Watch our Sunday morning Livestream at 11AM


This is the history of our mother churches Wesley & Bowen who gave birth to Heritage UMC in 2018:

Wesley United Methodist Church was born in 1888 it is considered by our denomination a historical Black United Methodist Church and the mother church for the African-American Methodism in the West coast  and  Bowen Memorial United Methodist Church 1940,  a passionately faithful congregation dedicated to minister the underserved of our larger community. Between these two churches had provided more than 200 years of service to South Los Angeles area.

Bowen Memorial UMC

The church was built at 3522 Trinity Street in 1913 and was known as Bethel Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church and served a German speaking congregation. Bethel Trinity Methodist Church was organized under the leadership of Rev. C.A Priestly , serving a German -speaking congregation. Due to ethical change in the community surrounding Bethel Trinity , the German congregation under the  leadership of Rev. Thatcher Jordan discontinued in 1943.

In 1943 the southern California -Arizona Conference of Methodist Church set aside the property on 36th and Trinity Streets for “negro work”. On July 3, 1943, a group of 3 “Negro” Methodist organized by Rev. Hamilton Boswell , met in the home of Miss Olive Hughes , 1129 East 52nd Place and became charter members. Among this group were Moffett and Clara Dawson and the William Steven family.

In September 1943, this group of 30 charter members and others purchased the Trinity Street property and held their first service on the corner of 36th and Trinity. On September 12, 1943, Bishop James C. Baker officially declared Bowen memorial a member of the family of the Methodist churches. He recognized and received thirty-three Christian African Men and Women as charter members of Bowen. As executive secretary of the Los Angeles Missionary society Superintendent Dr. Holman declared the new church to be thereafter Bowen Methodist Church. The church was named in memory of Dr. J.W.E Bowen Sr, a former professor at Gammon Theological seminary in Atlanta, Georgia, and an elected Bishop. His son J.W.E Bowen Jr, who was at the time the editor of the Southwestern Christian Advocate, was the speaker at the renaming ceremony.

Rev. Hamilton Boswell became the first pastor of Bowen. It was under Rev. Boswell’s leadership that organizations and boards were put into action and the original debt was settled . ( July 3, 1943- June 30, 1947)

Rev. John C. Bain became the second pastor to be appointed to Bowen Memorial. Under the leadership of Rev. Bain’s administration Bowen was completely remodeled. Through the leadership of Rev. Bain, Bowen was able to grow spiritually and in favor with God. ( July 1, 1947- June 30, 1961)

Rev. D. Dewitt Turpeau was thethird pastor. With strong leadership of Rev. Turpeau, Bowen continued to grow materially and spiritually. Bowen was fortunate to acquire the property located on the eastside of the church , which is now a parking lot. (July 1, 1961-June 30, 1969)

Rev. Paul Marshall was the fourthpastor. We saw a stormy season when lack of funds and insufficient members caused us to stagger beneath the burden. But from a peak rising above this valley , we saw a stalwart band of faithful Christian warriors with the fire of God’s love burning in their hearts march steadily forward under the blood stained banner of Christ, to win victory. (July 1, 1969- September 1971)

Rev. William H. Stevens was the fifth pastor. In October 1971, Bowen was blessed with the warm leadership of Rev. Stevens, also affectionately known as “Bill”. His leadership brought us together and looked back at our humble beginnings. In October,  1975 our heavenly father called from our midst , our beloved Rev. Stevens. ( October 1, 1971- July 31, 1975)

Rev. L.L. Hayes was assigned as interim pastor during the illness of Rev. William Stevens in August 1975. Under Rev. Haynes leadership our church has grown numerically , spiritually , and materially. Under the leadership of Rev. Haynes many happy turning points had brought new life to the already growing church , so again another goal was accomplished. Through the chairmanship of John Q. Adams and the Trustee Board , Bowen experienced a much -needed facelift , with renovations inside and outside. This renovation was not only possible because of our strong leadership , but because prayer , reconciliation, faith increased and hope renewed. (August 1 , 1975- June 30, 1977).

Rev. Lorenzo Hubbard was the sixthpastor assigned to Bowen. Under the leadership of Rev. Hubbard , Bowen had the good fortune of having its first weekly Bible study classes. Rev. Hubbard instilled in the members of Bowen that Evangelism takes seriously the relational nature of the Christian faith. (July 1, 1977- June 30, 1979)

Rev. Marguerite Terrell was assigned to Bowen as the seventh pastor. Rev. Terrell was the first Black female assigned to Bowen. During Rev. Terrell’s administration , the church continued to grow spiritually and materially. (July 1, 1979- June 30, 1981)

Rev. Lee A. Thigpen was the eighthpastor. A retired Army Chaplain (Captain). He was affectionately called “ Cappy ” ; a man known for his infectious humor and likeability. Rev. Thigpen kept the Bowen congregation spiritually growing . (July 1, 1981- June 30, 1986)

Rev. Paul Hill was the ninth pastor. He and his wife Allyson came to us from Dallas, Texas with their sleeves rolled up and ready to work. Rev. Hill brought great ministry leadership and Allyson helped with the Sunday school and little bit of everything else . Paul did yearly Conformation Classes. With the help of Rev. Charlene Zuill (who was bilingual) started Bowen’s first “ English as a second language “ class for the growing Hispanic community. We at Bowen saw their first born son (Paul II ) being the first family to have a newborn while being a minister at our church. There was a great spiritual growth during Rev. Hill’s short time with us. ( July 1, 1986- June 30, 1988)

Rev. Franklin Jamison was our tenthpastor He was only with us a short time (July 1, 1988- January 31, 1989)

Rev. Alvin Hawkins was our eleventh pastor. Under his administration Bowen began its “ Earthquake proof construction” How Long, How Long, How Long, …. Was our cry. Rev. Hawkins came to us with three sons and they were very helpful with our youth department. Another first for Bowen; Rev. Hawkins takes a bride ( can’t think of her name) Hopes someone knows her name (February 1, 1989- June 30, 1997)

Rev. Clayton Hammond was our twelfth pastor. Known for his colorful golfing sweaters and love for his golf. One of his ministries that he was well known for was Sunday morning breakfast with the homeless. His spirit filled message from the pulpit gave us all something to think about. ( July 1, 1997- June 30, 1999)

Rev. Cedrick Bridgeforth was the fourteenth pastor. He accepted his first pastoral appointment to the Bowen Memorial United Methodist Church in Los Angeles. While at Bowen he inspired the congregation to build and dedicate the Trinity Street Gathering House, which provided community gathering and meeting space at minimal cost to community – organizations. ( July 1 , 1999- June 30, 2003)

Rev. Roger DeMarr was ourfifteenth pastor. A soft spoken man who did his best to bring us the word of God. (July 1, 2001 – June 30, 2008)

Rev. Alberto Garces was considered an assistant minister at Bowen. His stay brought a new drive to draw in our Hispanic community. (July 1 , 2001 – June 30, 2005)

Rev. Margaret Finnie was the sixteenth pastor. ( July 1, 2008- June 30, 2013)

Rev. Ivan Sevillano is the current assigned pastor, making him our seventeenth pastor.


Wesley UMC

Email Sign-up

Heritage Campus

Trinity Campus