Help Save the Historical First Baptist Church in Venice

Help Us Save Our Historic Church and Spiritual Community Space

The First Baptist Church of Venice, CA

The First Baptist Church located at 685-687 Westminster Avenues is 108 years old and the first spiritual and social refuge space for African Americans fleeing extreme racism dynamics in the South. This historical spiritual community space was illegally sold and bought and is now under the danger of being reduced to a private home for the Penske family.

We are fighting to have the sale rescinded and the First Baptist Church property restored to its original function as a community space. In keeping of the spirit of the church space we continue to gather every Sunday at 1 PM.  We gather in a good way for prayer, creativity, and community dialogue and building.

Venice, CA First Baptist Church History

 

Some Quick Facts

  • The First Baptist Church of Venice space has been a community spiritual space, refuge, and institution for over 108 years.
  • In 2000 the intersection of Westminster Ave & 7th Ave in Venice was designated as a permanent ceremonial location and named Bishop E.L. Holmes Square after the longtime pastor of the First Baptist Church of Venice.
  • The church property was illegally sold by pastor Horace Allen. The charlatan pastor then sold it to Jay Penske, son of automotive billionaire Roger Penske, and his wife.
  • The congregation filed a lawsuit against charlatan pastor Horace Allen for the illegal sale of the First Baptist Church. The lawsuit is still pending.
  • The sale of our historic community space was done covertly. No public notice or real estate sign was put up on the property to indicate it was being sold.
  • The community members have no recollection of vandalism ever happening to the church. But strangely enough, the provisional owners (Jay Penske) claimed the property was recently vandalized. The church building also happened to catch fire but to our understanding did not do any critical damage.
  • In October, the real estate sector and gentrifier dominated Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC)  unanimously voted to approve the Penske’s plans for “adaptive reuse” of the First Baptist Church property even though the sale is in legal dispute and pending verdict. Not one VNC member referenced the historical and spiritual significance of the church space. In fact all we have received from the VNC board after their inconsiderate decision are condescending and belittling comments and lies from one of its board members.
  • In August Councilman Mike Bonin promised to helps save the First Baptist Church of Venice. To date he has been silent and a no-show in keeping his word to help us.

Upcoming Events

december, 2017

No Events

This Saturday!

Save First Baptist Church of Venice, CA

Stop the Destruction of Venice!
Please consider donating to the Lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles.

Facebook

What YOU Can Do to Help

E-mail City Planning

Tell them Designate the First Baptist Church space as a landmark and No Mansionization in Oakwood in whatever terms you prefer.

Email: juliet.oh@lacity.org 
Reference these numbers in the title.
CASE N0#DIR-2017-1895-CDP-MEL | CEQA NO#ENV-2017-1896-CE

 

Contact Council Bonin

Contact Mike Bonin, tell him to  keep his word to the people and continue on the path set by Ruth Galanter and designate First Baptist Church of Venice as a historical landmark. Respect Black History in Venice and West LA!

213-473-7011
councilmember.bonin@lacity.org
https://www.facebook.com/MikeBoninCD11 

Call Radio Station KJLH

Ask that Reverend Horace Allen’s show on Sundays at 6pm be taken off the air because he is being sued by elder church members for an illegal sale of First Baptist Church of Venice. Case# BS159555 was filed in Stanley Mosk Superior Court. Please let KJLH (102.3) know that you do not support this charlatan minister.

Call 310-330-2200

X