Bel Air Church

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Bel Air Church
Belairpresbyterianchurch.jpg
Location16221 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90049
CountryUnited States
DenominationPresbyterian Church (USA)
Websitebelairpres.org
History
Founded1956
Clergy
Senior pastor(s)Dr. Drew Sams

Bel Air Church (also known as Bel Air Presbyterian Church) is a member of the Presbyterian Church (USA), and is located in the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.[1] The church averages 1,500 in attendance each weekend.[citation needed]

History and facility[edit]

Since its founding in 1956, Bel Air Presbyterian has become one of the largest churches in Los Angeles. The church is on the "Educational Corridor" on Mulholland Drive, on a hill overlooking the San Fernando Valley. On Jewish high holy days, Bel Air Church hosts services for the Stephen S. Wise Temple, a Reform Jewish congregation, which is in the same Bel Air neighborhood.[2]

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.[citation needed] 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 stunning views overlooking the San Fernando Valley. The campus also has a full-service cafe.

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, Dr. Donn D. Moomaw, Rev. Dr. Michael Wenning, and Dr. Mark Brewer.

Rev. Dr. Moomaw gave the invocation at President Ronald Reagan's first inauguration in 1981. Rev. Dr. Wenning gave the invocation at President Reagan's state funeral.[3]

Rev. Dr. Moomaw presided over a private service for the family of First Lady Nancy Reagan before her state funeral at the Reagan Library.

Present[edit]

Sanctuary and Discipleship Center

Bel Air Presbyterian Church is an active member of the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Rev. Dr. Drew Sams was officially ordained as the church's Senior Pastor and Head of Staff on April 13, 2014.[4] where he joined Rev. Care Crawford, Rev. Kim Dorr-Tilley, and later Rev. Mike Morgan.

The current theme of Bel Air Presbyterian Church is "Follow Jesus Every Day and Everywhere with Everyone." The values posted on its website are:

  • Hospitality; "demonstrating love towards everyone."
  • Courage; "living as a follower of Jesus regardless of how vulnerable that makes you...through our brokenness others will see the power of God at work in our lives."
  • Health; "choosing to thrive in every area" of life.
  • Community; "desiring so much more than just being in proximity with others...our identity in Christ unifies us as we follow Jesus alongside one another."
  • Impact; "multiplying what God is doing in and through you...we will be inviting, empowering, and releasing others to follow Jesus as well."[5]

Congregation[edit]

Education Building

Many members of Bel Air Presbyterian Church are involved in the entertainment industry, and many are prominent within the Westside, Los Angeles, community.[citation needed] The church also has many members from Culver City, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, Studio City, Encino, Lake Balboa, Brentwood, Woodland Hills, Malibu, Pacific Palisades and Calabasas in its congregation.[citation needed]

Activities[edit]

Bel Air Church is a founder of Imagine LA, a mentorship program that matches families exiting homelessness with volunteer teams from faith communities, corporations, and other committed organizations.[6]

Bel Air Church has an extensive outreach department which partners with other community service organizations in Los Angeles.

For over twenty-five years Bel Air Church has packed and distributed over 10,000 meals to those in need at Thanksgiving.

Bel Air Church hosts a large public baptism service at Will Rogers State Beach every September.

Bel Air Church has continuously held an all-church family camp every summer for 30 years. Approximately 300 members of Bel Air Church of all ages join together in Northern California for a week of camp every summer. Many members have attended for Bel Air Family Camp for 5, 10, 15 and 20 years.

Every year during the Lenten season, the church organizes and hosts numerous small "Life Groups" on campus and throughout the city. These groups are led by lay members. Many of these groups continue all year long.

Bel Air Church hosts a Christ-centered twelve step program and yoga classes.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "History". Bel Air Church – History. Retrieved 2015-10-12.
  2. ^ "Our Clergy Responds to Divestment Vote by Presbyterian Church (U.S.A)". Stephen Wise Temple. Archived from the original on 2016-12-30. Retrieved 2015-10-12.
  3. ^ "Michael Wenning, Reagans' Pastor, Dies at 75". New York Times. June 30, 2011. Retrieved 2015-10-12.
  4. ^ "Bel Air Leadership". Bel Air Church. Retrieved 2015-10-12.
  5. ^ "ABOUT | Bel Air Church". www.belairpres.org. Retrieved 2016-01-15.
  6. ^ "Fact Sheet" (PDF). ImagineLA. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-11-30. Retrieved 2015-10-12.

External links[edit]

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