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Worship Style

First Congregational Church of Los Angeles is traditional in its style of worship, but progressive and open when it comes to theological perspective. We're committed to practicing a faith that honors both the heart and the mind. In other words, all seekers are welcome, including those who might be recovering from a lousy experience with organized religion. We don't pressure people. Nor do we try to "cram religion down anyone's throat." In the true spirit of Jesus, we offer welcome, love and respect. While we take the Bible seriously at First Church, we don't necessarily take it literally. In other words, we try to interpret the scriptures in a way that make sense in our contemporary world.


First Church is committed to being an inspiring, welcoming, serving and fully functioning Christian community. We celebrate the rich diversity of our church and are committed to the ideal that our beautiful Gothic cathedral is a house of prayer for all people.


As a "Congregational" church, we are grateful for our heritage that reaches all the way back to the original Mayflower Pilgrims. And as the oldest Protestant church in the city of Los Angeles, we celebrate that we are committed to the values of an ecumenical faith and interfaith dialogue.

Congregational churches (in many ways similar in style and tone to a Methodist, Episcopal or Presbyterian church) always place the emphasis on the following . . .

  • The congregation is self-governing and not controlled by a larger, denominational structure. Trustees and Deacons, elected by the congregation, provide leadership for our church.
  • Ordinary members have a right (and responsibility) to participate fully in the life of the church, and every Christian has a contribution to make toward the ministry of the congregation.
  • Some Congregational churches are part of the denomination, the United Church of Christ, while others, including First Congregational Church of Los Angeles, are part of the National Association of Congregational Churches. All, however, are Congregational churches.
  • Every member of a Congregational church has a right to pursue his or her own faith in good conscience; which means that there is a wonderful diversity of theological thought in our congregation. While we indeed share a unity around the central affirmation that in Jesus Christ we have learned that God is a God of love and grace, there is also a healthy presence of diversity on various issues of the faith.


The arts really inform our faith here. The architecture of our building is stunningly beautiful. Sometimes just sitting quietly in our Sanctuary is a moment of inspiration. We're home to the world's largest church pipe organ, and in a word, the music is fabulous. Every Sunday it is fabulous! We think (though we're a little biased) that our church choir is the best in the city. And our church is also home to some wonderful works of art, stained glass windows and sculpture.

Additionally, we utilize poetry, literature, works of art as elements in our worship, in addition to hosting writers, poets, book talks, and a myriad of other cultural events for our congregation and community.




Dr. R. Scott Colglazier

The Rev. Dr. R. Scott Colglazier is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). A native of Indiana, Dr. Colglazier has served a number of churches throughout his career, most notably University Christian Church in Fort Worth, Texas, the second largest congregation of his denomination.

During his nearly decade long tenure as Senior Minister, Dr. Colglazier led the church through a period of outstanding membership growth, expanded programming and financial stewardship. While there he provided strategic planning leadership for a multi-million dollar renovation and building project. Most recently, Dr. Colglazier served the famed Riverside Church in New York City where he served as Interim Chief Program Minister and Head of Staff.

He is the author of several books, including his most recent work "A Dictionary of Faith." His work as a religious leader has been featured on CNN, The Today Show, and The CBS Morning Show, as well as in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and The New York Times. He is married to Marti (Sweeney) Colglazier who is a public school administrator. They have three children, Matthew (27), Drew (25) and Kathryn (24).



2  |  "Under New Ownership"

9  |  "Legacy"

16  |  "A Dictionary of Faith"

23  |  "(In)finite"

30  |  "What Now?"









7  |  "March Madness"

14  |  "Via Positiva!"

21  |  "O Japan, Japan"

28  |  "Born Again"





6  |  "Graduation"

13  |  "Faith in the Journey"

20  |  "The Divine Star"

27  |  "Take a Break"








5  |  A New Column

12  |  My Dear Friend

19  |  I Believe in Dog! (and God, too)

26  |  Sermon








1  |  Mindfulness...

8  |  Change...

15  |  A Different Point of View...

22  |  Choices...

29  |  Holy Week...




3  |  Sprung...

10  |  Mother's Day...

17  |  Mother Nature...

24  |  Arrivederci...

31  |  How Badly...







6  |  The Ultimate Makeover

13  |  Get Un-stuck!

20  |  Simplicity

27  |  Just Be



Dr. R. Scott Colglazier

Senior Minister
As Senior Minister, Dr. Colglazier functions as the CEO of our organization. He oversees the planning and implementation of worship and service details and serves as officiant for weekly and special worship services. In addition, Dr. Colglazier represents First Church to the greater community at large through his writings, interviews and public appearances.

Darice Bailey

Accounting Manager
Darice oversees our financial accounting functions for the Church

Dr. Christoph Bull

Dr. Bull plays the Great Organs for most weekly and special services, and accompanies the Cathedral Choir in rehearsal and performance. He also is involved with planning the annual Organ Concert Series, as well as the Los Angeles Bach Festival.

Mr. Larry Dusich

Wedding and Events Coordinator
Larry Dusich is our part-time Wedding and Events Coordinator. He assists Joanna Sum, our Wedding and Events Manager, with growing the Wedding, Concerts, and Events business by providing tours around the facility, coordinating event day details, and working on the day of weddings and events.

Ms. Jade lin Hornbaker

Office Manager
Ms. Hornbaker is the Office Manager and handles the daily planning and scheduling for the church. She also assists Dr. Colglazier in the Senior Minister’s Office

Ms. Julianne James

Manager, First Kids First
Ms. James is responsible for planning and implementing our First Kids First program. She works with other First Kids First staff, recruits and trains volunteers and communicates often with parents while ensuring a safe environment where children can grow in our inspiring community.

Ms. Susan Leary

Chief Administrative Officer
Ms. Leary serves as Chief Administrative Office for our organization, overseeing Finance, Facilities and Human Resources. Ms. Leary works closely with lay leaders to provide support to ministries and programs.

Mr. Leo Lopez

Facilities Manager
Mr. Lopez is responsible for the day-to-day operations, general maintenance, repairs, replacement and improvements of the FCCLA campus. He is responsible for coordinating and supervising the work provided by outside contractors, vendors and volunteers. Mr. Lopez works closely with the CAO to ensure smooth operations of all the buildings and equipment.

Ms. Esther Manilla Sawyer

Wedding and Event’s Coordinator
Esther Manilla assists Joanna, our Wedding & Events Manager, in helping couples plan their special day at FCCLA.

Mr. Jose Reyes

Director of Technology
Mr. Reyes serves as Director of Technology for both First Church and Pilgrim School. In this capacity, he is responsible for overseeing issues related to computers, internet connectivity, phone systems and Audio/Visual equipment for activities related to the church and school.

Ms. Jessie Spear

Part-Time Accounting Coordinator
Ms. Spear is responsible for Accounts Payable, as well as other accounting functions.

Rev. Ryan Steitz

Associate Minister
As Associate Minister, Rev. Steitz is responsible for collaborating with the Senior Minister in order to provide pastoral leadership to the congregation. Rev. Steitz also assists with adult education, providing biblical, spiritual and developmental theory support and program instruction. He serves as a co-leader in small group and Young Adult Ministry as well as provides pastoral care to individual congregants.

Rev. Shanna K. Steitz

Associate Minister
Rev. Shanna Steitz serves as a leader in Annual Giving and Stewardship Programs. She assists with new member recruitment while working closely with prospective members, and engaging new members in the life of the Church. Rev. Steitz is also responsible for the development and upkeep of the Church database and all pastoral contacts as well as participates in the liturgy of our weekly worship services.

Mrs. Joanna Sum

Wedding and Events Manager
Joanna Sum is our Wedding and Events Manager. Under her direction, the Wedding and Events team works tirelessly to bring the Church alive with weddings, concerts, and other special events.

Dr. Jonathan Talberg

Choir Director / Artistic Director for Los Angeles Bach Festival
As Choir Director for First Church, Dr. Talberg conducts the Cathedral Choir, works with ministerial staff to plan music for weekly and special services. Additionally, Dr. Talberg oversees the artistic planning of the Los Angeles Bach Festival, conducting the Los Angeles Bach Festival Chorus and Orchestra in yearly concerts.

Ms. Elizabeth Unrath

Human Resources Manager
Ms. Unrath handles human resources matters, administers benefits and assists managers with hiring decisions.

Mr. Garrett White

Website, Video Editor and Social Media Coordinator
Mr. White maintains and updates our website in addition to helping our online presence grow throughout the internet with the use of social media. He also helps assist the Director of Communications in shooting and editing video for special events at First Church.




Board of Deacons

The Board of Deacons assists in all liturgical services throughout the year. If you are interested in joining the Board of Deacons, please contact John Sorenson, Chair of the Deacons, at johnwsorenson@gmail.com, or submit a letter of interest to the Deacons.

Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees meets monthly and is responsible for overseeing financial and operational business of the congregation.

Church Council

The Church Council is made up of representatives from all of the various boards and committees of the church. If you are interested in being a part of the Church Council, please tell the committee(s) or board(s) that you belong to that you would like to be nominated to be a representative.

The mission of the Outreach Committee of First Congregational Church of Los Angeles is to represent the congregation in serving the greater community and seek to improve people's lives. Falling under the prevue of the Board of Deacons, the Outreach Committee selects First Church partner charities, decides and defines the scope of support by the Church, coordinates outreach activities with each recipient charity, recruits members of the congregation to personally support the programs, creates awareness of the Committee's role, and provides evidence of the witness of First Church.

This dedicated and friendly group of women and men offers fellowship and volunteer opportunities, as well as providing outreach to people in our community who are in need. They gather for monthly luncheons and programs, October through December, and February through June. Guests are welcome. Membership dues are $8 per year. If you are interested in attending the monthly luncheons, please call the church for current schedule and to make your reservations.


The Ushers report to the Board of Deacons and help with the Sunday worship service. They assist people in finding seating, distribute worship bulletins and collect the weekly offerings.

Cedar Lake Camp Committee

The Cedar Lake Camp Committee plans and monitors issues and activities related to Cedar Lake Camp, such as budget, WorkOut Weekend and the All Church Family Retreat. The main core of this committee is made up from members of the Board of Trustees. If you would like to be part of the Cedar Lake Camp Committee, please submit a letter of interest to the Chair of the Cedar Lake Camp Committee or to the Chair of the Board of Trustees.

Worship Committee

The Worship Committee works with the Senior Minister and Music staff to plan special worship services. They also meet to discuss themes and ideas for liturgical seasons, such as Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter.

Building and Grounds Committee

The Building and Grounds Committee makes decisions concerning the building, renovation projects, and artwork placement within the facility. If you are interested in being involved with the Building and Grounds Committee, please submit a letter of interest to the Church Office.

Membership Committee

The Membership Committee is responsible for recruiting new members, as well as helping with new member orientations throughout the year. The chair of the Membership Committee is always a Deacon, but anyone can be involved in the committee. If you are interested please submit a letter of interest to the Church Office.




First Congregational Church of Los Angeles (FCCLA) is looking for energetic and passionate people who love to be challenged and desire the freedom to contribute to the overall success of the organization. We are a progressive, positive and open church with a strong arts and music culture. Please view our current openings for an opportunity to become part of the FCCLA team:

We currently have no job openings.



Wilshire Center  |  540 South Commonwealth Avenue  |  Los Angeles  CA. 90020  |  T. 213.385.1341