First Congregational Church of Los Angeles

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First Congregational Church of Los Angeles
First Congregational Church (Los Angeles) (1).JPG
34°3′51.8″N 118°17′5.4″W / 34.064389°N 118.284833°W / 34.064389; -118.284833
Latitude and Longitude:

34°3′51.8″N 118°17′5.4″W / 34.064389°N 118.284833°W / 34.064389; -118.284833
Location540 S Commonwealth Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90020
CountryUnited States
Denomination United Church of Christ
Churchmanship Congregational
Weekly attendance225
Status Church
Founded1867 (1867)
Functional statusActive
Architect(s) Allison & Allison
Style English Gothic Revival
Height157 ft (48 m) (tower)
Floor area157,000 sq ft (14,600 m2)
Materials Reinforced concrete
Senior pastor(s)Rev. Laura Vail Fregin (Interim) [1]
Organist(s) Dr. Christoph Bull

First Congregational Church of Los Angeles is a historic church at 540 South Commonwealth Avenue, Los Angeles, California, United States. It is a member of National Association of Congregational Christian Churches since 1962 [2], though the congregation also joined the United Church of Christ in the fall of 2017 [3]. Founded in 1867, the church is the city's oldest continuous Protestant congregation. [4] The congregation moved around using a variety of buildings until it moved to its current location in 1932, with the first service being held on March 13, 1932. [5]

The current building is an impressive English Gothic Revival-style designed by Los Angeles' architects James Edward Allison & David Clark Allison, the massive concrete structure was reinforced with more than 500 tons of steel. Its dominant feature is a tower soaring 157 feet and weighing 30,000 tons. There are four three-ton pinnacles at the corners of the tower rise another nineteen feet. Supported by more than 150 caissons extending up to forty-five feet into the bedrock. [6] The church is claimed to house the world's second largest church organ.

On March 15, 2002, the church was designated a Historic-Cultural Monument by the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission. [7]


The church has the world's second largest church organ although, similar to the instrument at St. Stephen's Cathedral, Passau (five organs, one console), it is really two separate organs playing from twin consoles. A Skinner organ, built in 1931, is in the front of the building and a Schlicker (of Buffalo, New York) in the rear balcony. Today the organs play some 20,000 pipes with five manuals, 346 ranks, 233 registers, and 265 stops although it is continually being enlarged. [8] [9] It has been restored three times, most recently in 1995 by Robert David. [10] Recordings of this instrument appear on Telarc and Delos labels.


The church has been a popular location for commercials, films, music videos, and television shows. [11] [12]


Company Commercial Year
Kia 1999
Men's Wearhouse "New Suit" 2004
Microsoft 2005


Movie Year
Dragonfly 2002
Mr. Deeds 2002
Daredevil 2003
Along Came Polly 2004
Spider-Man 2 2004
NationalTreasure 2004
Blood & Chocolate 2007
Into the Wild 2007
Nancy Drew 2007

Music Videos

Artist Song Date
Gerald Levert "Taking Everything" 1998
Nas " Got Ur Self a Gun" 2001
DMX " I Miss You" 2001
Linkin Park " Numb" 2003


Show Episode Date
The A-Team "A Little Town With an Accent" May 6, 1986
My So-Called Life "So-Called Angels" December 22, 1994
Any Day Now 1998
Profiler 1998
Seven Days 1998
Vengeance Unlimited 1998
To Have & to Hold "Pilot" September 30, 1998
Locust Valley "Pilot" 1999
The X-Files "Milagro" April 18, 1999
Ugly Betty " A Nice Day for a Posh Wedding" November 8, 2007


  1. ^ "Our Staff". Retrieved 23 June 2019.
  2. ^ "Church Information". Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  3. ^ "UCC Southern Conference Fall Meeting". Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  4. ^ Clifton L. Holland. "An Overview of Religion in Los Angeles from 1850 to 1930".
  5. ^ Richardson, Eric (11 July 2008). "Downtown's Churches: First Congregational". Archived from the original on 16 February 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  6. ^ "First Congregational Church of Los Angeles". Los Angeles Conservancy. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  7. ^ Los Angeles Department of City Planning. "Historic-Cultural Monument (HCM) List". Office of Historic Resources. City of Los Angeles. p. 26. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ [2]
  10. ^, The World's Largest Pipe Organs
  11. ^ Lindsay. "The First Congregational Church of Los Angeles from "My So-Called Life"". Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  12. ^ "Filming". Archived from the original on 14 September 2014. Retrieved 2 August 2016.