30 Years (Part One)

By Mark Hopper

Thirty years is a long time. It is almost a third of a century. But, that is how long we have lived in Diamond Bar, California. I began my new job as the pastor of our church on June 1, 1988 – 30 years ago. My wife and kids stayed in Arizona waiting for our house to sell while I began work at the church. I lived by myself in a condo near Pathfinder and Diamond Bar Blvd.  The condo belonged to a widow who was in poor health and she was living with her family. So I was on my own for about six weeks.

Although I missed my family during that time, I had a lot of time to get to know the community and people in the church.  I was able to visit most of the church families and several of them invited me to dinner in their homes.  In addition, I enjoyed delicious chocolate chip cookies and other snacks that came to my door during those days.

When our house finally sold in Arizona, I flew home to pack up and move to California.  With four kids and a four bedroom house, we had a lot of stuff to move.  We rented a U-Haul Truck – the biggest they made towing the biggest trailer they made!  Friends in Arizona helped us load everything in to the truck and trailer and new friends in California helped us unload it.  We could not have done it without their help.

We moved into the Daisy apartments (now the Hillside apartments) on Grand Avenue across from the Fire station.  We unloaded some things into this two bedroom apartment, but most of our things would need to be put in storage.  When I drove this giant truck and trailer down the exit driveway, it got stuck.  The trailer hitch got caught on the pavement and the back wheels of the truck were lifted off the ground.  The truck was stuck and we couldn’t move!  It was quite a sight.

I ran over to the fire station and asked for help, but they didn’t know what to do either.  Finally, I called the U-Haul hot line and they sent a tow truck from Sana Ana to help.  The tow truck driver hitched a heavy chain on to the front bumper of the truck. The firemen blocked oncoming traffic and the tow truck dragged us down the driveway and on to Grand Avenue while I was sitting in the truck using the brakes so I wouldn’t hit the tow truck in front of me.  It was a memorable start to our new life in Diamond Bar.

Our life at the Daisy apartment was fun.  It felt like we were on vacation.  It was a little crowded with four kids and two adults, but it had a pool, spa and tennis court.  I would go to work each day and my wife and kids enjoyed “vacation” at the Daisy apartments!

I usually took Monday as my day off, so we began to go to the beach on Mondays.  We usually went to Newport Beach and we usually stopped at Thrifty Drug store to get a scoop of ice cream on the way to the beach.  This became a weekly routine. Eventually the kids began to invite friends to come with us. The summer of ‘88 was a summer to remember.

In the first book in the Bible (Genesis) there is the record of Abraham leaving his home in Ur near the Persian Gulf and traveling to a land called Canaan (Israel).  The Bible says that Abraham went in faith, following the call of God on his life.  Abraham packed up his family and his possessions and traveled to a land he had never seen before.  It was a journey of faith.

We packed up our family and our possessions and traveled to a community we had never heard of called Diamond Bar.  It was a journey of faith for us too.  We are thankful that the Lord led us to this special community and to this special church.

Pastor Mark Hopper

Efree Church of Diamond Bar

3255 South Diamond Bar Blvd


Sunday Services: 9:00 & 10:45