The vision for the LA RPC began in 1894 when Rev. J. Milligan Wylie of the RP Church in Denver, Colorado, made an exploratory trip to California.

Upon his return wrote a letter published in the denominational magazine, he wrote “We arrived in Los Angeles, Saturday, February 10th [1894]... We received a most cordial welcome.. The warm climate of the entire coast is not to be compared to the warm hearts of those who live in this genial atmosphere… A mission could be organized in Los Angeles, and the time of a laborer could be given to organizing and also to lecturing… The climate of southern California is very mild. There is a great variety of soil. The scenery is beautiful… the people seem to live well and they enjoy the warm moist atmosphere from the ocean and think their country a paradise...”

In 1903, the Synod of the RPCNA gave $200 for exploratory work in southern California. October of that same year the Colorado Presbytery appointed Rev. PJ McDonald as a “presbyterial missionary to explore the field of southern California with the vision of establishing a congregation in Los Angeles.”

Rev. McDonald, writing about his experience in Los Angeles, said, “Los Angeles is a rapidly growing and beautiful city. The winter resort of thousands and home to many thousands more who have found the climate, both winter and summer, and other surroundings the most ideal of any part of America. There are good openings for capital, and employment at fair wages is to be found for those willing to work.” (1903)

March 11, 1904 the First Reformed Presbyterian Church of Los Angeles was organized with 27 members. At that time Los Angeles had a population of only 190,000! By 1907, the congregation was growing and a church building was constructed at the cost of $11,500. The congregation continued to grow and by 1924, there were 111 communicant members.

Over the next couple of decades as the congregation grew, a new building needed to be constructed. The congregation moved to the Glassell Park area of Los Angeles in 1947 and a large addition was added in 1959.

In the 1960s through 1980s, our neighborhood experienced change as new waves of immigrants came into the neighborhood. The congregation responded with Spanish-language ministry added to its outreach.

Today the neighborhood is a vibrant, growing, and diverse community made up of many Latinos, Asians, and Caucasians. Our congregation reflects this diversity as it also reflects the global nature of our city. We look forward to seeing how the Lord Jesus Christ will use us in the decades and century ahead!