First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood
The church was founded in 1903. A large brick gothic sanctuary was built in 1923, and seats 1,700, with a balcony on both sides and in the back. The church campus covers a full square block on Gower Street, one block north of Hollywood Boulevard and three blocks from the legendary intersection of Hollywood and Vine.
“Hollywood Pres”, as it is informally known grew to be the largest Presbyterian Church in the world by the mid-1960s. It has been led by some of the nation’s most renowned clergymen.
Evans was succeeded by Dr. Raymond I. Lindquist, who served the church until 1971. During his tenure, the church reached its peak membership of 8,388. During these years, the church drew congregants from an area much larger than the Hollywood community, taking advantage of its access to the Los Angeles freeway system (the church is located one block south of the Gower Street exit from the Hollywood Freeway). In Dr. Lindquist's tenure, overflow congregations were the norm, with the sanctuary filled for Sunday morning services at 9:30 and 11:00. In the early 1960s, overflow congregations were served in the church gymnasium (the pre-1923 sanctuary) by closed-circuit television. Dr. Lindquist died in 2001.
Dr. Henrietta Mears served as Christian Education Director until her death in 1963. Dr. Mears also founded the Forest Home Christian conference center in the San Bernardino Mountains and Gospel Light Press.
Dr. Lloyd John Ogilvie became Senior Pastor in 1971, by which time membership had fallen to 5,000. Dr. Ogilvie's ministry extended beyond the physical doors of the church, however, through his successful nationwide televised ministry. His ministry was also of a significant impact to those in the entertainment industry For example, Jimmy Stewart was a regular attender at Hollywood Pres.
Ogilvie left March 11, 1995 to become Chaplain of the United States Senate. Ogilvie was the second former Hollywood Presbyterian minister to serve in that capacity. Dr. Richard C. Halverson, who was pastor of 4th Presbyterian Church in Bethesda, Maryland (a Washington, DC suburb( served as Senate chaplain immediately before Dr. Ogilvie (1981-1994). Halverson had served as an assistant pastor at “Hollywood Pres” in the 1950s. Church membership was approximately 3,000 at the end of Dr. Ogilvie’s tenure. Ogilvie served as Senate chaplain until 2003.
Dr. Ogilvie was followed by Dr. Alan Meenan in 1997. Dr. Meenan served the church for eight years before leaving to launch an international Bible Study ministry called "The Word Is Out." In 2006 Dr. Gary Stratman was asked to come and serve as interim pastor until a new senior pastor was found. Summer of 2009 found Stratman exiting onto another calling, where the duties of a dual interim pastorship were filled by Dr. Paul Pierson & Rev. Bill Hansen.
In 2010 First Presbyterian of Hollywood selected Rev. Daniel Baumgartner as its new senior pastor. Rev. Baumgartner (commonly referred to as 'Pastor Dan') had previously served as pastor in congregations in Seattle and Minneapolis.
According to Presbyterian Church in the USA statistics, the 2006 membership was 2,008, but by 2010 had fallen to 950. Sunday attendance averaged approximately 700, which declined from 1,400 in 2002.
Hollywood Pres has historically been an evangelical church in a somewhat liberal Christian denomination.