Founder’s Church of Religious Science is one of the many churches in L.A. designed by Paul R. Williams, an African American architect.  (Downtowngal photo)

Founder’s Church of Religious Science, which was designed by the renowned African-American architect, Paul R. Williams, has been officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The designation was announced on Feb. 3, exactly 60 years and one month since Founder’s dedication on Jan. 3, 1960.

         Paul R. Williams (File photo)

Founder’s Church was the culmination of the work of Dr. Ernest Holmes, the founder of Religious Science/ Science of Mind. He chose Williams to be the architect based on his outstanding ability to convert Dr. Holmes’ vision of an “all embracing church” into reality, which now graces the corner of 6th Street and Berendo Street in Los Angeles.

The classic mid-century modern edifice includes a 1,483-seat auditorium and 400-seat lower chapel, is also available for rental and is frequently used for filming and concerts.

The edifice, along with the Rev. Dr. Arthur Chang, senior minister, appeared in a recent episode of KCET’s “LostLA” featuring the work of Williams.   Chang shared insight into the original blueprints by Williams, which are still in Founders possession.

Rev. Dr. Arthur Chang (Courtesy photo)

Williams was a prolific architect and designed several landmark buildings around the world. He designed L.A.’s Second Baptist Church in 1926, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2008. He also designed First AME Church of Los Angeles in 1968, where he was a life-long member.

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