Our Story

A group of 18 people met in the home of Pastor Charles Dale on June 1, 1962 to discuss the prospect of planting a new church on the north side of San Diego. Previously, Pastor Dale had served for 10 years as pastor of the First Alliance Church at Lincoln and Centre streets in North Park.

The first service was held at the Machinists Union Hall at 5150 Kearny Mesa Road on September 2, 1962 with about 30 people in attendance.

Soon property for a permanent church building was purchased for $35,000 on the corner of Balboa and Mount Albertine avenues and construction began almost immediately. When completed, the church took the name Balboa Avenue Alliance Church and consisted of a chapel (now Fellowship Hall), seven classrooms, a kitchen, rest rooms and a small office.

As the church grew, classrooms were added to complete the first floor of the educational building. By 1972, a second floor was added and a preschool ministry was started. And in 1974 funds were raised to build a new and larger sanctuary which was dedicated on July 2, 1978.

By 1984 more office space was needed, so a two-story addition to the educational building was completed in 1986 to provide adequate accommodations.

On July 1, 1986 Pastor Dale retired at the age of 70 after 24 years of pastoring Balboa Avenue Alliance Church. An invitation was extended to Rev. David Hicks, Campus Pastor of Toccoa Falls College in Georgia, to be the next pastor.

As the ministry continued to prosper, a youth pastor was added to the staff. In 1994, Rev. Hicks resigned and Ivan Huff, the youth pastor, became the new senior pastor. However, Pastor Huff resigned in March of 1995 and the search began for a new pastor.

A candidate was found at a large Alliance church in Appleton, Wisconsin. Dr. Steve Grunlan had taught at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and Crown College in Minnesota. He and his wife arrived in October 1995 to begin their ministry.

During the tenure of Dr. Grunlan, the church’s name was changed from Balboa Avenue Alliance Church to Balboa Community Church. The sanctuary was renovated and The Living School was expanded by adding classes through the sixth grade as well as additional staff.

In August 2003, after eight years as pastor, Dr. Grunlan resigned to take a position as pastor of a church in Overland Park, Kansas. During the interim period without a pastor, the church adopted several measures to cut costs and finally made the decision to close The Living School. With the help of a district loan, financial obligations were met and in the Spring of 1995 the search for a new pastor was resumed.

Rev. David Edwards arrived in San Diego with his wife, Jan, and began ministry on September 11, 2005. New church bylaws were adopted in January of 2008 and elections of church officers resumed. Small group Bible studies, seasonal outreach events, children’s programming, and many other opportunities have contributed to the resurgence of effective ministry.

God has used Balboa Community Church to touch the lives of many people over the years. Today there is a sense of a new beginning, a fresh start to fulfill God’s purpose for His church.

Historical Photos

Charles and Elizabeth Dale

Founding Pastor: Charles & Elizabeth Dale

Groundbreaking 1963

Balboa Ave. groundbreaking, 1963

First church building

First church building, facing Balboa Ave.

Dedication of second floor,  May 1972

Dedication of second floor educational building, May 1972

New Sanctuary - Outside

Completed sanctuary, corner of Mt Albertine & Mt Ada

New Sanctuary - Inside

Inside original sanctuary

Office addition,  May 1986

Office addition under construction, May 1986