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Impact of a Worship Building in Temecula

What do people consider when moving into a community? Is it a location? The people? You may think it's for one reason, but the reason could be completely different when you look back. Meet individuals living in Temecula, California, and see how their lives were shaped by the decision to move to the city and the presence of the Church Of Christ house of worship.


Impact of a Worship Building in Temecula

Nan Zapanta: Do you ever think about how your decisions today will impact tomorrow? Or how one wrong turn could be the difference between life or death? Maybe you’re thinking, “Whoa, Nan. That’s a little bit dramatic.” But hear me out. What if one choice you make can shape how you live the rest of your life? This is exactly what happened to individuals who made a choice to move to Temecula Valley, only to realize it was just one part of the plan God had for them. 

Conrad Santos: It took me so many years to get to know it but then at the same time, it’s not how you start. It’s how you follow His commandments and continue to obey it until the end.

Eris Sandi: You know, it’s definitely a blessing from God.

[Show open]

Nan: I’m Nan Zapanta, as an industrial designer, I spent years admiring the great designs of products, vehicles and architecture from all over the world. But I found architecture to be the most captivating. I love learning about each building, discovering the characteristics that make it unique, and understanding the purpose behind its design. Most of all, I love hearing the stories behind each structure and seeing God’s plan and putting it all together. 

Join us as we discover the Blueprint of the buildings and structures inside the Iglesia Ni Cristo.

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Nan Zapanta

Cerritos, California

Nan: Temecula is one of those places that doesn’t really fit the SoCal image. For one, there are no beaches here. There aren’t any maps to movie star homes. And instead of surfers, we have people in cowboy boots, but its location 90 minutes from Los Angeles and an hour north of San Diego, have made it a popular place for many people to call home.

Nora: Temecula is all about community. We have French people. We have Italian people. We have Mexican people, Jewish people so that’s what you would get. That feel here. It’s all community and literally everybody trying to be the best version of themselves. 

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Temecula Valley resident

Trevor: I’m always meeting people like you guys, yourselves out here all the time. And it’s really interesting to see that. Over the years I’ve seen the city just go from being another town to kind of like a bit of a Southern California must-see tourist destination, which is really awesome.

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Oldtown – Temecula, CA


Taylor Joy Lagpacan: So today, I’m in Oldtown, Temecula. One thing that I love about this place is that there’s many things to do in Oldtown. 

Nan: Meet Taylor Joy, a typical young college grad who loves exploring Temecula’s charming downtown area, who’s sharing her experiences on social media

Taylor Joy: It’s a relaxing place where you can just walk around and enjoy time with friends and loved ones. This is definitely a staple place to visit whenever you’re in the Temecula area. So today I’m eating at one of my favorite restaurants. 

Nan: Taylor Joy wasn’t always from Temecula. In fact, up until her family moved here from Hawaii, they didn’t really know that such a place existed.

Taylor Joy: They were considering different states, actually. They considered Nevada. They were considering San Diego, actually, which is about an hour drive from here. In our families search for a home, we stumbled upon the city of Temecula. After a lot of consideration, Temecula was our choice because not only were we given the opportunity to move into a house that was within our budget and in a very safe and beautiful neighborhood, everyone is very family oriented. And yeah, it’s just a very nice quiet city. And I know for some people that may not…

Nan: Young people were among the hardest hit during the COVID lockdowns. 

[Source: Yahoo News]

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Pandemic Job Losses Hitting GenZ the Hardest

[Source: Healthline]

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Why GenZ Has Been Hit Hard by Pandemic Stress

[Video clip source: ABC – GMA]

Reporter 1: The entire state of California ordered to stay at home. That’s 40 million people. 

[Video clip source: ABC – KSAT]

News Anchor 1: Since when they left for spring break they never imagined they wouldn’t be able to go back…

Narrator:  Lives were uprooted or in many cases put on hold. 

[Video clip source: CBS News]

News Anchor 2: Class of 2020 is already proving resilient. 

Nan: Including the opportunity to walk in her own college graduation. And while the pandemic gave way to feelings of uncertainty, having a place like Temecula to call home, gave her the peace of mind during such a difficult time.

Taylor Joy: For those who are in Temecula, it’s really nice. Our chapel is located on one of the main roads, actually, in Temecula. 

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Taylor Joy Lagpacan

Temecula Valley resident

Taylor Joy: And we’re all impacted by events happening all over the world but just being able to have this chapel as kind of like a symbol of, you know, peace that can still exist in our lives and in the world.

Nan: It’s pretty hard to miss the Church Of Christ worship building in Temecula. But to fully appreciate the transformation of the building, it’s important to remember what it looked like before it was renovated. Stained glass formed a simple design on the facade, which was painted a light terracotta color but this was all replaced during the renovation. Blue and white moldings created a simple design on a cream facade. Two steeples, scale to adhere to the city ordinances, were added on both sides. And finally, the transformation was completed with the addition of a seal along with the Church Of Christ nameplate.

Taylor Joy: Ever since our chapel was renovated and dedicated, I feel like our Church’s presence in Temecula has been so great. This house of worship has inspired me to share my faith because I want people to also see that this chapel is here for them, like this can be a place for them as well.

Nan: Prior to its purchase in 2011, the worship building was previously owned by the Hope Lutheran Church. The property included a worship building, classrooms, a function hall, and office space. And while it might have seemed like the property would be too big for the small congregation, little did they know it would prepare them for what would happen years later.

Nan:  Eris, it’s so good to see you. It’s been a while.

Eris Sandi: I know.

Nan:  You know, there’s been so many times where we were able to work together. So when I found out I am going to Temecula, I was like “Oh, I know the guy to talk to you.” And we want to know, what is it that brought brethren to Temecula? And on top of that, what brought you specifically here to Temecula?

Eris Sandi: The location, the chance to start over, and school is a priority for their young ones and for their family to start anew. 

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Eris Sandi 

Moved to Temecula Valley in the 2010s

Eris: And I think when I came here, I only had one child during that time, and it was me and my wife, to have a first house because of the affordability. And it was just fantastic just to be able to, that we even had a locale here in Temecula. 

Nan: Right, right. 

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Local Congregation of Sacramento, California

Local Congregation of Ewa Beach, Hawai’i

Local Congregation of Henderson, California

Nan: Even as early as 2013, renovated worship buildings in the Church Of Christ integrated the latest in audio and video, 

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Local Congregation of Henderson, Nevada

Local Congregation of Washington, D.C.

Nan: To connect and communicate with congregations around the world.

Eris: As they built the skeletal structure inside, we’re able to run the nice conduits there for everything so that the installation process was a lot easier and less challenging, or less time constraints going forward. 

Nan: Right, right. All the tech that’s being used now and in the different congregations. Yeah, what can you say about the progress of all the tech that’s being used? 

Eris: I think the tech is fantastic. 

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Local Congregation of Riverside, California

Local Congregation of Hayward, California

Eris: You know, it’s part of our worship service now, especially due to the COVID pandemic.

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Local Congregation of Mill Woods, Edmonton

Eris: It’s forcing all of us to really put more importance in the technology that was put into the chapel. We had to upgrade a few things here and there from a locale’s perspective in order to meet the new requirements for worship service. 

[Video clip source: KCAL 9 Live]

Laurie Perez: It seems everyone and everything is having to adapt these days. I want to show you the sign that they’ve put up here on the front doors of the church. It says the “Church is closed until further notice” and they are directing people to join them online and… 

[Video clip source: WDIV 4]

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Many religious services canceled due to coronavirus outbreak

Reporter 2: Meanwhile, the Archdiocese of Detroit has announced the suspension of the publicly celebrated masses, all because of the coronavirus concerns. 

[Video clip source: KOAA 5]

News Anchor 4: Coronavirus pandemic is still being felt financially for many businesses and restaurants. But the faith community has also taken a big hit that could have a long-lasting impact. 

Nan: And you look back at it seems like we’re getting prepared like it was,  we’re being prepared even before this, way before the pandemic. 

Eris: Exactly. That’s what, I tell everybody that every single day, the Church having that foresight to prepare us to get TVs, to start doing WebEx, pushing our own media in the chapel during worship service. It’s you know, it’s definitely a blessing from God. 

Nan: Is it okay if we head on in and if you could show us around to some of the tech additions and some details inside the house of worship?

Eris: Of course, let’s go.

Nan: Now, I’ve been inside the Temecula worship building a few times, most recently for a wedding of one of my good friends. But Eris took me on a different type of tour. One that gave me a deeper appreciation of the type of planning that goes into each worship building, its renovation and construction. 

Always excited to see the inside of Temecula. It was just as beautiful as I remember. You know that what really gets me is the ceiling. It’s different from any other house of worship I’ve seen so far. Are you aware of other houses of worship that have that same design? 

Eris: The only one that I know that I’ve seen is from Tondo, in the Philippines 

Nan: Oh, in the Philippines? 

Eris: Correct. 

Nan: It’s beautiful.

The ceiling design is very different from the houses of worship we featured on the show so far. First, rather than the usual vaulted ceiling, it’s an arched design. Second, and more interesting, are the cylinders that are arranged throughout the ceiling that feature the can lights and the chandeliers. Between these elements are molding that form octagons that frame additional lighting. The can lights give the sanctuary a bright warm ambience, which was further offset by four giant chandeliers. Combined, these make for a very unique ceiling design inspired by one of the bigger worship buildings in the Philippines.

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Local Congregation of Tondo, Manila

As I mentioned earlier, you’re the guy to go to when it comes to tech, can you kind of share what kind of AV and tech has been integrated into this sanctuary? 

Eris: So in terms of tech, you know, we have main speakers for the 402 Bose and then we have returns that hit the podium. Those are the 302s, which allow the congregation to be able to experience the worship service in its best audio as well as the choir to still be able to also have the same experience. And that’s I think that’s really key for me is to be able to experience the worship service and for both the choir as well as the congregation.

Nan: Inside the sanctuary, main speakers serve to provide audio primarily to the congregation. Each speaker is positioned depending on where they would perform optimally. The return speakers provide audio to those in the podium and choir loft area so that anyone speaking or singing in that space can accurately hear themselves and not have to rely on echo or sound bouncing back to them. Then there are also filler speakers that supplement the main speakers in order to fill any spots where the reach of the main speakers are lost.

And that goes back to what you’re saying is optimizing the experience of the brethren here and being able to get the full experience of the audio and of course the visual as well. 

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Local Congregation of Washington, D.C.

Eris: Correct. You know, it’s kind of like you know how there’s that best seat in the house for when you have audio.

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Local Congregation of Wahiawa, Hawai’i

Eris: That’s what we want to experience: the worship service wherever you are, will be the best seat.

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Local Congregation of Las Vegas, Nevada

Nan: As I mentioned, you know from the early days, you know, you would see, you know, XLR runs, you’d see different audio cables, video cables, just a bundle of cables run on the floor and you’d have to tape it all down. So those days are gone. 

Eris: Yeah, those are gone. Yeah, basically, we can show you later in the TSV room. All we do is just plug plug plug, and we’re able to send audio and video to wherever we need to. 

Nan: That’s awesome. So it’s more efficient. And does that also help with troubleshooting? 

Eris: Oh, yeah, most definitely. 

Nan: You know, I think it’s really significant to be in the sanctuary, especially after us being on the tail end of the peak of the pandemic, right. You know, how was that, when we first found out that, you know, we’re not going to be in the houses of worship right now because of what was happening with the pandemic and how that transition was, especially coming from a  tech perspective? 

Eris: For myself, I was here most of the time, even during the pandemic, only because I was the one helping in terms of pushing out the worship service inside. So for me, I didn’t experience too much of the lag of being able to attend inside but when I was able to perform not just as a TSV but in my duty as a head deacon. It was coming home. It was… This is where I belong.

Nan: Joe Pallasigui witnessed the transformation of the worship building from the very beginning, even helping with the painstaking work of assembling the chandeliers that we see today. 

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Joe Pallasigui

Temecula Valley Pioneer

Joe Palllasigui: About the last three nights…some of our brethren are coming in here, trying to install and assemble all of that because there’s a lot of pieces. And then also a day before our dedication, we were so blessed that we received all the lights, the actual lights that come with a chandelier. It is easier to clean them up because those chandeliers can go down.

Nan: There’s a saying: Home is where the heart is. And I think it’s really applicable to how the members of the Church Of Christ in Temecula talk about this worship building. Like Joe Pallasigui, who was among the first to learn of its purchase. 

Joe: We are so happy and you know, everybody’s positive. And even the district minister then, it was Brother Bob Pellien [he said], “Be happy,” and “This will be yours.”

Nan: It must have been an amazing feeling when you heard that.

Joe: It was definitely very happy. All of us, actually. And tell you the truth, when we got the escrow finished on December 9, 2011, that night, we already staged our guarding assignment 

Nan: Schedule for…

Joe: Yeah, that feeling is because it’s ours already. 

Nan: That’s how eager everyone was.

Joe: Right, and we really thank God for this blessing, because we’ve been in our temporary place of worship for over 10 years. 

Nan: Oh really? And where was that?

Prior to the purchase of the building, the congregation worshiped in a hall 20 minutes away. 

Joe: And yeah, we set up the chairs, tables, you know, and the podium, and even after that we had to put them away. 

Nan: Right, right. And you said you did that for 10 years. I am in a similar situation in our congregation right now. Do you remember those days like how tiring it was to have to set up and tear down? 

Joe: It was. It was tiring but you know, well, we’re happy because, you know, we are becoming a new local [congregation] and everybody shared the load, preparing the place and even putting them away completely. 

Nan: Do you remember that moment—because of course I know you’ve been seeing the chapel, the progress once everything was done—the first moment that you walk into the chapel for the dedication? Do you remember the feeling that you had?

Joe: I cannot explain how that feeling [was] because I know we are happy. At the same time, our bodies are tired, but… I don’t know but we have that extra strength. Most of us officers and brethren are happy that day [came].

Nan: The building underwent a complete transformation. The sanctuary was reconfigured to fit the worship practices of the Church Of Christ. The area where the stained windows were once the focal point was covered, and a new choir loft and podium were constructed. Because the previous owners only had stackable chairs inside, new pews were ordered to fit the aesthetic of the sanctuary. Along the walls, the arched molding design features white trim with light blue pink filling in the frame space, a design that is carried through throughout the entire sanctuary.

Joe: We didn’t have enough sleep, but I don’t know, but we had that extra strength that we have all of us performing. 

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Dedicated to God on

January of 2014

Nan: The building was dedicated to God in a worship service led by the Executive Minister.

Joe: The dedication of the house of worship in Temecula Valley. I couldn’t describe [it], it was really happy and joyful, on that day of our dedication of the house of worship by our beloved Brother Eduardo V. Manalo. Thank God for that. 

Nan: Do you ever play a game called “What if?” What if you didn’t go to the school where you were introduced to your future coworkers? What if you didn’t attend that one birthday party where you met your future husband or wife? What if? Thankfully though, for Conrad, he never has to wonder what if the worship building on Rancho California road was never turned into an Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) worship building.

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Conrad Santos

Joined the Church Of Christ in Temecula Valley 

Conrad Santos  

So one day, I worked at night. I had a late shift. I’m coming down the street of Ranch California because I work on the West side, right? And I hit the stoplight and this Church, I  go “Huh, Church Of Christ.” I know I was introduced before. I was invited before, a long time ago.

Nan: Years before this moment, Conrad had been invited to the Church Of Christ while living in New York. 

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Local Congregation of Bronx, New York

Nan: And at that time, he wasn’t interested in looking for a church. But this time was different.

Conrad: And I go, I just went “Wait a minute, let me just turn around.” I made a left and went to the parking lot, and during the time it was Thursday. They have a worship service on Thursday at 8pm, right? So I went straight down here, and went inside the house of worship. And then when the minister starts preaching, I go, “Wait a minute. This is it. Maybe this is the Church,” right? So from then on, I kept going. Never missed a worship service.

Nan: Before that day, Conrad’s search for the truth took him down many paths. He attended Catholic masses, Christian Fellowship churches, and each time he felt something was missing.

Conrad: I joined them for a few weeks, then it’s still… It’s not making any sense. This is not what I learned or what I read in the Bible

Nan: Today, Conrad has been a member of the Church Of Christ for several years. He introduced his family to the Church, and is part of the many events that take place here.


When people see the houses of worship, residents here in Temecula or even just visitors passing by, what do you think… What do you hope that they notice or understand about the Church even from just seeing…

Conrad: From just seeing it? I don’t know. Probably, it’s totally different, right? Because I was searching, but for those people that are just passing by, when they look at the Church, I think it’s… They need to really come in and see what this Church can offer for them. Right, because not everybody is searching, especially to this day, right? And there’s so much hope here. There’s so much hope here. And, I don’t know… I cannot say the word that I want to say.

Nan:  There’s just no words to describe it. 

Conrad: There’s no words to describe it. The feeling that I got when I walked in here, so…

Nan: Thank you so much for sharing your story. It’s really an amazing story and to see the passion, to see the drive, and the fact that you were searching and and it all worked out in the way that it worked out. 

Conrad: It took me so many years to get to know it, but then at the same time, it’s not how you start. It’s how you follow His commandments and continue to obey until the end.

Nan: On the show, we have a saying everything is part of God’s plan. Having met the people of Temecula and having listened to their stories, I can see without a doubt that that line is so true about this place, the circumstances that brought them here, that hope for a better future, and even the peace that it gave them during the pandemic

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Available downloads

Impact of a Worship Building in Temecula