Faith Presbyterian Church of Valley Village has been a reflection of Christ’s love and saving grace in the North Hollywood, the Valley Village,  and the San Fernando Valley communities for over 75 years, first as First Presbyterian Church of North Hollywood and most recently as Faith Presbyterian Church of Valley Village. The following is a brief outline of our church’s history.

The year 1940: It started with 61 people meeting together under the trees of a school yard on Moorpark Street in 1940 and deciding to form a Presbyterian congregation.

The year 1941: The congregation of First Presbyterian Church of North Hollywood soon began holding worship services in the local Masonic Hall and by April 1941 the congregation had swelled to 112 members, but their development and building plans on a property at Riverside Drive and Westpark were postponed due to war restrictions after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

1947 artist's drawing of the Chapel.
1947 artist’s drawing of the Chapel

The year 1947: After the war the present property at the corner of Addison and Colfax, in North Hollywood, was purchased and building resumed and continued until September 21, 1947 when the Chapel and the attached Sunday school classrooms were dedicated.

The year 1949: The Women’s Association Building (present Fireside Room and the kitchen) was added.

The year 1952: Westminster Hall (present Caldwell Hall) was dedicated.

The year 1958: The pastor’s residence, the Manse, and the adjacent parking lot, south of Addison, were purchased, and plans for a fund-raising drive to build a sanctuary were initiated.

The year 1960: The Sanctuary Fund Canvass raised $300,000 and by 1962 the cornerstone of the new sanctuary was ceremoniously laid and construction was completed by the fall of 1962.

The years 1962-1994: Unfortunately during this same period of time a large segment of the congregation broke away and moved to another part of the Valley leaving a greatly diminished congregation facing large bills and many unpaid pledges. Faced with a backbreaking mortgage along with growing maintenance and repair costs, the congregation sought the help of the General Assembly through the Presbytery of San Fernando, and they also found financial relief by renting out the under-utilized buildings.

Faith Pres Chapel

The year 1994 to 2006: The church campus becomes home to a multipurpose and nutrition center for senior citizens (East Valley Multipurpose Senior Center) managed by the Valley Interfaith Council (VIC), a preschool run by Headstart, and the meeting place for a variety of religious fellowships, self-help groups, and 12-step programs.

The January 16, 1994 Northridge (6.8 magnitude) earthquake caused severe and irreparable damage to the main sanctuary which was eventually demolished by the City of Los Angeles on November 13, 1994. Two years later the land on which the church stood became a much-needed parking lot.

The year 1996 to 2005: Since Pastor Dan Clark was called to lead the congregation on April 14, 1996, he and the session worked with great enthusiasm and energy to make improvements to the physical plant, completing the building of a new parking lot over the land where the old sanctuary stood, renovation and improvement of the old Christian Education Building so that its second floor could be rented to the East Valley Multipurpose Senior Center and the first floor to the Headstart Preschool Program operated by Volunteers of America, renovations and repairs to the other buildings, and working with architects to get a plan for the future Faith Presbyterian Church of Valley Village sanctuary ready and approved by the city agencies.

Artist’s rendition of the proposed new sanctuary

There have been other changes such as reviving the spiritual, educational, and social programs of the church. The congregation of the Faith Pres continues to be a major participant in the life of the community of Valley Village (North Hollywood), in the North Hollywood Food Pantry Coalition, in the Valley Interfaith Council, in the Synod of Southern California and Hawaii, and in the Presbytery of San Fernando.

The year 2005: Rev. G. Daniel Clark resigned from his position as pastor of Faith Pres, effective December 31, 2005, accepting a call to shepherd the Warminster Presbyterian Church in Warminster, Pennsylvania, on January 1, 2006. He was greatly missed.

On November 26, 2006, Rev. Dr. Kim Strutt, who was assigned as Stated Supply Pastor by the Committee on Ministry of the Presbytery of San Fernando, preached his first sermon here. In his sermon, Pastor Kim urged Faith Pres to press ahead. He told the congregation, “Guided by the Word of God, empowered by His spirit, and following the course the Good Shepherd sets before us, we commit ourselves to the journey together, led by the Shepherd, following along the road as yet unseen. A road that we will discover is absolutely filled with exhilarating vistas and a glorious destination!” He stressed that Faith Presbyterian Church of Valley Village shall prevail.

One piece of work that was finished in the early months of Pastor Strutt’s assignment to Faith Pres is the new social hall next to the chapel which makes the hope of building the sanctuary seem so much more a real possibility.

Rev. Kim Strutt preached his last sermon on Sunday, April 11, 2010, and he and his wife Julie said farewell to a grateful congregation. The Strutts had been the most important influence in our congregation’s healing and restoration process. They have left behind a growing and active church.

On Sunday, April 18, 2010, the Rev. Richard W. Poole preached his first sermon as pastor of Faith Presbyterian Church. He was officially installed on Sunday, June 20, 2010, Fathers Day.

Pastor Rich is a native Californian, received his B.S. in Geology and Religious Studies from the College of Wooster, and earned his M.Div. from San Francisco Theological Seminary. He is the proud and loving father of three young sons, with another on the way, and loving husband to his wife Jane as well as an integral part of the church’s youth programs.