Los Angeles Journal – Sunday, February 1, 2009

The work of the church goes forward in all kinds of ways by all kinds of workers.

In the early 1900s Aimee Semple McPherson was a dynamic evangelist and pastor who founded Angelus Temple and dedicated it in 1923. It stands at the corner of Echo Park, just four blocks from where Mel and Julio live.

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It is the central church of the Foursquate Church denomination. It held over 5,000 people in Rev. McPherson’s day; with renovations it now seats 3,500. The lighted cross on the dome is a longstanding landmark. The entire Temple is a National Historical Landmark.

On an entirely different scale, Julio and Samaya and I went today to New City Church, with an attendace of 70 or 80 people. New City Church is a new (since last Easter) church planting in the heart of business L.A. The group meets in the Los Angeles Theatre Centre on Spring St., which is the home of the Latino Museum of History, Art and Culture.

The church was initiated by the Foursquare Church, but its ambitious intention is to be “a non-denominational, multi-ethnic, multi-socieconomic Christian church in the heart of downtown Los Angeles,” to quote from their printed bulletin. (Both the bulletin and the lengthy announcement time in the service were more traditional than I expected.)

The meeting space is an exceptionally steep theater.

The teaching pastor, Kevin Haah (Asian) spoke on how to follow Jesus all the way, debunking the prosperity gospel and the inclination to “take over the kingdom of this world.” We are to reject “power over” and practice “power under,” as Jesus taught.

At New City Church I was delighted with two connections that relate to the work I do in world mission. The first connection was meeting Kyle, a student at Biola University, who is taking a course in Islamics and knows about Jay Smith’s ministry and follows his YouTube talks.

The second connection was with Alec, who gave a brief talk in the service about a one-month ministry trip that he and his sister will be taking soon to Spain, North Africa and the Middle East, to learn about outreach to our distant cousins, and to teach workers there how to make better use of electronic media. His contacts will be with workers of the Assemblies of God. I talked with him after the service, and he and I plan to keep in touch with each other throughout his trip and maybe after that.

God is at work in so many ways far beyond what I know, but the few things I do see and know fill my heart with joy and amazement at the worldwide spiritual harvest that God is Masterminding.

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2 Responses

  1. Hello, John. Thanks for the photo of the Angelus Temple.-I had thought of it when reading your previous post about Echo Park. Jeannie thinks we were wise to go to London at the time we did, instead of this week!

    • David,
      Yes, I heard they had a 2-inch snow, which was more than they’ve had in 18 years!
      John

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