Dr. Phineas F. Bresee
“It has been my long cherished desire to have a place in the heart of the city, which could be made a center of Holy Fire, and where the gospel could be preached to the poor.”
Los Angeles 1st Church’s history goes back 120 years to 1895 with the founding of the Church of the Nazarene denomination. Dr. Phineas Bresee and Dr. J.P. Widney wanted to start a church that emphasized the holiness of the gospel that was lived out in the action of love, especially among the poor of Los Angeles.
The first locations were in downtown LA, including the Glory Barn at 526 S. Los Angeles Street from 1896 to 1903. After relocating to 6th & Wall and then 25th & Magnolia, LA 1st relocated to 3rd & Vermont in 1953. As it grew committed to this local community, it began three other congregations (Spanish, Korean, Filipino), as well as the Bresee Foundation-a non-profit organization committed to address the social needs of the community.