William H. Spurgeon, the founder of the City of Santa Ana, purchased seventy-six acres of land from the Yorba heirs in 1869 and laid out what was to become the Orange County seat. With only six or eight homes in the place and about one hundred fifty souls, thirteen people organized First Baptist Church of Santa Ana on a Saturday in March of 1871, at the local school house.
Services were held in the school house until the first church was built in 1876. The cost was $4000 and it was located on four lots donated by Spurgeon at the corner of Main & Church Streets. The interior was unfinished for a number of years and financial problems were so severe during the first 10 -12 years, that the property was sold for taxes several times. At one point, members mortgaged their homes to pay off the church obligations and one member lost his home because of this. And Santa Ana developed, so did the church. As many members were from surrounding area, certain groups took their letters and established in neighboring cities. Continue reading