Historic South LA church goes up in flames

Los Angeles Fire Department firefighters knocked down a fire Friday at the Crouch Memorial Church of God and Christ east of Exposition Park in South Los Angeles.

Fire crews responded at 2:40 a.m. to 1001 E. 27th St. near Central Avenue, where they found the church fully engulfed in flames. The crews used hose lines outside the building to douse the flames while they contended with partial collapses during the fire fight, said LAFD spokesman Nicholas Prange.

It took 66 firefighters 38 minutes to extinguish the intense flames.

No injuries were reported.

The church was built in 1896 for the Haven Methodist Episcopal congregation and was the center of the prohibition movement in Los Angeles in the early years of the 20th century.

In the 1920s, the church was sold to the Beth Eden Baptist Temple, an African-American congregation, and became a popular place of worship for Black communities.


A fire damaged the attic and roof of the church in October 2013. The owners of the church planned to restore the damaged church and have been working with the Los Angeles Planning Department through the approval process.