Who We Are
The Bahá’í family in San Diego is comprised of people from all backgrounds and walks of life. Inspired by belief in the oneness of humanity, the oneness of religion and the oneness of God, Bahá’ís come together for devotional, community, and humanitarian activities. Together we are striving to build a community that demonstrates practical solutions to the challenges of modern society. We believe that our experience is a source of optimism for all who share our vision of humanity as one global family, and the earth as one homeland.
The Bahá’í Faith is administered by elected bodies at local, national and international levels. It does not have clergy or individuals in positions of personal leadership. We therefore promote personal investigation and hope that you will find these pages as a good starting point to your search.
Currently, the Bahá’í community in the city of San Diego has grown to close to 1000 adults and children. The population of the Bahá’í community in San Diego County tops 2000 adults and children.
Bahá’ís have lived in San Diego since the early 1900’s. In fact, during ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s visit to California in 1912, members of the San Diego Bahá’í community were able to meet him and attend his talks.
The first Local Spiritual Assembly (elected local administrative body) was established in April of 1953. Members of that assembly were John Stroessler, Arna Meade, Doe Gregory, Bernice Stroessler, Soo Fouts, Vale Carlson, Millie Feiteira, Gladys Loudon, and Alice Hendershott. At that time, the Bahá'ís met at each others' homes and the community membership was not larger than 20.
In 1970’s the community had grown so significantly that the first Bahá’í center in San Diego was then established in Hillcrest. At that time there were about 100 Bahá’ís in San Diego. The gradual growth of the Bahá’í community in San Diego was accelerated with the resurgence of persecution of Bahá’is in Iran that followed the 1979 revolution in the country. The existing Bahá’í center was purchased in Linda Vista in the 1980’s to accommodate the needs of the growing community.
Since it was established, the San Diego Bahá’í community has been active in promoting the fundamental principles of the oneness of the human race and its common spiritual destiny. In promoting these ideas, we have been involved in the spiritual education of children, sponsoring of workshops on healing of racism, neighborhood clean-ups, tutoring English, tree planting projects, and the establishment of inter-faith devotional programs. We have also collaborated with like-minded organizations such as the San Diego United Nations Association, and the Inter-Faith Council to promote the model of a global society.