Bel Air Presbyterian Church

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Bel Air Presbyterian Church
Country United States
Denomination Presbyterian
Website belairpres.org
Clergy
Senior pastor(s) Dr. Drew Sams

Bel Air Presbyterian Church is a Christian megachurch located in the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. The church is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) currently averages more than 3,000 in attendance each weekend.

History[edit]

Since its founding in 1956, Bel Air Presbyterian has become one of the largest churches in Los Angeles. The church's motto is Making Los Angeles the greatest city for Christ. The church is located at 16221 Mulholland Drive, on a hill overlooking the San Fernando Valley.

The original sanctuary organ was a four-manual, sixty-eight rank mechanical action pipe organ by Casavant. It was seriously damaged, mostly by water leakage, in the 1994 Northridge earthquake. It was later rebuilt as a pipe combination instrument with a digital console from Rodgers Instruments Corporation, in protest of which Casavant declared it to be "destroyed" and stricken from their register of surviving instruments. At the time of its re-dedication, it was one of the world’s largest digital/pipe combination organs in the world.

In 2007, the church completed a $12 million campus expansion program, The Campaign for Bel Air: Phase I, which included the two story Education Building, Discipleship Center, and Administration Building, including staff offices with views overlooking the The Valley.

Former Senior Pastors include Rev. Dr. Louis H. Evans Jr., Rev. Dr. Mark Brewer, Rev. Dr. Michael H. Wenning, Rev. Paul Pierson, Rev. Dr. David G. McKechnie, and Dr. Donn D. Moomaw. Dr. Moomaw gave the invocation at President Ronald Reagan's first inauguration in 1981.

Present[edit]

Sanctuary and Discipleship Center

Bel Air Presbyterian Church is an active member of the Presbyterian Church (USA) (PCUSA) denomination, and has participated in vigorous debates among the mainline denomination, on issues of theology. The church is also a member of the Evangelical Willow Creek Association and the Fellowship of Presbyterians.

Dr. Drew Sams was called and officially elected as the church's Senior Pastor and Head of Staff on April 13, 2014.[1] In June 2014, award-winning singer-songwriter recording artist Kendall Payne joined the staff as Director of Contemporary Worship. Dr. Mindy Coates-Smith serves as the Co-Director of Youth Discipleship. She also serves on the faculty of Fuller Theological Seminary.

Congregation[edit]

Education Building

Many members of Bel Air Presbyterian Church are involved in the entertainment industry, and many are prominent within the Westside L.A. community. Leonardo DiCaprio, Britney Spears and Dakota Fanning have all attended. [2] [3]In addition, many young adults attend the church's midweek young adults service, The Foundry. Bel Air also has many young families from The Valley in its congregation. President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan regularly attended the church after leaving office, and Mrs. Reagan still occasionally attends.[4]

Every Easter Sunday, the church holds the largest worship service in Southern California at the famous Hollywood Bowl, with attendance exceeding 10,000. In 2014, Bel Air Presbyterian Church partnered with Christian Assembly and Fellowship Monrovia for the event. [5]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°07′50″N 118°29′07″W / 34.130581°N 118.485296°W / 34.130581; -118.485296