Montecito Baptist Church was founded in 1979 by Pastor Ezequiel Salazar and his wife Miriam Salazar. Co-founders of the church were honored Luis Bautista, Sr., and Maria Bautista, his wife.
Pastor Ezequiel Salazar was called to begin a Spanish department at Montecito Park Union Church. In the beginning it was only the four founders of the church. Little by little they began to preach the gospel and invite others to the congregation. Pastor Salazar met with La Espada and was inspired to take the church to a higher level. By eagerly visiting door-to-door and reaching the lost one-on-one, a practice that is still in force today, the Montecito congregation quickly grew and established disciples for the Lord.
During the early 1980's, Pastor Salazar visited a Conference in Canoga Park, California, where he heard Pastor Jack Hyles for the first time. His sermon, "There is no Discharge from This War", inspired him to push harder for the lost, and brought him to an even higher commitment to expand God's ministry. It was then that Pastor Salazar acquired the very first bus and started a new bus ministry at Montecito. With his assistant, late Brother Calderon, Pastor Salazar began to move and direct Montecito to new heights in reaching the world for Christ.
Now, after 36 years of faithful service, Montecito Baptist Church continues to gain momentum in achieving the supreme calling of our Lord Jesus Christ. Over 50 faithful servants have left Montecito to start their own churches and expand the gospel of the Lord. Montecito also supports over 80 missionaries across the globe, including China, Spain and Egypt.
Pastor Salazar is a visionary, and Montecito Baptist Church stands as testimony to what God can do with a man that will endeavour his whole life for his cause.
Montecito Park Union Sunday School was started in a small building with one room. Brother Ira Elridge never though it would become anything great. He handed the keys to M.H. Reynolds, an Evangelist and Pastor of San Gabriel Union Church.