PHCC HISTORICAL Journey
Park Hills Community Church (PHCC) is member church of the oldest Protestant denomination in the United States, with a continuous ministry, The Reformed Church in America (RCA). Its heritage is found in the great Protestant Reformation of the 16th Century, with roots in the Netherlands. The denomination’s first church in this country started in the hayloft of an old, Dutch mill in 1628, on the tip of Manhattan Island. It continues today as the Marble Collegiate Church on Fifth Avenue in New York City, where The Reverend Dr. Norman Vincent Peale had his ministry.
Park Hills was organized as the Second Reformed Church of Los Angeles on February 26, 1945, by The Reverend Henry Beltman. The congregation of twenty-three members set out immediately to build, what is still, the church sanctuary. It cost $137,000 and was dedicated in 1946. The Fellowship Hall was completed in 1951 and named Ingold Hall, after its donor, Rueben Ingold, who was an active member of the church. The Los Angeles County subsequently named a nearby walking park in his honor, which continues to serve the community.
During the 1950-1960 years the surrounding community underwent an ethnic shift as African American families moved into the area. At one point the membership declined to fifteen members. As God continued to sustain the church, the California Classis, governing body of denomination, declared Park Hills a mission church in 1978. Later, The Reverend L.L. White came out of retirement from Holman United Methodist Church and took over the ministerial leadership in 1983. Under his guidance, Park Hills Community Church returned to a position of being self-supporting, carrying on a meaningful ministry with increased membership.
In April, 1993, The Reverend Elzie J. Richardson, Jr. was installed as Minister of Word and Sacrament. Under his leadership he brought continuity to the worship services and provided for the pastoral needs of the congregation. A new climate emerged over the congregation, along with an increase in attendance and contributions. In September, 2005, Pastor Richardson resigned due to health and age reasons.
June 2007, the Reverend Dr. Richard Horton, was installed as Pastor (2007-2011). Under his leadership, the congregation raised over $300,000 and completed a five year construction project addition to the Sanctuary building in June 2008. The new addition included needed restroom facilities, a multipurpose room, office space for the staff and pastor, and other small rooms.
In January 2009, Pastor Horton presented a proposal to PHCC to host an RCA church plant on the campus. The proposal was accepted and The R.O.C.K. Church, led by Pastor Peter Watts, began to conduct worship services and other ministerial opportunities here on the campus. This proved to be a positive relationship leading to several successful combined services and events including Vacation Bible School, and Easter and Christmas worship services. In December, 2014 the R.O.C.K. Church moved to a new location, developing a ministry with World Impact.
After the untimely passing of Rev. Horton in 2011, a Pastoral Search Committee was formed. In June, 2012, The Reverend Lawrence K. Dove, Associate Pastor, Emmanuel Reformed Church, Paramount, California, was called to serve Park Hills. He was installed as the Senior Minister by the Classis of California, RCA, and also served as the Diversity Director on the Executive Staff of the Classis.
Under Pastor Larry’s leadership, the church continues to build on the foundation work of previous pastors. Forty-six new members have joined the Park Hills Family under Rev. Dove’s leadership. The Youth Ministry has been revived with the addition of a Superintendent of Youth Sunday School and formation of a Youth Choir, co-directed by First Lady Yolanda Dove. She is also currently serving as the elected President of the very active, Park Hills Women’s Ministries. The Youth Ministry has been intensified by full participation in the 5th Sunday Worship Services and frequent scheduled outings. The worship services have been enhanced by the installation of video monitors which are used each Sunday for audio/visual input. Plans for the improvement and modernization throughout the church campus are ongoing.
Pastor Larry’s continues to lead encourage the congregation with the prophetic proclamation reminder... “The Best is Yet to Come!”