The History of Founders MCC
A Quick History
- Oct. 6, 1968 MCC founded by Rev. Troy D. Perry in Huntington Park, California
- 1969 Church at 22nd & Union purchased and occupied; first UFMCC General Conference held.
- Jan. 27, 1973 Building at 22nd & Union destroyed by a fire of “suspicious origin.”
- 1974 MCCLA purchases and occupies the former Belasco Theater at 11th & Hill downtown.
- Feb., 1986 Rev. Nancy L. Wilson elected pastor of MCC Los Angeles.
- 1987 Hill Street building sold and Washington & La Cienega property in Culver City purchased.
- Jan. 17, 1994 Building Washington Boulevard destroyed during Northridge earthquake.
- 1996 Santa Monica Boulevard property purchased jointly with UFMCC and occupied.
- Feb. 15, 2001 Rev. Michael J. Nikolaus serves as MCC Los Angeles’ interim pastor.
- Nov. 4, 2001 Rev. Neil G. Thomas of Bournemouth MCC, England, elected as Senior Pastor of MCCLA and began his pastorate in early 2002. He was installed March 10, 2002.
|1968 – 1972 Rev. Elder Dr. Troy D. Perry||
|1972 – 1975 Rev. Lee J. Carlton||
|1975 – 1976 Rev. Elder James Sandmire|
|1976 – 1978 Rev. Donald Pederson|
|1978 – 1985 Rev. Elder Jeri Ann Harvey|
|1985 – 1986 Elder Larry Rodriguez||
|1986 – 2000 Rev. Dr. Elder Nancy L. Wilson||
|2001 – 2002 Rev. Michael Nikolaus|
|2002 – present Rev. Dr. Neil G. Cazares-Thomas||
Denominational History of MCC
In October 1968, a defrocked Southern Pentecostal minister gathered 12 people to preach the gospel — with a twist: All people, including lesbians and gay men, were welcome to worship with him. The charismatic reverend, Troy Perry, was 28 years old when he founded the Metropolitan Community Church.
The several years preceding MCC’s founding had been difficult ones for Perry. After coming out in 1963, he found himself without church and family. He was excommunicated by his former church and abandoned by his wife and two sons. But inspired by a vision, he eventually moved to Los Angeles and became both a gay activist and the leader of a new church.
Perry’s simple message of “God’s love for all” was popular among gay men and lesbians, and by 1969 MCC had 150 congregants. “Most gays believe very strongly in God, but most churches simply refuse to let them worship Him,” Perry said in a 1969 Advocate interview. “God made all of us. He loves homosexuals as much as any of His children.” In March 1971, more than 1000 people attended the dedication service of MCC’s first permanent home, located in downtown Los Angeles.
MCC continued to grow exponentially, with churches popping up in communities all over the country. But the increased visibility came with costs, including arson attacks in 1972 and 1973 at the newly formed San Francisco MCC. Two separate fires in 1973 destroyed the MCC mother church in Los Angeles as well.
Last year the church presided over 5000 holy union ceremonies for lesbian and gay couples.
(This article was taken from the May 26, 1998 issue of The Advocate, written by Don Romesburg.)
Today, Founders Metropolitan Community Church follows in the legacy that began over 46 years ago. As the founding church of this movement, we take our calling very seriously to be a church of a growing vision and action. Our facility hosts over 20 recovery groups, highlighting that we believe strongly in healing of mind and body as well as spirit. Our 30+ ministries ensure that there are ample opportunities for our congregants to get connected with one another while have a chance to be of service to one another and the broader community. Our spiritual education options ensure that whether one is just beginning their spiritual journey or have traveled for some time, there is something to enrich their minds and hearts. And one cannot forget our soul enriching worship services offered throughout the week. This, and so much more, is who we are as Founders Metropolitan Community Church…a Vibrant, Inclusive, Progressive Christian Community who is dedicated to being the Hands, Feet and Heart of Christ in the world.