The vision of First United Methodist Church of Reseda is to be a family of faith where all people are welcome within a caring fellowship to worship God and be in service with the community and the world.
If you are looking for a church where you might like get involved in some kind of ministry, then our congregation is for you! Maybe you'd like helping during the week at the church office. Or, you could volunteer Wednesdays with our food pantry. Maybe you are a handyperson who loves fixing things - we've got some projects for you! There helping with our childrens ministry. Or, you could serve coffee and cookies Sundays. We have mission trips to organize. Or, you could join our "Gorilla Team' which goes out every so often on a Saturday morning to assist someone in our community (for example: painting their fence, weeding their yard, cleaning their garage, etc.). In other words -- there are LOTS of ways to use your talents for the Lord. A good way to start is to talk to Pastor Gordon and he'll help you get connected. Sincerely, we want to grow as a church and we look forward to meeting you!
Rev. Dr. Gordon Marchant was born in Calgary, Alberta. His early Christian influences were his mother, grandmother and their local church. He received his B.Th. (1981) in Vancouver, B.C. and a M.Div. (1993) from Briercrest Seminary. He earned a D.Min. doctoral degree (2007) in multi-ethnic studies at Wesley Seminary, Washington, D.C.. Gordon’s pastoral ministry started in 1979 in British Columbia and has included ministries in Saskatchewan, Alberta, Hawaii, Virginia and Southern California. He has participated on missions to Tanzania, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and South Korea.
Pastor Gordon creates a relaxed, straightforward, and unpretentious atmosphere for teaching God's Word. He is committed to keeping our sermons personal, practical and encouraging. His heart's desire is to "connect people with Jesus." Gordon and his wife, Aleta, have three children and one daughter in-law. He enjoys reading, going to the beach, camping and cheering for the NHL New York Islanders. Pastor Gordon’s life long ministerial passion is to change the world one heart at a time!
Rev. Arlette Razafimanantsoa served the Reformed Church of Madagascar in many capacities. She then came to the U.S., where she earned her M.Sc. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Fuller Graduate School of Psychology in Pasadena. Pastor Arlette has ministered in our church since 2006.
Cecile Hwang: Office Manager is a transplant from Michigan. She graduated from Oakland University with a BA in Sociology and Human Resource Development. She worked as a Map Designer and Online Account Manager for a real estate internet company for 10 years. Cecile currently resides here in Reseda with her husband and daughter. She feels very honored and blessed to be a part of the Leadership Team in serving the church and the community.
Bob Fielding: Music Director
Leon Thomasian: Music Accompanist Leon was born in Baghdad, Iraq. He began taking piano lessons with Raed Elias at the age of six. In 2008, Leon moved to California and studied Piano Performance at Glendale Community College with Dr. Peter Green, who helped him participate in more competitions and play in concerts. During his education at GCC, Leon participated in many piano competitions including the Armenian Association of Arts competition and won the first prize in 2012.
Trey Courtney: Lay Leader Trey has served the Lord at First United Methodist as the Lay Leader for many years. Prior to his retirement, Trey worked as a Deputy Public Defender with the LA County Public Defender's office. He is a board member of the Cal-State University - Northridge foundation. As well, Trey teaches law in the Simi Valley School District Adult Education division and the UC Santa Barbara extension.
Reseda Church History
The beginning of the First United Methodist Church was set against the backdrop of a rural community composed of a school, grocery store, drugstore, food store, service station and a bank. The heart of Reseda was the intersection of Sherman Way and Reseda Boulevard.
Harry and Elsie Cady were the pioneers who fostered a dream of forming a church. This dream was born in September, 1923, when they invited interested persons to attend a Sunday School in their home. Twenty-four attended the first class. An enthusiasm was sparked and meetings continued in homes, a vacant store building, and a bean factory where the only bench was a bean sack.
The church was officially chartered in 1924 as the Reseda Community Church in the Pacific Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, with the Rev. Enoch Eiland as the first pastor.
To meet the needs of a growing church, a new building was begun in February, 1925 and completed on August 9, 1925 at the cost of $16,000. It was located at the corner of Amigo and Gault.
The continuing growth of the congregation over the next twenty-seven years led to a decision in 1952 to relocate. Building funds were raised through pledges amounting to $58,000, the sale of the existing site and contributions from Temple Judea which had shared the church's facilities for two years.
Ground breaking at the corner of Lindley and Saticoy took place on May 23, 1954. During construction, worship services were held at the Reseda Theater and classes were conducted in homes. The Chapel, Friendship Hall, Fireside Room, and Church School rooms were dedicated on February 20, 1955. Construction of the sanctuary followed and the dedication was held in 1961.
In 1968, the West Van Nuys United Methodist Church, which had begun its ministry in 1950, merged with the First United Methodist Church of Reseda, with the membership of the two congregations being joined.
A total of thirty pastors have been appointed to the Van Nuys and Reseda churches during the years of their ministry. For the past eighty-eight years the First United Methodist Church has played a vital part in the life of the community. Known for inspiring music, mission and outreach in the local community and around the world, and a strong education ministry, the church continues to serve with dedication and endless care.