The Willows Mission

The Willows is a community providing senior housing and services to Christian Scientists.

 The Willows History

Inspired by Rex Hodges in 1956, a group of talented and devoted Christian Scientists arranged to purchase an eight-acre site in Garden Grove. They incorporated as The Willows Foundation, Inc. In the 1960’s during a two-year period, 90 one-and-two-bedroom units were built. At the same time, there were 280 Christian Scientists waiting to move in.  About two years later the board learned about freeway plans that would cut through The Willows acreage. They spent three years looking for another location that could fit their property needs and budget.

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Then in 1971, without human planning, Rossmoor Leisure World in Laguna Hills offered the board 20 acres. The site was “free from excessive noise and heavy traffic, with fine views, and close to shops, banks, and other services.” And best of all, compared to other possible locations, this purchase would save The Willows $200,000. And, Rossmoor offered to construct the buildings in keeping with the design of Leisure World at a cost much lower than any other contractor offered.  In 1972, The Willows moved to its present 20-acre site in Laguna Hills. Located in the midst of rolling hills, it is nine miles inland from Laguna Beach and the Pacific Ocean.

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The Willows stands today as a tribute to those dedicated Christian Scientists who lived and worked in Southern California, and made it happen.

The Willows Community is comprised of active adult Christian Scientists who are members of The Mother Church or a branch church. Located midway between Los Angeles and San Diego, this peaceful gated community is set on a beautiful campus with walking paths and mountain views. Our 152 private and varied sizes of villas meet all residents’ needs.The Willows and the Resident Association Board plan events and activities throughout the year that include a music series and inspirational presentations, metaphysical speakers, periodic educational, cultural and theatrical programs. The surrounding region offers a wide range of entertainment venues, museums, symphonies, zoos, and more.

How The Willows Got Its Name

From an article by Barbara Fox in The Willows Newsletter

Lee Wackman recorded The Willows story in “The Story of The Willows Foundation By One Who Was There”. On the first page of his account, Wackman wrote that The Willows was named for two large willow trees which stood near the adobe house.

When the Willows moved to its present location, it was to a barren landscape. As the trees and shrubs were planted, one of the newly planted trees was a willow tree. Over the years, The Willows grounds supervisor, Rosalio Cuevas, has taken many branches from the original “grandfather” tree and planted them on Willows ground. Through his foresight, eight additional willow trees flourish on our grounds.  “The shady trees cover him with their shadows, the willows of the brook compass him about.” Job 40:22

“According to both Biblical and Native American lore, the willow has been traditionally associated with healing and comfort… And isn’t this what The Willows is all about?”