First AME Church of Los Angeles
2270 South Harvard Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90018
P: (323) 735-1251
F: (323) 735-3533
The church was established in 1872 under the sponsorship of Biddy Mason, an African American nurse and a California real estate entrepreneur and philanthropist, and her son-in-law Charles Owens. The organizing meetings were held in Mason's home on Spring Street and she donated the land on which the first church was built. The parent AME Church is a Methodist denomination founded by the Rev. Richard Allen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1816. The AME Church now has over 2,000,000 members in North and South America, Africa and Europe, and includes other major churches such as the Greater Allen A. M. E. Cathedral of New York with over 23,000 members and the Reid Temple A.M.E. Church in Glenn Dale, Maryland with over 7,500 members. The former location of this church was 8th & Towne from 1902 to 1968 & it was nominated as Los Angeles' #71 Landmark in 1971. The location prior to that was on Azusa Street, a building that was rented to the Azusa Street mission. The 8th & Towne building was burned down July 4, 1972, and razed. The current church in the West Adams district was built in 1968 by Paul R. Williams. In 1977 Dr. Cecil L. "Chip" Murray was assigned to the church as pastor. At that time it had 300 members. Under Murray's leadership the church grew during the next 27 years to a membership of 18,000 people. Going beyond worship services, the church created 40 task forces concerned with health, substance abuse, homelessness, emergency food and clothing, housing, training, employment and so on. President George H. W. Bush named the Church the 177th Point of Light for its courageous outreach in community services
First African Methodist Episcopal Church, Los Angeles is the oldest church founded by African Americans in the City of Angels. In 1872 Ms. Biddy Mason received the vision from God to establish a church that would minister to the mind, body and soul of all who would join that small band of believers. That vision and small band of believers has grown to what is now a congregation of more than 19,000 members and several dozen ministries within 13 corporations that bless and reach tens of thousands of seekers in greater metropolitan Los Angeles.
Built on the foundation laid by Bishop Richard Allen who in the City of Philadelphia in 1787 started the movement that later became the African Methodist Episcopal Church, FAME Church finds joy in being the "First To Serve."
First African Methodist Episcopal Church of Los Angeles
“First to Serve”
To be a biblically functioning church which is empowered by the Holy Spirit and bound together in Jesus Christ to minister to the soul, body, mind and spirit of every believer and seeker.
Jesus’ words in Matthew 28:19-20 provide the church with our mission: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.”
TO BE A PRAYER-EMPOWERED CHURCH:
We value the power of prayer and recognize that we are engaged in spiritual warfare. We are committed to prayer and recognize that it is essential to the success of our vision and mission.
TO BE A CHRIST-CENTERED CHURCH:
We value a focus on Jesus. Everything that we do must point to Jesus Christ and glorify Him. We accept the challenge of spreading the love of Jesus to each other, our community and the world.
TO BE A HOLY SPIRIT-LED CHURCH:
We value the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in every believer and believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit transform lives and build the body of Christ.
TO BE A MINISTRY-DIRECTED CHURCH:
We value ministries that enhance life for our senior citizens, youth, families and adults. We will strive to develop and maintain relevant programs and services for our congregation and for the greater Los Angeles community. We strive to make a difference through our initiatives in education, economic development,
health, housing, feeding business and incubator loans, venture capital, transportation, mentoring and other ministries of outreach. We are “FIRST TO SERVE!”
TO BE A CHURCH THAT IS FAITHFUL IN STEWARDSHIP:
We value and honor God by giving our “first fruits.” We see God’s wisdom and standards for giving and are committed to the biblical mandate to “tithe.” We tithe our time, talent and treasure.
TO BE A CHURCH OF GROWTH:
We value growth as God leads. We believe growth is an assumption that God makes about us. We value the individual spiritual growth of every member and the growth of the body as a whole. Growth is a result of God’s faithfulness and of our care for others.
TO BE A SOCIALLY ACTIVE CHURCH:
We value justice. We desire to have a positive impact on the global community so that all can hear the gospel. We recognize our unique location and important connection to the world and we will work for justice and economic equity for all people.