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Mount Hollywood Congregational Church Records
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Mt. Hollywood Congregational Church Records
    Dates: 1905-2012 and undated
    Collection number: H.Mss.1051
    Creator: Mount Hollywood Congregational Church, United Church of Christ
    Extent: 10.75 Linear Feet (10 records boxes, 1 document box, 1 oversized folder)
    Repository: Claremont Colleges. Library. Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd Library. Claremont, CA 91711
    Abstract: This collection contains information related to the operation and activities of the Mount Hollywood Congregational Church from its founding in 1905 until 2012. Located in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles, the church was both highly involved in its community and concerned with larger social issues throughout its history. This collection covers the records of daily administration and operation within the church, as well as its history, leadership groups, and publications. Some records of note are the membership registries dating back to the church’s founding, correspondence, leadership group meeting minutes, information on the church’s support of the Japanese American community during World War II, and lantern slides of Japanese scenes.
    Physical Location: Please consult repository.
    Language of materials: Languages represented in the collection: English.

    Administrative Information


    This collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    All requests for permission to reproduce or to publish must be submitted in writing to Special Collections.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Mount Hollywood Congregational Church, United Church of Christ Records (H.MSS.1051). Special Collections, Honnold Mudd Library, Claremont University Consortium.

    Provenance / Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Allan Carp, member and Trustee of Mt. Hollywood Congregationalist Church, 2013.


    No additions to the collection are anticipated.

    Processing Information

    Collection processing included refoldering the bulk of the records, unfolding documents, eliminating duplicates, and removing harmful fasteners. Oversized items were moved to oversize storage. Lantern slides and VHS tapes were separated into their own, more appropriate boxes.

    Biographical / Historical

    The Mount Hollywood Congregationalist Church was founded in 1905 in Los Feliz, a suburb of Los Angeles. Besides managing the normal operations of the church, its clergy and members have a long history of active social involvement and pacifism. In 1918 minister Rev. Edwin Ryland came to the church after being expelled from the First Methodist Church of Hollywood for his pacifist beliefs. Later, the church became one of the first to happily accept racial integration in the 1930s. Pastor Allan Hunter followed Rev. Ryland, and continued the tradition of social action by making Mt. Hollywood a safe place for conscientious objectors and Japanese Americans. Hunter intensely protested the internment program, and when it could not be stopped organized aid for the affected people. The church was a source of great support for the Japanese American community during the internment program of World War II.
    In 1942, when the members of the nearby Japanese American Independent Church were relocated, Mt. Hollywood took over the care of their building for four years until the congregation could return. From this action came their “Hiroshima Cross”. This cross, which is carved from camphor wood charred in the atomic blast and bears the inscription “He is Our Peace”, sits to this day on the Mt. Hollywood altar. The wood was purchased with a $100 gift from the Independent Church members and carved by the sculptor Nashan Toor. The church states that the cross “…represents our hope for peace and reconciliation in our neighborhood, city, and wider world, and our commitment to work for it.”
    The work of Mt. Hollywood’s leaders, members, and organized groups has been in pursuit of social justice and peace throughout its history. Once a congregation of over 600 members in the 1920s, the Mt. Hollywood church now comprises of around 50 members. Its newest pastor, Anne G. Cohen, who contacted Special Collections to donate these materials, continues the legacy of her predecessors. She is an advocate of same-sex marriage and encourages discussion and inclusion at Mount Hollywood. The church sold its property in 2013 due to costs and reduced membership, but still operates in Los Angeles.
    “About Mount Hollywood,” http://www.thenewmthollywood.org/MtHCC/About_Us.html. Nita Lelyveld, “At Mount Hollywood Congregational Church, the spirit behooves them,” November 9, 2013, accessed December 17, 2014, http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-beat-mount-hollywood-church-20131110-story.html#axzz2kMfA4ERN.
    Our Hiroshima Cross, Mount Hollywood Congregational Church, United Church of Christ (H.Mss.1051). Special Collections, Honnold Mudd Library, Claremont University Consortium.
    Teresa Watanabe, “Churches Relive a Victory Over Hate,” Los Angeles Times, August 13, 2001, accessed December 17, 2014, http://articles.latimes.com/2001/aug/13/news/mn-33662.

    Scope and Contents of the Collection

    This collection includes records relating to the Mount Hollywood Congregational Church from 1905 to 2012. The material is arranged into Administrative, Financial, History, Leadership, and Publication series and covers multiple functions within the church in order to operate administrative, financial, or spiritual functions.
    The Administrative series includes material on congregational meetings from 1906 through 2012 that focused on membership and financial concerns. Worship, women’s activities, and education efforts are covered in this series. Additionally, internal correspondence describes the activities of committees that installed new pastors and trustees. Finally, some material covers issues relating to the church’s location and relationship with its immediate community.
    The Financial series contains documentation regarding the financial operations of the Mount Hollywood Congregational Church. Included in this section are financial statements from 1914 through 2010, as well as details about the purchase of the church’s property and building. Reflecting the congregation’s role in the community, the records also include information about scholarships.
    The History series contains material related to the Mount Hollywood Congregational Church's history from 1905 through 2007. The records include material on various anniversary celebrations, church registers, social justice initiatives including relations with the Japanese-American community, efforts during the Vietnam War, and the LGBT community. Additionally, other material relates to the church's vision and leadership, histories on specific members throughout the years, and information regarding the congregation's participation in the United Church of Christ denominational activities. There are also glass lantern slides that depict Japanese-Americans.
    The Leadership series contains materials from 1907 through 1995 relating to the Mount Hollywood Congregational Church’s leaders such as the Board of Trustees, the Council of Deacons and Deaconnesses, the Social Concerns Committee, women’s groups, as well as other groups that help guide the congregation. The documentation includes meeting minutes, correspondence, constitutions, and written financial and political debates that occurred within these important groups.
    The Publications series consist of material published by the Mount Hollywood Congregational Church to their members and the broader community from 1925 through 2012. They include newsletters, weekly bulletins, press releases, and a cookbook.

    Organization and Arrangement

    This collection is organized into the following five series:
    Series 1: Administration, 1906-2012
    Series 2: Finances, 1914-2010
    Series 3: History, 1905-2007
    Series 4: Leadership, 1907-1995
    Series 5: Publications, 1926-2012

    Related Materials

    Other collections related to the Mount Hollywood Congregational Church located in other repositories include:
    the Hunter (Allan A.) papers, 1905-2000, at the University of Southern California
    The Sunday Before Collection, at the Graduate Theological Union Archives.
    For records pertaining to famous worshippers at the Mount Hollywood Congregational Church, see:
    John Anson Ford Papers, 1928-1971, at The Huntington Library.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library’s online public access catalog.
    Mount Hollywood United Congregationalist Church
    Los Angeles (Calif.) -- History
    Congregational churches
    Church and social problems -- United States