I found some interesting notes on the history of Mission Valley Community Chapel in this study on Brethren (Plymouth Brethren) assemblies in North America –
“James Mader had been saved while serving in the U.S. Army Air Corp in World War II…he came to San Diego as the Assistant Director of the Christian Servicemen’s Center (CSC), with a desire to go full-time into the Lord’s work…Mr. Barker, having observed James Mader preach at the CSC, asked him to preach to the adults, and this was the start of what would soon become the Mission Valley Community Chapel.
In the early 1950s, Mr. Barker replaced the barracks with a purchased submarine trainer, which after remodeling became the present home of the Chapel. Mr. Mader was by then teaching Bible classes in various homes…One by one, people were saved and the need for a church home became evident. An assembly was formed and incorporated in 1953 as the Mission Valley Community Chapel…”
You can read it all starting on page 3 of 37 HERE
This is an excerpt from a much larger 323 page study of North American Brethren assemblies –
More On the History of Mission Valley Community Chapel
I (Paul) only started coming to the Chapel about five years ago. I’ve spoken with Jean Mader, Pastor Jim Mader’s wife. She mentioned that while he worked at the Christian Servicemen’s Center he would play games like ping-pong with the servicemen, serve snacks, and gives short sermons.
She also mentioned when they got the submarine trainer for the Chapel building, it had to be moved from its original location elsewhere. It was put in final position by being rolled on logs.
I had also heard from other folks at the Chapel how much of a praying man Pastor Jim was. One told me that he prayed several hours a day at the Chapel. When I ask another how they built up the Chapel, he replied “We prayed them in and we prayed them out.” “Prayed them out” referred to people going onto the mission field. Jean Mader also noted how much of a practical man he was, too. I guess he was too busy not to pray!
Here is a blog post with a link to Past James Mader’s Obituary
When I first started coming, the Chapel building was just finishing having some renovations. Here’s a picture as to how it looks now –