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50 years for Methodist church

Pastor of Costa Mesa church says congregation is 'relationship-driven.'

September 11, 2010|By Mona Shadia, mona.shadia@latimes.com
  • Pastor Mark Wiley of the Mesa Verde United Methodist Church, will celebrate the church's 50th anniversary this weekend.
Pastor Mark Wiley of the Mesa Verde United Methodist Church,… (SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

COSTA MESA — Mesa Verde United Methodist Church plans to celebrate 50 years of Sundays this weekend.

The church, which began in a vacant lot on the corner of Baker Street and Mesa Verde Drive, is marking five decades.

"It's really a celebration of the ministry that we've done, and we've done well for years and years," Pastor Mark Wiley said. "There's really a sense that we've done well, and we have been faithful."

The actual anniversary is Saturday, but the celebration will be Sunday.

Throughout the years, Mesa Verde United Methodist has organized dozens of work teams that travel abroad to help the needy. The church is involved in Habitat for Humanity, hosting blood drives, providing food to the South West Community Center in Santa Ana and feeding area senior citizens.

"We're a neighborhood church, but our focus is always on the concerns of the neighborhood and the world," Wiley said. "The church believes spirituality is the transformation in the heart, and you show that through compassion for your neighborhood and the world."

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The church has 400 members and 200 worshipers. There is a Montessori preschool on the property as well.

"It's really a relationship-driven church," Wiley said. "Even through doing all these things, the energy to do that comes from being connected to each other."

On Sunday, the church will host two services at 8:30 and 10 a.m. where Mary Ann Swenson, resident bishop, will preach. A sanctuary luncheon will follow at 11:30 a.m. at the church's fellowship hall.

The church is located at 1701 W. Baker St., Costa Mesa.

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