Our Legacy of Diversity
First Church has a long legacy of diversity.
As a Methodist Episcopal Church, we openly welcomed African-Americans into worship, even as the city sought to ban their participation in non-black churches. Freedwoman Biddy Mason, who helped to create First AME Zion Church in the 1860s, often came to worship at First Church because she was welcomed, in defiance of the city officials who sought to keep churches segregated.
As Los Angeles grew to be a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic city, First Church also welcomed Samoan, Korean, Spanish, and Filipino minority congregations into our sanctuary.
In the 1960s, First Church served as the original location for Founders Metropolitan Community Church, a denomination originally founded by and for the Queer community.