84 Years of Sharing God’s Love and Joy with the World

On February 1, 1925, the mission of First Lutheran Church of Inglewood began with its first worship service. The congregation was founded under the leadership of Rev. William Lange, and they began meeting in the Inglewood Theater on LaBrea and Queen St. with 30 people in attendance.

By May 26, 1929 the 52 members of First Evangelical Lutheran Church of Inglewood had built its first church on Buckthorn and Grevillea, which remains a house of worship to this day. From the beginning, First Lutheran shared God’s Love and Joy with the world by reaching doing mission in their immediate neighborhood and all over the world.

The congregation was an active participant in the Luther League Youth Ministry, and also commissioned and sent missionary Ray Conlon to New Guinea.

By 1950, the congregation had outgrown their building and was in need of expansion. By God’s grace and the members’ generosity, First Lutheran purchased land on Oak and Queen Street, and built a Sanctuary, which today serves as the Parish Hall. They also built the Sunday School Classrooms to the east of the Parish Hall, and the rooms upstairs.

In 1961, it was time to expand again. The congregation built a new sanctuary stretching to the corner of Oak and Queen Street, a new office area, and installed new stained glass windows. The stained glass windows are a story in and of themselves. Each one is special and unique facility and was installed as a memorial to a few of our members. The windows include references to Palm Sunday Holy Communion, The Holy Spirit, the cross, prayer, salvation, and more.
On Pentecost Sunday in 1962, the congregation dedicated the beautiful pipe organ that still plays today. With 11 ranks and 779 pipes, it is quite impressive.

By the late 1950’s, the congregation had grown to over 750 members, and would pack their new sanctuary on most Sunday mornings. In the late 1960’s, the neighborhood went through significant socioeconomic change, and the membership numbers began to decline. But their mission to share God’s love and joy remained strong. And out of this desire came the decision to start a new preschool in 1979 under the leadership of Mikki Graveline.

What began as a mission congregation in 1925 has remained a congregation in mission!
Whether it is ministry with youth and children’s nights, ESL classes, and a chapel ministry at St. Ernes’ rest home, our congregation has always sought to share God’s love and joy with the world.

However, by the fall of 2005, the congregation’s membership had dwindled so low that some said that the congregation should close its doors. But key members in the congregation continued to pray: “Lord, what is your purpose for us?”

Under the leadership of Pastor Don Ausland and Congregational President Mikki Graveline, the congregation voted in December of 2005 to become a Transformational Ministry and to call a full time Pastor. The process of Transformational Ministry has reaffirmed the congregation’s commitment to be a vibrant multicultural congregation.

In January of 2008, the congregation launched a weekly Spanish service using the name “Iglesia Luterana Mi Salvador” and has been blessed with new leaders. Recent developments in our congregation have been the extension of First Lutheran to include Iglesia Luterana Mi Salvador, our Spanish congregates.