2010 -- The Year of Valley History
Ralph Brown - First Baptist Church of North Hollywood - Photo for the Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley by Gerald Fecht - Feb. 2010 - Ralph Brown has been playing the piano since his 3rd birthday.
As I was leaving from a short talk about The Museum today at the First Baptist Church of North Hollywood, Ms. Jan Fisher presented me a copy of the 70th Anniversary Church Family Cookbook. I don’t know about you, but just reading about Dan Doggett’s “Copper Penny Salad”, Harriet Oman’s “Double Layer Pumpkin Pie” or Jan’s “Zucchini Bread and Butter Pickes” make me think that maybe we should have just a culinary museum.
If the recipes weren’t enough, on pages 2 and 3, there are highlights of the church’s history.
The First Baptist Church of North Hollywood began as a “mission” church fostered by the First Baptist Church of Van Nuys. The fledging church held its first services in a store front location on Burbank Boulevard. 49 charter members of the church were led by the Mr. Howard Bigelow. As it grew the church moved to Duncan Hall on Magnolia Boulevard and from there in the famous El Portal Theater on Lankershim Boulevard. In 1929, the Rev. William Riddle became the pastor of the newly incorporated denomination.
At the height of the Great Depression, the First Baptist Church of North Hollywood purchased its first property at the corner of Otesego and Fair Streets.
In 1964 an ever growing congregation rejoiced with a handsome new sanctuary. Education buildings, offices, a fireside room and other additions came along. The Museum of the San Fernando Valley always tries to include the First Baptist Church of North Hollywood in our walking tours. Its unique architecture and the warmth of its pastor Rev. Mike Woodcock and welcoming congregation make the church an important San Fernando Valley landmark.