A Church Without A Home


We are a church with a long, rich history. Founded in the El Dorado Saloon in Los Angeles in 1853, First Methodist Episcopal Church was a partner with Biddy Mason in the fight for emancipation and integration. 

The church swelled to 6000 members in the 1900s, but fell on hard times as Downtown LA's residents moved to the rapidly-developing suburbs. The church moved from its historic site on 8th and Hope Street to our current location.  

In the late 1990s, it was clear the building was not serving the needs of the congregation. A courageous choice was made to tear it down, and invest in the most critical need of the community: housing. 

Since then, First United Methodist Church of Los Angeles remains a church without a home. We own the parking lot at the corner of Flower and Olympic, which is where we meet for worship. 

We remain a church without walls, without borders, without barriers. This reflects our theological openness, and the way we believe God's love should be experienced and shared. 


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The music at First Church is a hallmark of our identity and experience.

We believe that music is the language of the soul, and one of the primary ways in which we praise God. 

Our worship band, led by Stephen Folds, uses music as a way to communicate our beliefs, prayers, and hopes.

The music is eclectic, invitational, and familiar.  

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A historical church looks to the future.


In 1853, Rev. Adam Bland was sent to "Evangelize the Rowdy and Incorrigible Southland." 

He began by gathering new settlers of Los Angeles in the El Dorado Saloon on Fort Street. Soon, the congregation began to grow and the First Protestant Church in Los Angeles was built: Fort Street Methodist Episcopal Church. 

The Reverend George W. White, D.D.[1] was the third president of the University of Southern California. He held office from 1895 to 1899. At the time of his appointment, he was presiding elder of the Los Angeles District of the Methodist Episcopal Conference.


First Methodist Episcopal Church, Hill Street, circa 1902

First Methodist Episcopal Church, Hill Street, circa 1902

Fort Street Methodist Episcopal Church, circa 1880

Fort Street Methodist Episcopal Church, circa 1880

First Methodist Episcopal Church, 8th and Hope Street, 1923

First Methodist Episcopal Church, 8th and Hope Street, 1923

First United Methodist Church of Los Angeles, Flower and Olympic, 1981

First United Methodist Church of Los Angeles, Flower and Olympic, 1981

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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. 



First Church is a proud member of the Reconciling Ministries Network

The Reconciling Ministries Network is a grassroots organization which equips and mobilizes United Methodists to resist evil, injustice, and oppression as we seek justice for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.

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