During the 1920s and 1930s, due to the high concentration of religious structures lining both sides of Adams between Vermont and Crenshaw Boulevards, Adams Boulevard became known as the “street of churches”.  One of the most impressive is the McCarty Memorial Christian Church.  On a hill with a great tower rising two-hundred feet into the air, it has become a community landmark.McCarty was the realized dream of Dr. and Mrs. Isaac McCarty who bought the land for $30,000 and paid $250,000 for its construction.  Patterned after Exeter Cathedral in England, visitors from every state in the Union have proclaimed the Sanctuary one of the most beautiful in the United States. Free of any debt, the church was completed and opened in May 1932, on the date of the McCarty’s wedding anniversary. It was presented as a gift to the congregations of South Park

Christian Church and West Adams Christian Church  who both merged to become McCarty Memorial Christian Church. In 1949 an education building was constructed adjacent to the Church.The series of stunning stained glass windows throughout the Sanctuary are symbols of great biblical facts and worth a trip just to view.

In 1954 Dr.  Rev. Kring Allen arrived an pastored McCarty for twenty-two years and in 1967 he  successfully integrated the church. Dr. Allen, marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who visited the church on many occasions. Rev. Allen was interviewed by the Los Angeles Times in 1967,
“Our neighborhood is 85% Negro.  So  our church, I would guess, although I don’t know, you lose your color sense when you stop thinking about it.  I lost mine.”

The Education and Youth Center building was renamed in his honor in 2002. Today Pastor Layne is very pleased to have been asked by this congregation to partner with them as they once again move past perceived barriers of race and culture.
“I’m proud of this church family and their commitment to become as diverse a fellowship as the community that makes up their neighborhood.”

McCarty has also provided a place for the community to come and enjoy all types of services such as an infant nursery, Boy and Girl Scouts, Judo classes, square dancing, various youth groups (private and religious,) sports teams that play in the church gym located on the 2nd floor of the Education building, weddings, funerals, community meetings and a  community
voter polling place that recently had its largest turnout in the 2008 Presidential election. In recent years transformation has taken place since many of the church members have left the neighborhood and moved into outlaying areas.  However, staunch, devoted remaining members have great faith and hope in revitalizing the church.  In 2007 McCarty partnered with Save Our Future to work towards enhancing membership, creating after-school programs for children and creating a Charter School for young adults to enable them to finish their education by developing technical and trade education.
McCarty is on the move with members and many within the community are feeling some good vibrations.

As long as McCarty Memorial Christian Church stands on this hill with its graceful sphere reaching so nobly to the skies, the Christian witness of Dr. and Mrs. Isaac McCarty will be felt in this community.  People will come and worship here as this church practices union. It has no creed but Christ and seeks to make religion as intelligent as science, as appealing as art, as visual as the day’s work, as intimate as home and as inspiring as love.

McCarty Memorial Christian Church (excluding the education building) has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is a cultural resource under the regulations of the State of California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).




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Established in August of 2008 by writerartist Dianne V. Lawrence, The Neighborhood News covers the events, people, history, politics and historic architecture of communities throughout the Mid-City and West Adams area in Los Angeles Council District 10.

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