Since its founding in 1956, Bel Air Presbyterian has become one of the largest churches in Los Angeles. The church is on the “Educational Corridor” on Mulholland Drive, on a hill overlooking the San Fernando Valley. On Jewish high holy days, Bel Air Church hosts services for the Stephen S. Wise Temple, a Reform Jewish congregation, which is in the same Bel Air neighborhood.
The original sanctuary organ was a four-manual, sixty-eight rank mechanical action pipe organ by Casavant. It was seriously damaged, mostly by water leakage, in the 1994 Northridge earthquake. It was later rebuilt as a pipe combination instrument with a digital console from Rodgers Instruments Corporation, in protest of which Casavant declared it to be “destroyed” and stricken from their register of surviving instruments. At the time of its re-dedication, it was one of the world’s largest digital/pipe combination organs in the world.
In 2007, the church completed a $12 million campus expansion program, The Campaign for Bel Air: Phase I, which included the two story Education Building, Discipleship Center, and Administration Building, including staff offices with stunning views overlooking the San Fernando Valley. The campus also has a full-service cafe.
Former Senior Pastors include Rev. Dr. Louis H. Evans Jr., Rev. Dr. Mark Brewer, Rev. Dr. Michael H. Wenning, Rev. Paul Pierson, Rev. Dr. David G. McKechnie, Dr. Donn D. Moomaw, and Rev. Dr. Michael Wenning.
Rev. Dr. Moomaw gave the invocation at President Ronald Reagan’s first inauguration in 1981. Rev. Dr. Wenning gave the invocation at President Reagan’s state funeral.
Rev. Dr. Moomaw presided over a private service for the family of First Lady Nancy Reagan before her state funeral at the Reagan Library.