Today we are multi-generational, increasingly multi-ethnic warm congregation!
Immigrant Beginnings
In 1973 our church was first founded as the Thai Community Church, an immigrant church in Hollywood, California.  The founding pastors were the Rev. Soon Il Kim (senior pastor) and the Rev. Prachuab Dechawan (associate pastor).  Services were held at Mt. Hollywood Congregational Church.  Our church’s mission was primarily to meet the needs of Thai Christians who recently immigrated to the United States.  The church’s objectives included the following: (1) providing the opportunity for Thai Christians to worship in their native language, (2) meeting physical and psychological needs, and (3) reaching out to Thai people living in Los Angeles and other parts of the United States.
Significant growth and outreach

In 1981, Pastor Prachuab took over as full-time pastor.  His leadership helped grow the church in attendance, membership, and finances.  Also, in 1981, our church was also formally accepted as a church in the Presbyterian Church (USA) denomination under the Presbytery of the Pacific.

In 1981, we also started to minister to refugees of the Vietnam War residing in the Long Beach region of the County of Los Angeles. Many Laotians and Cambodians became Christian through this outreach. The Lao-Cambodian Presbyterian Church of Long Beach was founded through this ministry. In 1988, we arranged to share the facility of First Presbyterian Church in El Monte, under the jurisdiction of the Presbytery of San Gabriel.  Our church also changed its name to “First Thai Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.”

Throughout the years we have also reached out to Thai Christians in other parts of the United States and have helped establish the following churches:

  1. The Thai Presbyterian Church of Fort Worth
  2. The Thai Presbyterian Church of Chicago
  3. The Thai Presbyterian Church of New York
  4. Thai Community Church in New York City.
  5. First Thai Presbyterian Church, San Jose, California with Rev. Dr. Prachuab Dechawan as an organizing pastor.
  6. The First Thai-Laotian Presbyterian Church, Las Vegas, Nevada with Rev. Dr. Prachuab Dechawan as an organizing pastor.

In 1995, we relocated again through the purchase of an existing church in Covina, California in our current location at 1047 N. Barranca Ave., Covina, CA 91722.

Time of Transition

In 2006, Rev. Dr. Prachuab Dechawan retired and Rev. Thanit Osiripaibul replaced him as church pastor.  Pastor Prachuab moved on to Nevada to continue as pastor of the Thai church in Las Vegas. In 2009, Pastor Thanit resigned and permanently moved to Thailand.  While the church Nominating Committee searched for a new pastor, Dr. Boonratna Boayen served as Temporary Supply Pastor.   In 2011, the Rev. Chaluay Ruangchan became the church Interim Pastor, and he served the church for two years.

New Beginnings: The Gospel for all people
In 2014, Rev. Peter Tan-Gatue accepted the position as full-time pastor.  Since 2014, our church has been undergoing a process of change from being a church that mainly functions as a Thai immigrant church to being a multi-cultural, multi-generational community church that strives to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all people.  By God’s grace, our current membership is more diverse and multi-cultural.  In 2019, we changed our church name to Praise Community Church to reflect the inclusiveness of our church and our vision to serve the community of Covina and the surrounding areas of the San Gabriel Valley and Southern California.