Altadena Valley Presbyterian Church began in 1854 under the name Rocky Ridge Cumberland Presbyterian Church, near the current facilities of Briarwood Presbyterian Church. AVPC moved to its current facilities in 1912 as the result of a church split over whether or not the church should maintain its affiliation with the Cumberland Presbyterian denomination or establish a new affiliation with the northern Presbyterian Church. The group that moved to the church’s current location chose to be members of the northern Presbyterian Church. The name of the church was changed to Acton Memorial Church, in honor of Zephaniah William Henry Acton, a charter member and founder of the church. The rolls of the church were dominated by the Acton name in those days.
Until the late 1960’s, the church struggled in different ways, with any limited prosperity always being followed by some crisis that caused significant numbers of the congregation to leave. With the community beginning to grow around it, and with the blessing of God through some excellent pastoral leadership, the church began to grow in the late 1960’s. The name was changed in 1968 (by a congregational vote of 17-7) to its current name, reflecting the determination of the church to reach its community. Several building programs were initiated and completed during the 1970’s and early 80’s, including the 1983 razing of the old sanctuary and the construction of our current sanctuary as a replica of that old building. On June 4, 1978, the congregation voted unanimously to change its denominational affiliation to the PCA.