For over 60 years, we have seen God’s strategic plan for establishing, growing, and nurturing First Chinese Baptist Church, Los Angeles (FCBCLA). Chinatown served as the entry point for many immigrants from the Far East, and our Chinatown church became the “home church” for many. Some have wondered why we stay here in Chinatown, but time and time again, God has confirmed His calling for us to remain in this community.
The Early Years
In the 1930’s and 1940’s, the Chinese immigrant community in Los Angeles was often relocated as the city built infrastructure such as Union Station and the Harbor Freeway. As a result, a small section of the city was carved out for Chinese residents. God laid a burden on the hearts of a Los Angeles couple, Mr. and Mrs. Emory Chow, and a former Southern Baptist missionary to China, Reverend M.W. Rankin, to begin a Chinese church in the New Chinatown neighborhood. In 1952, we held our first worship service and Sunday School in a vacant noodle factory. Rev. Thomas Lowe arrived shortly thereafter and helped establish many of the programs which exist to this day. As the church grew, we extended our reach and started the Crenshaw Mission.
Building a Biblical Foundation and Growth
In the 1960’s, God led Dr. Timothy Lin to our church. He emphasized teaching the Bible, and training and preparation for God’s kingdom. Dr. Lin laid the spiritual foundation for many as they moved on to establish and build other churches such as the Sacramento Mission.
God faithfully provided resources and facilities as we experienced major growth during the 1970’s and 1980’s. A major influx of immigrants from Hong Kong and Taiwan poured into Chinatown and many of them made FCBCLA their home church. Over time, many of the immigrants began moving to outlying communities. God also led us to plant missions in Westminster, Walnut, and even Calexico. God brought faithful leaders such as Dr. Greg Owyang, Dr. Murphy Lum, and Dr. Jackson Lau to serve as pastors at our churches.
Expanding Our Mission in Chinatown
During the 1990’s, God used Dr. Herman Tang to lead FCBCLA to develop the Cantonese ministries. God still had more plans for the Chinese church as a second wave of immigrants from mainland China arrived in the 2000’s. God brought Dr. Benny Wong to expand its ministries by adding a Mandarin Worship and outreaching to a new generation of Chinese through the San Gabriel Valley Mission and Asian-Americans through the Restoration church.
Truly, God has blessed our church with various ministries that reach our multi-cultural, multi-lingual and multi-generational congregations. We hope that you will sense His Spirit in this church and that you will consider FCBCLA as your “home church”.