Other Articles about Universalism on the Pacific Coast
This is a work in progress. Please send me any information you have about this church. This church at 14933 Victory Blvd., Van Nuys (Los Angeles) existed at that location for a while in the 1940's and 50's. It was a Unitarian-Universalist church well before the merger of the denominations. It changed its name to Valley Unitarian Universalist Church. Later on, it moved north to Sepulveda (also in Los Angles). It's known today as the "Onion" or as the "Sepulveda Unitarian Universalist Society".
A Women's Alliance was formed in 1943 with Mrs. Sheldon Shepard as President. Most of the members lived in the Valley but some lived in Hollywood and Glendale. The three Varney sisters were members who around 1980 left their entire estate to fund the Throop Memorial Church endowment fund.
The church was founded in the early 1940's by Sheldon Shepard after he left the ministry at the First Universalist Church of Los Angeles. In 1953, Harold Schmidt was the minister. The last minister to serve there was Paul Sawyer who later became the minister at Throop Memorial Church in Pasadena in the mid 1990's.
In 1955 the People's Church of the San Fernando Valley refused to sign a loyalty oath which was required if they wanted to obtain a religious tax exemption from property taxes. As a result, their property was taxed but they took the case to court. They won the first round in municipal court, the second round in LA Superior Court, but on appeal ?? The Unitarian Church of Berkeley joined them in the lawsuit.