A revival in Los Angeles, California, in 1917 sparked the movement for Free Methodists to focus ministry in Mexico. As Mexican churches were raised up in California, workers became burdened for the unevangelized in Mexico. Mexican law forbade foreign missionaries to serve as pastors in Mexico, so Gonzalo Cisneros, a Mexican-American, was authorized by Free Methodist World Missions to return to his home town in Sonora to serve as missionary-pastor. In 1931 the Mexican Provisional Conference, embracing churches in both California and Mexico, was organized in Chino, California.
Another cluster of churches in northeastern Mexico, that became part of the Mexican Conference, was planted by returning laborer Tony Gonzalez.