integrity. He was later dubbed the "little man with the big heart. Taking over the reins of the Apostolic Faith Home Assembly, Eld. Douglas inherited approximately 30 members, a large financial debt approximating $15,000 and a duty of trust to a departed friend and co-worker in the gospel.
Prayerfully and faithfully Eld. Douglas began to work, teaching the fundamentals of the Apostolic doctrine according to the scriptures. He was elevated to the office the Bishop of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World in 1929. In succeeding years the church twice hosted the national convention of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World and continued its program of evangelization. By 1948, through his able and devoted leadership and cooperation of the congregation, Bishop Douglas liquidated all church indebtedness, including reimbursing Mother Bell for the cost of her lot which had been utilized free of charge for nearly twenty-five years.
The church demonstrated substantial growth numerically, financially and in terms of spiritual influence. The need for larger quarters once again became apparent and plans were initiated to secure larger quarters. A building account was opened and plans issued forth for the realization of this goal. But, history was to be repeated. At the close of a twenty-four year span Bishop Douglas became ill and on April 23, 1951, God called him from labor to reward. His battle was won, and he had fulfilled his promise to the minister whom he succeeded. He had been a faithful pastor and spiritual leader to the saints of 1122 East 33rd Street.
Once again the congregation banded together in prayer for guidance in the selection of a new pastor. It was unanimously decided to call native-born Elder Frank Reuben Bowdan, who as a lad had been one of the charter members of the church; and who, upon the death of his mother (who also was a pioneer member of the church), had moved to the Midwest,
Bishop Frank R. Bowdan
1951 - 1976
sojourning there during the intervening years. When he accepted, there was joy and satisfaction in the hearts of the saints, for they knew that he was a man of God, well versed in the doctrine of the church and an adept and capable minister of the Word of God.
Elder Bowdan arrived with his wife, Sis. Viola Bowdan, and their four children in December, 1951, from the church he had pastored for the previous fifteen years, in Flint, Michigan. Elder Bowdan exuded a spirit of enthusiasm as he returned "home" to minister to the saints of the Home Assembly.
He assumed the oversight of the flock in spiritual matters and joined wholeheartedly to foster and promote the building program instituted by his predecessor. A new organ was purchased to enhance the worship services and necessary renovations were made to beautify the present quarters. The membership increased and soon the urgency for additional space was impending. The congregation negotiated and purchased an imposing edifice located at 6520 South Normandie Avenue. It was refurbished to suit the requirements of the assembly and in January 1953, the Apostolic Faith Home Assembly occupied its new location.
Bridging the speculations
of adversity which might
be faced in a cross-city
move, the membership
swelled rather than
diminished. Adherents and
their friends gathered
joyfully to worship in the
spacious new surroundings.
Neighbors alike were
impressed with the
solemnity and fervor of the
services and joined often in sharing them. Not only on Sundays, but throughout the weekdays, the Home Assembly was alive with Christian activity: afternoon prayer meetings, Bible study, teachers' training classes, choir rehearsals, literature publication and frequent special events including an annual Family Day service, annual week of convention services, annual Get-Acquainted Nights to introduce new members, hosting the general convention of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World and on other, occasions its separate National Youth Convention. A two-week summer Vacation Bible School was instituted by 1960 and summer camp-outs were offered periodically to the youths.
Desirous of broadening the coverage of the gospel message of salvation, Eld. Bowdan began a radio ministry on February 14, 1954, and continuously heralded the blessed truths of the scriptures to a wide radio audience until the end of his pastorate. Also that same year, annex buildings were erected, providing additional restroom and lounge facilities, additional classrooms and a snack bar. In 1962, Eld. Bowdan was elevated to the office of Bishop of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, and in 1964 was appointed Diocesan of its 16th Episcopal District, which included the California-Nevada District Council. In 1968 Bishop Bowdan was elected to the office of Assistant Presiding Bishop of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, and held that office until 1974.
From its membership of 250 in the year 1951, ten years later the congregation had doubled, and by 1963, membership had grown to approximately 530. Once again the need for more space was evident. Again, a building project was initiated. Adjacent properties were purchased, but just as a contract was to be drawn for construction, the site at 3200 West Adams Boulevard was offered for sale to the congregation. Once again, the Apostolic Faith Home Assembly family moved and on December 25, 1966 an overflow crowd gathered for the first service in their new "home". Official dedication services were held on January 29, 1967 with Bishop Benjamin T. Moore of Seattle, Washington, as guest minister and officiant. One week later, hundreds more witnessed dedication of the fellowship hall in memory of former pastor, Bishop F.I. Douglas.
Our church's growth and demonstrated spiritual excellence has received tremendous impetus from many memorable events during Bishop Bowdan's pastorate, including our association and participation in Aenon Bible School, commencing in 1958, under the direction of Evangelist Florence P. Mitchell and the establishment of the Mary Louise Porter Memorial Scholarship Fund by our Vacation Bible School. The expansion of Aenon Bible School, Los Angeles, was established during the fall of 1972 with Bishop Bowdan as President and Evangelist Norma Sylvester as coordinator of studies. The school established a memorial scholarship fund in memory of Sister Lottie Dilworth in July, 1973. By then our active membership had increased to seven hundred sixty (760).