The church I pastor was charted in 1931 by the Los Angeles Presbytery. After meeting in a local elementary school for a few years the church saved enough money to buy some land and folks from the community and the church finally built the first building sometime in 1942.
There are a variety of persons that the church attracts and many who’ve attended for several years. Many in the church have worshiped together through several pastoral transitions. There was a time that the church was pastored only by part-time pastors and in the mid 80’s was able to hire the church its first full-time pastor. Everyone from retirees, insurance industry folks, accountants, shop owners, a farmer or two, school teachers, a fireman, and some contractors to those who are unemployed and in need are among the folks who’ve joined the church and have worshiped regularly together for years.
The church sits on the highway and often because of where the church is located there will be the occasional person stopping by needing food or some gas money. As with other small communities the town itself deals with its share of issues. Drug addiction and alcoholism are among the many. The church has a wonderful ministry led by many volunteers twice a month serving as a community food bank. Just this last Tuesday there were 52 families served. The food bank is part of the Los Angeles County Regional Food Bank
The community of Littlerock is roughly 40 percent Spanish speaking according to one source. We host a Spanish speaking community church every Sunday evening, a church that is part of the Covenant church. The desire that the church has had along with the presbytery is that we reflect the community we serve and one of the ways in doing this is by sharing the buildings in which we worship Christ together as one Church. We recently helped send off a Hispanic New Church Development to begin meeting on their own in a new building in Littlerock.
We have a wonderful ministry to the youth of the community. One of our leaders for several years now has led our youth ministry and along with the church has placed a high importance on loving kids as Jesus loves kids.
Here is some additional history of the community itself:
Nestled among the rolling foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, in the northern part of Los Angeles County just an hours drive from the bustling metropolis of Los Angeles, is the small agricultural community of Littlerock. Graced by four seasons, with snow in the winter, 100 degree heat in the summer, the beauty of blossoms and ripening fruit in the spring, and the changing color of leaves in the orchards in the fall, all accentuated with the year-round majesty of the native Joshua trees, Littlerock is truly a place of natural splendor.
The territory was occupied by peaceful tribes of Piute and Runner Indians until the mid 1860’s when the first settler moved in, bringing a flock of sheep and building an adobe home along the creek. When he was killed in 1886 by a grizzly bear, his place became a refuge for bandits.
In the 1890’s a settlement was started that was to become the foundation of Littlerock. The settlers planted 2000 acres of almond trees. The trees were early bloomers, and the sometimes unpredictable cold weather destroyed most of the crop. A few of the settlers had also planted pear trees, but these thrived and lived on to start the legend of the pear belt. A few almonds can be found today, but most have been cut for firewood. In 1901 the first ton of pears was shipped to the Mott Market in Los Angeles for $40 per ton F.O.B. Palmdale.
The first business in Littlerock was a blacksmith shop opened in 1890. The area at that time was called Alpine Springs Colony. In 1892 it was changed to Tierra Bonita by a developer, and in 1893 the town became Littlerock and the first post office was established. The first general store was opened in 1894, but failed after the first year because there were so few people living in the area.
A school was started in a shed in 1911, with the first school house opening on March 13, 1913. The one room school served until 1923 when two rooms were added. Keppel Union School District was formed in 1922.
In 1914 the first library was formed in the old stone house still standing on 77th St. East and Pearblossom Hwy. The county supplied 222 books. In its first year of operation, the library lent books out 577 times to a total of 47 cardholders. The library moved to its present location on 80th St. in 1999, and lends up to 25,500 books annually.
To serve the irrigation needs of the orchards, Littlerock Dam was built in 1924. The dam is an Eastwood cement multiple arch buttress dam and is one of several built in the Western U.S. It is considered a historical architectural monument. It is located in the Angeles National Forest adjacent to Littlerock and serves as a recreational facility for off-road vehicles, fishing, boating, equestrian trails and camping. This is a popular retreat and can be enjoyed year-round.
The Littlerock Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1949 after serving many years as the Antelope Valley Landowners Association. In 1950 three members of the newly formed Chamber went to Sacramento and made such an impressive appeal that they received funding to build the bridge over Littlerock Creek on the west side of town. The Chamber continues to serve the needs of the local businesses as well hosting various community events for the residents.
Littlerock is the largest un-incorporated community in the Antelope Valley and is known as “The Fruit Basket of the Antelope Valley.” The town is a series of orchards and homes and the highway is lined with fruit stands, U-pick orchards and small businesses that serve the needs of local residents as well as the high volume of tourist traffic. Littlerock has 3 elementary schools, 1 middle school and 1 high school to serve not only our local children, but the surrounding areas of Pearblossom, Juniper Hills and Lake Los Angeles. A junior college is now being planned for the area as well. There are two county operated parks to serve the needs of the community. Littlerock has numerous churches of many denominations. HT: Littlerock, CA
More to come.