The beginning of the story of the Orchard Christian Fellowship started in 1967. It was originally called the Rancho California Baptist Mission and was one of Temecula’s first churches. The church derived its name from the area that surrounded Temecula, which was an unincorporated city at the time. The first home for the church was at the Temecula Elementary School where we started with 10 people and, in 1970, changed the name to First Baptist Church of Rancho California. In an effort to encourage people to move to the area, land developers of Rancho California offered land to the church at a nominal price, so the church purchased and moved to the land where it currently resides.
The church continued slow but steady growth through the 70’s and 80’s. In 1989, when Temecula officially incorporated as a city, the church became the First Baptist Church of Temecula with 125 people. Throughout the 1990’s and 2000’s church attendance fluctuated. Then, in 2004 when a church plant called the Orchard was looking for a permanent home after meeting at Vail Ranch Middle School, the two churches merged to become The Orchard Christian Fellowship.
Eventually in 2013, after years of praying and seeking the Lord’s will about impacting the Temecula and Murrieta area, the church experienced incredible and explosive growth. In one year, God filled the church with record numbers of attenders, salvations, baptisms, and memberships. To accommodate this amazing growth, which was now filling the three services, nursery, preschool and children’s ministry to capacity, the church rented the Temecula Elementary School next door (where we started!). The children’s ministry was moved there, and an overflow room with a live video feed as well as an outdoor venue of the service was added to create additional space. The church continues to grow as one of the fastest growing churches in the nation and we are excited to see what God will do next!