First Evangelical Church began in 1965 as a ministry to students from the Philippines and Taiwan. Our first Sunday worship service was held on October 10, 1965 in the living room of our founding Pastor, Rev. George Chua (b.1908 – d.1994). Eleven months later, Rev. Chua returned to the Philippines and Rev. Eddie Lo (b.1928 – d.2008) came on board to continue the ministry. By August of 1967, our attendance outgrew the seating and standing capacity of the living room, so we purchased a small church and moved worship services to Fargo Street in the Silver Lake area.
This “new” home was dedicated on our second anniversary, October 8, 1967. Pastor Lo would usually preach in English and it would be translated to Mandarin and Taiwanese on alternate Sundays. In October 1970, after tremendous growth, the Taiwanese congregation formed the Evangelical Formosan Church (EFC) and went out from FEC to start their own ministry.
As we continued to grow, we felt called to purchase our current church site in November of 1973. On December 9, 1973, our first worship service was held in Glendale, and this current property was dedicated on March 10, 1974.
By November 1974, we started an English-only worship service, and soon thereafter a Mandarin-only service was created. We introduced a Cantonese service in 1981, as we simultaneously broke ground for construction of our present-day sanctuary.
This sanctuary was dedicated on October 10, 1982, and the previous sanctuary was converted into what we know today as our Christian Education (CE) Building. The top floor is where our high school and adult Sunday school classes are held. The ground floor now contains our nursery, church library, and Auxiliary Chapel where the Youth and LifeSurge ministries meet for worship. In 2003 we broke ground again and built the Children’s Ministries Center (CMC). This new building was our first building solely dedicated to the development of our children from preschool to junior high.
With God’s blessing over the years, we have been able to plant new churches through the greater Los Angeles area, FEC San Gabriel Valley (1986), FEC Cerritos (1988), FEC Diamond Bar in (1999), FEC Arcadia in (2001), and Epicentre (2003, Pasadena). All the sister churches are independent and self-supporting.
We are a founding member of the First Evangelical Church Association (FECA) which was formed in 1997 with the purpose of furthering the work of member churches in church planting, missions, spiritual formation, and social concern. To date, this expanded work has included planting churches in St. Petersburg, Russia, Serbia, India and East Asia.
FECA Vision Statement: “God has called us to grow and plant life-transforming, holistic, sustainable and reproducing churches for the advancement of His kingdom and glory.”