The First Baptist Church located at 685-687 Westminster Avenues is 109 years old and the first spiritual and social refuge space for African-Americans in Venice fleeing extreme racism dynamics in the South. The church which is part of the ceremonially dedicated corner called E.L. Holmes Square was purchased by families who put up their land trust to purchase the property back in 1910. Mind you this is 45 years after slavery was abolished and in time of racial covenants and KKK still highly active in political leadership in West Los Angeles.
This historical Church corner was fraudulently sold and is now under the danger of being reduced to a private home for millionaire Jay Penske. We are working to have the sale rescinded and the First Baptist Church property restored to its original function as an uplifting community space in the spirit of our Black ancestors who built it. In keeping of the spirit of the spiritual community gathering we continue to meet every Sunday at 1 PM. We come together in a good way for sharing vision and dialogue on restoring this historic landmark and building community.