After the first decade of the popular migration of the Samoan "Fitafita" and Navy movement eastward from the Pacific isles, and consequently following a schismatic venture by a remanant of the "Lokou o le Ola" Samoan Congregation in Carson, the Reverend George Agaiotupu Viena and Mrs. Mauelua Solia Atuatasi Viena, Founder and Incorporating Minister of the UNITED SAMAON CHURCH (USC), along with tens of families established this soon-to-be renown Samoan congregation within the South Bay area of Los Angeles Harbor, namely in the City of Carson. Since her establishment on March 1, 1964, when 16 families came together to prayerfully organize and start what is now another Samoan congregation in the South Bay and Harbor area. It wasn't until September 1, 1964, that the State of California had officially registered this non-profit and charitable corporation, giving this religious entity proper status to operate in accordance with the statutes and laws of the state. USC continues to actively engage in God's service, while serving our wider community, particularly through but not limited to its indigenous Samoan populace in the Southern California area. Moreover, USC's ministry and mission has expanded her horizons to reach folks of the greater Los Angeles and neighboring counties, as well as those partnering localities throughout the United States and American Samoa.
With migrating families continue to join the Carson congregation, membership roster began to escalate tremendously; thus, growth in numbers meant also an increase in financial support. After much planning, let alone countless consultation sessions with city officials and departmental staffing, as well as frequent church meetings, USC held a ground-breaking service in 1973, for the erecting of a new sanctuary which was completed and dedicated on August 31, 1974, as witnessed by hundreds of families and community leaders, both local and abroad. Among clergy leaders were the officiating minister for the church dedication, the late Reverend Elder Suitonu Galea'i (Minister of the First Samoan Congregational Christian Church of the United States of America, located in San Diego, CA); the late Reverend Elder Siave Teofilo (Minister of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa in Nofoalii, Western Samoa); the late Reverend Elder Tiso Panapa (Minister of the Congregational Christian Church of American Samoa in Ta'u, Manu'a); the late Reverend Elder Tuiofu Foisia (Minister of the Lokou o le Ola Congregation of the CCCS in Carson, CA); and the late Reverend Faoliu Faoliu (Minister of the Nuuuli Congregation of the CCCAS).
The newly-built church structure was completed and is named -- MALAMALAMA O LE SATAURO O LE FAAOLATAGA, simply translated to be the LIGHT OF THE CROSS OF SALVATION. Today, we continue to worship God in this very unique architectural structure, only to further the message of hope and promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ, by sharing the LIGHT OF THE CROSS, which testifies to God's gift of SALVATION for all peoples. LET IT SHINE, LET IT SHINE, LET IT SHINE!
Having resolved in July, 1984, to join a Samoan ecclesial fellowship, USC has
since been denominationally affliated with and holding full standing membership in
the CONGREGATIONAL CHRISTIAN CHURCH OF AMERICAN SAMOA (CCCAS), also known as the
EKALESIA FAAPOTOPOTOGA KERISIANO I AMERIKA SAMOA (EFKAS), headquartered at
Kanana Fou, American Samoa. USC is notably a member of the South Los Angeles
District (Pulega LA Saute) of the Southern California Regional Conference
(Matagaluega Kalefonia Saute).
Recalling the process of admission into the CCCAS, it was on the afternoon of "Tala Lelei" Sunday, September 2, 1984, that Rev. Viena and congregants had pursued membership with the late Reverend Elder Malaki Tauiliili I, the presiding Elder (and Minister of the Samoan Congregational Christian Church of the South Bay area) for the nearby church district at the time (weeks after the Pulega's Elder's return from the 1984 General Assembly in American Samoa). Upon arrival at the Samoan Fellowship Hall of the South Bay church, Elder Tauiliili had announced to await the arrival of then District Secretary, the late Reverend Lusemaka Tuliau (Minister of the 4th Samoan Congregational Christian Church in Long Beach, CA). It was necessary for the District leadership to be present at the time of consideration for its newest member to join. With open arms and open spirit, it was unanimously decided by the presiding clergy that USC was now a member of the CCCAS Pulega LA Saute, and the membership process will continue to the regional conference level. Fortunately, notification was given that on November 17, 1984, the Matagaluega will be convening for its meeting at the First Samoan Congregational Christian Church in Oceanside, CA, where the late Reverend Talo Poumele was minister and also Moderator of the Southern California Regional Conference of CCCAS. Shortly before the opening worship for this regional gathering, then Conference Secretary, the late Rev. Dr. Apela Moananu, invited USC to come into the meeting place for official induction and installation of clergy and church officers (deacons and lay leadership). Again, with great warmth, USC was well received and the Rev. Viena was granted full recognition with the Samoan ecclesial denomination by the conference elders. All of the Deacons and Lay Preachers of USC at the time were also given privilege of status for the church offices that they possessed during the time of entry into the Matagaluega. What a day to remember, and praise be to God for His overwhelming blessings!
How time flies... this year we not only celebrate 30 years since the Fellowship Center was opened on March 3-4, 1984, the 40 years of our existing MALAMALAMA O LE SATAURO O LE FAAOLATAGA, but also celebrate 50 years since the inception of this church five decades ago. We praise the Lord for enabling us to be a part of His wider mission here in our Carson community and abroad. On July 3-5, we will be having a festive and joyous time in commemorating our Golden Jubilee, thanking God for all that He has done, is doing and continues to do for USC. We hope that as our ecclesial denominational leadership, regional and local clergy, former members and friends gather with our congregation, God will be forever glorified as we reminisce on the yester-years of USC, and how we have journeyed along thus far. This will be a momentous HOMECOMING time to see old members and new faces, sharing in fellowship in light of our ongoing motto --- GOD'S PEOPLE UNITED IN CHRIST. Special invitees include former USC Pastors --- the Rev. Dr. Elia & Mrs. Galoane Sunia Taase, the Rev. Matagiese & Mrs. Tagiilima Muasau Tunoa, and leaders of our CCCAS, both from Kanana Fou and here in our Southern California Regional Conference. Jubilee activities will include an Anniversary Picnic (remember the Peck Park and Redondo Pier days? Hahahaha), an "At-home" Slideshow of the First 50 years, a day of FUN and EXCITING games, a spectacular USC-style FIREWORK SHOW (it is the 4th of July), an enjoyable FIAFIA NITE, and highlighted by an uplifting Golden Jubilee Worship Service followed by the blessings of the 50th Anniversary Cake.
Please join us in wishing USC a very blessed and joyous 50th birthday! GOD IS GOOD... ALL THE TIME!