Our Historical Roots


Maryvale Church of the Nazarene

A thriving community on the west side edge of Phoenix is what businessman, builder, and planner, John F. Long envisioned in the 1950’s. He anticipated a city filled
families, schools, businesses, stores, parks, and churches.

Realizing the important contribution faith-based institutions offer in nurturing strong healthy families and communities, Mr. Long had specific areas
designated as church properties.

One of the parcels of land was purchased by the Church of the Nazarene. The Maryvale Church was officially organized on March 17, 1957.

His vision came true.

Maryvale became a popular fast growing community populated with many
young families – and schools, parks, businesses, and churches. In its inception, Maryvale Church quickly became a family church for ministering to the needs of a family unit.
It also became known for its great choirs and sport teams.

A vibrant community is comprised of all the necessities and basic services that make an area attractive and desirous – it nurtures healthy relationships and long friendships.

However, through the years as the city expanded beyond 1950’s edge of Phoenix, the community of Maryvale changed.

Now, most people know Maryvale from the negative statistics and the almost nightly news stories that dominate the headlines. Our 2.5 square mile area of Phoenix of 20,000 people is statistically an extremely disadvantaged area in the city:

    Domestic violence is the primary driver behind all the police calls
    Homicides, rape, robbery, and arrests for all drugs are higher
    Active gangs, graffiti, vandalism, prostitution
    Educational levels are lower; alarming high school dropout rate
    High unemployment and people on social assistance
    High percentage of teens in the Arizona juvenile justice system
    High teenage pregnancy
    Transitioning population

On the other hand, there are numerous individuals, community organizations and city agencies who are cooperating together to revitalize this section of the community.

And, the legacy of the Church of the Nazarene is to be a group of Christians who on purpose look for the worst place in the city – who involve themselves in the roughest part of town to bring healing and transformation. Just as early generations of Christians did not run or avoid the challenge of new and difficult territory, Maryvale Church is determined to immerse itself in the hard task of restoring dignity and health to families and the community.

Just as John F. Long understood a community partnering with caring churches offers soul care which builds up individuals, families and the society - so now does Maryvale Church partner with other agencies to build healthy thriving family units.

Through Maryvale Church, God is helping to write new stories of redemption.