About Palms Westminster
A Brief History of Palms-Westminster Presbyterian Church
Starting as a store-front Sunday school on Robertson Blvd. in 1933 and sponsored by Culver City United Presbyterian Church, a group of neighbors with the aid of the national United Presbyterian Church purchased a property in a field across from the newly constructed Hamilton High School. There they built the current white clapboard building in 1935 and a new congregation was established using the building as sanctuary, meeting room, Sunday school, dining hall and kitchen.
Growing steadily before and during the Second World War, Westminster sent several of its members to the war. Some did not return. Several pastors shepherded the new congregation. During and after the war, the young Rev. Robert Ralston saw continued growth and the need for more space. The brick building was constructed in 1947-1948 and provided for large multipurpose meeting rooms, a kitchen, Sunday school space, and offices. This allowed for the complete remodeling of the original building that was to be devoted more exclusively to worship space. A large and boisterous nursery school along with Boy Scout Troop 50 served the neighborhood for over fifty years.
The fifties under Pastor Edward Radcliff saw rapid growth to nearly six hundred members with Easter services in Hamilton High Auditorium, the purchase of the house on Helms Place for more meeting rooms and the purchase of the parking lot on Cattaraugus. Merging with a larger national Presbyterian body the congregation was renamed “Palms-Westminster Presbyterian Church.”
The sixty’s and seventy’s led by the Revs. Mathieu and later Boyd began a period of outreach with an expansive Meals-on-Wheels program to shut-ins, partnering with Korean missions and a large professional program to aid youth toward employment opportunities.
The eighty’s and ninety’s were led by the Revs. Kim and Johnson and consolidated many ministries. They led the congregation to participate in the worship service and many efforts in the local and national Church. They nurtured a smaller but friendlier multicultural congregation.
After the turn of the century, a young idealistic pastor Rev. Howard Dotson involved the congregation in many avenues of community, national, and international service Now with many retired pastors helping PWPC (currently without full time clergy) the dynamic small congregation finds service to many and fosters a family of mutual caring.