Westwood Presbyterian Church celebrated its 65th anniversary in 2012.
Soon after World War II, a small group of Presbyterians in the Westwood area came together with the vision of establishing a Presbyterian church in the community. Led by the Rev. Cecil Hoffman, Presbyterian campus minister at UCLA, this group of 134 individuals petitioned the Presbytery of Los Angeles in November 1946 to organize a congregation.
On November 23, 1947, the presbytery formally organized Westwood Presbyterian Church. The 116 charter members selected the Rev. Haven Davis, a former Army Air Force chaplain, as their first minister. The first congregation met at the Community Clubhouse on the northeast corner Wilshire Boulevard and Veteran Avenue.
In 1949, the Presbytery purchased a lot for the permanent church location on a Wilshire Boulevard hilltop to the east of Glendon Avenue. Anxious to get into their own building, the congregation bought a real estate office building on Wilshire and Glendon and moved it to the hilltop in the spring of 1950. The building (now the church’s fellowship building, Hoffman Hall) was retrofitted as a temporary chapel, and the first worship service was held there in July 1950.
The church completed its sanctuary in June 1953. Later in the decade, the Christian education building was added.
Haven Davis was followed as pastor by Bruce Reinhart in 1962, James Angell in 1965, and Charles Orr in 1970. Haven Davis had a vision that the new Westwood church would become a leader among churches in Los Angeles. In many ways, that vision has been realized.