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First Baptist Church of North Hollywood Turns 87

We are proud of our local NoHo achievements and milestones. Congratulations First Baptist Church of North Hollywood for 87 years in NoHo!

First Baptist Church of North Hollywood Turns 87 www.nohoartsdistrict.com

I hear that the First Baptist Church of North Hollywood will be celebrating 87 years at Fair and Ostego.
Yes, we just marked our 87th anniversary on February 23. The church started officially in 1927, and met at several local theaters in the neighborhood (which at that time was called Lankershim). In 1930 the congregation purchased this corner property for a place to worship and as a base for ministry.

How is the church this great anniversary?
As we look back and look around we find many good things to celebrate. The church anniversary gives us a great opportunity to see some of the ways that God’s story is being written in ours! We give thanks for continuing ministries, new developments in outreach to our neighbors and spiritual growth within the congregation. Our theme for the anniversary was “Generations of Faith and Mission.” God has called us together as a multi-generational, multi-ethnic congregation; the Generations theme helps us honor that great purpose that God is working out.

Tell us more about your church services/programs?
Our worship is joyful and exuberant and provides us opportunities to connect with God in praise, prayer and scripture and with one another in fellowship and support. We seek to show the love of Christ to everyone who comes through our doors, and newcomers are welcomed warmly. Preaching unfolds theteaching of the Bible and its relevance to our daily experience. We emphasize the good news of God’s grace in Christ, and his empowering presence with us in all the changes of life. Music, drama and other worship arts are prominent, reflective of the people of our congregation and our NoHo community. We have choirs for adults, teens and children, drama ministry, and upcoming dance ministry, with rehearsals all through the week. Discipleship, or following Jesus, is a core part of our existence as a church, and a key component of this is learning the Bible. We offer Sunday School classes, midweek Bible studies, a men’s Bible study on Saturday morning, and an extensive Children’s Church ministry that brings the Word home to our young people in a powerful way.

Fellowship, or caring for one another in Christ, is another core part of our church. We have dynamic ministries with teens, children, women, married couples, men, and a growing singles ministry. All of these help us to be deeply rooted in God in every season of life. Our congregation is huge on supporting one another by prayer and expressions of help and encouragement.

Outreach is another core part of who we are. We devote a significant amount of attention to helping our neighbors in need. We have a weekly food pantry on Tuesdays and a monthly community luncheon on third Sundays. On Tuesday mornings the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission is here to provide showers and changes of clothes for our homeless neighbors, and afterward we have Bible study and a hot meal with these neighbors. For many years we have hosted an AA meeting on Thursdays at 8pm. We give enthusiastically to American Baptist missions and other mission efforts. We cultivate the awareness the Bible gives us that “we are blessed to be a blessing to others.”

First Baptist Church of North Hollywood Turns 87 www.nohoartsdistrict.com

In many ways we leverage our impact in God’s world through significant community partnerships. Three organizations started by members of our church provide us amazing opportunities to share in God’s work and extend his good gifts to others. Operation Love Ministries, Inc., serves the spiritual and physical needs of needy persons here in North Hollywood and on skid row; their global ministry includes building a trade school in Leogane, Haiti. Weekdays we open our doors to the afterschool programs of Hands for Hope, and we’ve been blessed many times over through this partnership of more than ten years. Dennis Rowe Entertainment, also based here, produces original gospel-themed musical plays that have involved many within the congregation and from all over the performing arts community. We also take part in the North Hollywood Church Alliance and look forward to hosting this year’s annual Good Friday evening service. These community partnerships are an addition to and expansion of the church’s own ministries of outreach, creative arts and caring. Since June we have shared our facilities with Miniserios Nuevo Vivir, a vibrant, growing congregation, and we are enjoying this partnership immensely. They are an inspiring and helpful presence in our lives, and are a key part of significant improvements in the property.

Tell us about your background prior to coming to First Baptist Church of North Hollywood.
My wife, Kathy, and I were married just a few years before I first came to the church in 1988 as Associate Pastor. Then in 1992 I was privileged to be called as Pastor. Before coming here I worked all kinds of jobs while attending seminary, and served as a youth pastor for a church in Van Nuys. I’ve enjoyed living in southern California most of my life.

What days/times do you have services?
On Sundays we have Bible classes at 9am and worship at 10:30am. Wednesdays we have Bible study and prayer gatherings at 7pm. Our church choirs and other ministry groups meet on other weeknights. Our sister congregation sharing the facilities, Nuevo Vivir, worships in Spanish on Sundays at 3pm and Wednesdays at 7:30pm, and has youth service in English on Fridays at 7:30pm.

If a person wants to get involved with the church who do they contact?
They could call our church office, 818 763 4356, email us at firstbaptistnoho@sbcglobal.net, or email me directly at ItsDaRev@aol.com (apparently I am one of the last AOL customers!). Our website www.fbcnoho.com and Facebook page are, well, may I just say that they are under review and rebuilding. We look forward to both of these being active and effective soon!

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**** For information on Los Angeles theatre, tickets to theatre in North Hollywood’s NoHo Arts District, theatre reviews, the NoHo Event Calendar, restaurants, news and local businesses in NoHo, bookmark nohoartsdistrict.com.  

lisa BIANCONI

Author: lisa BIANCONI

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