Our Story



Our church was established before Downey was incorporated as a city. It was in the Gallatin settlement of the Los Nietos Valley on Sept. 19, 1868 that seven people, John Newton, his wife, and son Willis; Olive Payett; Melvina Cole and her two daughters, Ann Baker and Margaret Cole, gathered to start the valley's first Baptist church, called Los Nietos Baptist Church. Rev. Isham Fuqua, a farmer from Rincon, a community near present-day Chino, served as the church's first pastor. Fuqua is numbered among the most influential pioneer clergyman of the Baptist church in California history. One weekend every month, Fuqua rode 50 miles to Downey to conduct church services. Due to the danger of bandits and outlaws, a group of men from Rincon usually rode with Fuqua half way through his journey until met by a group from the church who rode with him the remainder of the way. The church never paid Fuqua despite the fact he often braved violent storms and flooded rivers to conduct services. Our church is the oldest active Baptist church in California.


Los  Nietos Baptist Church  took on the name First Baptist Church of Downey in 1874 during the construction of a new sanctuary. One of the church's earliest sanctuaries can be visited at Knott's Berry Farm, where it is called  The Church of Reflections.  Our church grew under prolific leadership to become one of the nation's first megachurches from Pastors like Jack McArthur, Father of John MacArthur, and Harold Adams.  We launched many church plants across California, and ministries like the world-renowned apologetics ministry of Josh  and Sean McDowell. Unfortunately, the church gave itself over to power struggles, control issues, and negligence that hindered the effectiveness of the church's ministries and the church declined from 1987-2020. When it seemed like all hope for the church might've been lost, God initiated a miracle.


In January of 2020, our church gathered for the last time as First Baptist Church of Downey and was founded as Legacy Church of Downey, under the leadership of Pastor Shane and Whitney Hicks. Just a few short months later, the world was turned upside down with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Still, God blessed our church and we saw over 100 individuals receive Christ and be baptized in our early years while most churches were closed. Our desire is to be a people who bring God's truth and love to our city, county, nation, and world for the glory of Jesus Christ.

We hope to see our campus transform into a community center that reaches people not just on Sundays, but all days through all kinds of ministries. Pray for us as we seek to start a Preschool, Grade School, Homeschool Network, and more!

We know our best days are ahead of us and we join you to be a part of God's story for our church.

Be a part of our story...

Join us every Sunday as we gather to worship at 10:00 A.M.