VNC Votes to Desecrate Oldest African American Church in Venice

Venice gentrification Council

Tonight the Venice Neighborhood Council tonight voted to desecrate the oldest African American Church in the Venice !

No respect or compassion for the history of the African American community at all. It’s a well known fact when the desecration of churches synagogues, mosques, are not respected the people of the community are not respected at all! This Venice Neighborhood Council and Land Use and Planning  is barbaric, cold hearted and extremely uncaring of its community. The two elected committees (VNC and LUPC) have no LOVE or RESPECT for people of color nor the legacy and history that goes along with First Baptist Church.

Let it be known if this 3-lot tie mansion gets okayed by the City of Los Angeles we can all kiss our Venice community that we have come to know and love goodbye. This sets precedence for all the wealthy people to come in and build mansions and force people in modest homes out of Oakwood. It is the only place in 90291 that has the three lot tie in their plan.

Keep the letters going to [email protected] to voice our disapproval of this 3-lot tie mansion proposal. People need to know what this nonfunctioning, disgraceful  Venice Neighborhood Council represents– Greed, Greed, and more Greed. This is a business for the Neighborhood Council and the Land Use and Planning Committee who are comprised mostly of architects, developers, and Venice Chamber of Commerce representatives.  It is not representing the people nor the RICH history that First Baptist Church (Oldest African American Church, 108 years old) has brought to the Venice community!

This church is a three lot tie, and the fact that the VNC and LUPC voted overwhelmingly to have a mansion built that is over 11k square feet with roof top parking, rather than save Venice’s  African American historical landmark of over 108 yrs old, is appalling!


Standing up and showing out for Venice!


Laddie Williams

Related Posts

6 Responses
  1. hawkla11

    That’s not quite what happened now is it?

    First off, the church sold the property. And made a nice profit off that sale. Second, the Pastor of the church wrote letter of support as did multiple congregants. And you know full well that the original church that stood across the street was demolished years ago and the current church was built in the 60’s. The huge profit the Baptist ministry made off this sale will now be used to support their vibrant and growing ministry in Westchester. The new owners are not maximizing the three lots, they are actually building within the original footprint and creating green space over the parking lot. They are also maintaining the original sign, recreating the memorial plaque that was moved to the westchester church and exploring on how to create a public space on the site of the original church. Facts are fun!

    1. The church building you mentioned was not demolished, it was moved to a different location. You mislead {lie) like usual, by saying the First Baptist Church was “abandoned” by the congregation. The only reason the majority of the congregation stopped going to the church building was because of the unrightful sale of the church property by the former pastor and which you very well know is still being disputed in court by First Baptist Church congregation members.

      Yet, all you white gentrifiers working for real estate and business interests on the VNC knowing this still refused to pull the item from the agenda and chose to vote on it anyway. You love to claim others are misrepresenting facts but you’re the biggest fact twister.

      The former pastor who unrightfully sold the property, his family, and the recent people he ordained are the only ones who moved to the new Westchester location. Which by the way is under a new name and is no longer First Baptist Church. That is your “support and vibrant membership.”

      They’re going to destroy half the building (another misleading lie) and the main point being a prominent traditional community space is in the process of being last and all you agents of structural racism give ZERO fucks about our voices. And fuck your memorial, we’re not dead. Talk is cheap, show me an agreement where they’re going to do anything in our favor.
      This whole situation is clear proof they are not doing good things.

      At the end of the day, you and all your VNC cohorts are gentrifiers who:
      1. came in on a platform with coded racist and classist terminology, which no one has yet to denounce.
      2. Even when presented with opportunities to select community reps, knowing the concerns about accurate representation brought up by PoC and original residents, VNC still chose not to have the representation
      3. Continue to dismiss and mute the voices and concerns of People of Color and many of the people in the community in general. A consistent pattern.

      No bad information being passed, just more of your misleading gentrifier narrative and attempts to mute the voices of Black, Brown, and traditional residents of Venice.

      I suggest you shut the fuck up unless you’re going to show an ounce of acknowledgement for, and respect for our spaces and voices. Your smug, ignorant, and misleading bullshit is what’s old.

      And fuck all the low key racist fucks who like your comment and consistently show your disdain for any black and brown voices that have something to say about your guys gentrification and apologism.

      There’s your facts.

      1. hawkla11

        The ministry took the millions of dollars they profited off this sale and the ran to Westchester. Where’s your moral outrage for them? Why didn’t they spend that money in Venice and support the people that you say need help? Where did millions of dollars in profits go? Not to help Venice. Not to build new housing. Not to feed the poor. It all went to Westchester. How is the VNC to blame for that?

        As far as the original church goes. I was told the church was destroyed…if that’s bad information I apologize. But if what you say is true and the original church still stands somewhere else…then what exactly are you upset about? What did you want built in it’s place? That location has served as a parking lot for 50 years? Did that parking lot not desecrate the land first?

        It’s a shame that an old church like that won’t be there for the community anymore. I lost the church of my youth myself when it burned to the ground by an arsonist in 1988. It tore my community apart at the time. But the VNC didn’t sell the church Mike, the ministry did. And the people who bought the land haven’t don anything wrong. In fact they have the support of the Pastor and the congregants. And you didn’t even show up to have your voice heard. No one in the community did. You could not even be bothered to show up and fill out a comment card. No one else did either.

        You know me MIke, so you also know that I am no gentrifier. I own a small marketing agency, rent an apartment by the beach and work tirelessly in as a volunteer in our community. You also know that through the reunification program I founded and fund that we’ve have housed 13 homeless people in the last 8 months, all but one were POC.

        And maybe you didn’t know that I actively supported Spud Anderson (longtime Oakwood resident) to fill an open VNC election in April. Sad fact is that he failed to show up to the meeting when we voted and couldn’t pull enough votes to win the seat. I did all I could…I was there. Ready to stand for him. Where was he? While we’re at it…Where were you? You weren’t at the meeting either. Where was your support for Spud?

        So let’s put all this racist garbage to rest, ok?

        1. The real congregation did not move to Westchester, they are dealing with this betrayal in their own way. VNC did not remove the item from the agenda and continued to vote on the item even tho the sale of it was still in legal dispute. The church is more than just a building it is a sacred community space. , VNC continues to show zero regard for Venice history and sacred community spaces and you continue to shoot lies, and give smug, condescending remarks about serious issues.

          The Penskes knew what dynamics were at play. They hired a lobbyist, no SALE sign was ever put up to offer the community a chance to purchase it, all done behind closed doors. For the 3rd plus time, the congregation is in dispute with the former so-called pastor. The traditional and PoC community was against this agenda item and project, you all knew regard for historical and sacred community spaces.

          You know damn well no words would have swayed the VNC vote. You’re not ALL BAD but you are gentrifier. Not just by your Venice residency timeline but in the way you vote and continue to overtalk and mute the few PoC who are also generational Venice Originals that try to voice their perspectives and concerns.

          VNC pulls of a lot of political acrobatics so I don’t buy that you couldn’t even give him a vote or that they couldn’t have voted for him. If we continuously outline how your role and behavior perpetuates structural racism and racial disparities, and you continuously and consciously choose to give smug responsiveness and continue said behaviors then, yes. You’ve earned the title and label of Racist.

          We’ll put the Racism spotlight out when you stop trying to silence the few PoC voices in Venice every time we have an opinion and giving us smug condescending responses. Stay in your lane and don’t try to block and disparage our voices, Until you and the rest of the gentrifier VNC shows a new pattern of behaviour people are going know about it. It’s not like y’all haven’t been told or given chances before.

          We’re done with you and the VNC.

          1. hawkla11

            The VNC had no obligation to remove it from the agenda. I didn’t receive a single email from the community to do so and then no one showed up to the meeting to protest.

            Once again Bravo, you’re all talk. In the end, and when it counts you don’t show up. And resorting to calling people racists when you’ve just failed to lead is a weak man’s excuse. And for the record…I like Spud. I gave him my support. But I ultimately I didn’t vote for him because he didn’t reach out the the other members, didn’t respond to my texts or calls and didn’t even bother to show up for the election. Why should I waste my vote on someone who didn’t even bother to show up for himself?

            As far as First Baptist goes…The bottom line is that ministry of that church sold that property. And they gave tremendous support to the new owners and their building plans and then…they skipped town with almost $14 million, turning their backs on you and the Venice community. And you have a problem with me? Wasn’t that the communities money the ministry ran off to Westchester with?

            As usual, you got your facts wrong and your anger is misplaced and misdirected. Ultimately, you’re doing more than enough to block yourself dude. Carry on.

          2. Save Venice

            I think it’s already been established that you’re the one without the facts. The VNC is supposed to be a council reflecting the advice of the community..none of which you or the others do. Stop disparaging Venice PoCs every time we have something to say then we will consider whether or not you’ve grown out of that mindset. Please go educate yourself on what racism is and how it works, you’ve already been told. And as a gentrifier it is critical you are aware of your role in such process and social mechanisms . But until your condescending and paternalistic actions and comments cease your status remains.