Grace Vineyard Christian Fellowship meets in a historic movie theater formerly known as the Crest Theater. Here’s 2 pictures comparing the theater in 1952 and 2017 looking north on Freeman Street:
The theater became vacant in the 1990s. A local real estate developer bought it in 1997. Our church was called Grace Chapel of the Coast at that time, and was renting various facilities. We saw this article in the Oceanside Blade Tribune, a local newspaper, and founding pastor Jack Little asked his assistant Ron Ohst to try to locate Harvey Schwarz, the new owner listed in the article, and tell him we have an idea for a great use for the theater.
Mr. Schwarz asked Jack and Ron to meet him for breakfast in the Jolly Roger restaurant in the Oceanside Harbor, and they struck a deal over breakfast. That began a long and fruitful relationship with the Schwarz family. The building included the theater, a nutrition store and upstairs office suites. Over the years we were able to expand into the entire building. What was the Oceanside Nutrition Center became our children’s ministry area, and the office suites became our “Upper Room” youth center.
Mr. Schwarz passed away in 2017, and his memorial service was held at Grace Vineyard, with now senior pastor Ron Ohst leading the service. Mr. Schwarz’s daughter, Cathy Schwarz became the new owner and continued to lease to our church, always under very generous terms. In August, 2019, Miss Schwarz gave us an extremely generous offer to purchase the building, and we closed escrow in September 2019.