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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 17, 1999
At the end of the movie "The Rock," Nicholas Cage speeds away from a white clapboard church with the secret to the Kennedy assassination, which he found in a pew. The secret was never revealed on screen. Now, any other untold tales that the century-old Sacred Heart Mission Church holds may be lost forever. The sale of nearby land for a housing development could destroy the charm that has attracted filmmakers.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 27, 1998 | NANCY TREJOS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Rev. Travis Smith bellows from the pulpit of the 3-month-old First Church of Deliverance: You can't live today successfully holding on to yesterday! Smith has built his congregation on those words. His church is a lesson in how a community can let go of a sordid past. The Gardena building that the church calls home was for 24 years known as the Little Fox Theater, an X-rated movie house where screenings of films were accompanied by lewd acts both inside and outside the building.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 6, 1998 | KURT STREETER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Those who remain--about 15 regulars, all of them black, many of them born around World War I--have watched their church crumble slowly. Emmett Woodard is the oldest. He was 31 when he moved from the South to Compton in 1943. Compton was different then. Black people were just starting to settle, and for a man like Woodard, with latte skin and silvery eyes, the racism lay thick. "You'd get called a nigger all the time. There were places you couldn't eat, right here in Compton."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 21, 1998 | JOHN DART
The Rev. Richard Laue will retire Sunday after 23 years as senior pastor of an independent church now attended by 1,200 people, including longtime member Rep. James Rogan (R-Glendale). When Laue came to the Calvary Bible Church in 1975, the average attendance was 300 adults. As the congregation grew, it built a new worship center and auditorium. Rogan, a rising figure in Republican politics who is on the House Judiciary Committee, was baptized and married at the church.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 7, 1998 | JOHN DART
The ancient Coptic Orthodox Church--struggling as a minority faith in mostly Muslim Egypt and within the largely Protestant World Council of Churches--continues to gain a happier spiritual foothold in ethnically diverse Southern California. The influx of immigrant Egyptian Christians in recent decades prompted the Coptic Patriarch of Alexandria to create the Diocese of Southern California and Hawaii in 1995, naming one of his top bishops to head a diocese that now includes 21 churches.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 7, 1998 | TERESA WATANABE, TIMES RELIGION WRITER
The Rev. Steven E. Berry grew up as a preacher's son and saw his parents divorce after 45 years of marriage--a casualty he attributes to the unremitting stresses and strains of ministry life, including death threats stemming from his father's views on social issues.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 29, 1998 | JOHN DART
It's transition time at the house of worship that Jack built, the large Church on the Way. Pastor Jack Hayford, 64, is spending less time preaching and administering the nearly 10,000-member congregation that he built from a small, struggling church almost 30 years ago. Hayford is devoting more time to mentoring younger pastors making pilgrimages to the multifaceted church complex.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 27, 1998 | DARRELL SATZMAN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Having outgrown its Placerita Canyon home of the past 30 years, the city's largest Protestant church will move next week into a larger, more modern facility near Seco Canyon. Grace Baptist Church, which typically draws more than 4,500 worshipers to its six weekly services, is finally ready to move to the site it purchased more than seven years ago, said the Rev. David Leathers, family life pastor at the church. The new location is a 23-acre hillside parcel at 22833 W. Copper Hill Road in Saugus.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 22, 1998 | JACK LEONARD and VANESSA HUA, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
The diverse congregation of St. Stephen Presbyterian church in Chatsworth ranges from pacifists to National Rifle Assn. members--which may account for its pastor's decision not to jump into a discussion of the denomination's recent call for members to remove weapons from their homes and communities. Although silent on the subject Sunday, Rev.
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June 22, 1998 | LARRY B. STAMMER, TIMES RELIGION WRITER
Once the virtual province of old-line Protestant churches, Southern California has emerged in recent years as the most religiously diverse metropolitan area in the world. From immigrant Pentecostal churches and suburban mega-churches overflowing with believers to the largest Buddhist temple in the Western Hemisphere, 600 distinct religious traditions have been identified in the region.
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