Welcome Brothers & Sisters


The membership of First Presbyterian Church, Altadena (FPCA) includes 261 active members, with approximately 100 attending Sunday worship. Most of these active members are Nisei over age 70. There are 298 inactive members on the rolls and there are approximately 40 active non-members who participate regularly in church activities. There are two Sunday morning adult education classes with over 30 persons involved in the Sunday morning Adult Education class with an average of 20 in the classes. We have 10 children irregularly in the Godly Play curriculum, 4 in the nursery, and 11 irregularly in youth group activities.

Pastor Harriet Johnson, honorably retired from active ministry and a former minister of our church, have graciously agreed to carry on the role of visitation ministers for our infirm and hospitalized congregation members.

We have three persons on the pastoral staff: Joe Snodgrass (Music Director) and Alice Young (Office Manager) and Dona Gonzales (Newsletter Editor). Our session has staffed for the future, stretching us and encouraging us to grow spiritually and numerically.

Church facilities, at 2775 Lincoln Avenue, include a sanctuary (seating 300), a Christian education building (eight classrooms plus offices), and a social hall and kitchen (dining room for 250; assembly for 430). We have 105 giving units that pledged about $136,000 last year. We also had 116 persons (separate from giving units), give about $70,000 for specific projects or designated giving. Our members tend to be most generous with specific projects and with designated giving.

Small Groups

Numerous groups carry out regular ministries of the church (committees and a monthly hot meal ministry). The Presbyterian Women (PW) gathers in various configurations for Bible study, for crafts, and in circles. Presbyterian Men meet quarterly with others in our Japanese Presbyterian Church (JPC) network of eighteen churches. In addition, of about 130 active youth and adults at FPCA, about 1/2 are involved in weekly or biweekly Bible studies or "support" groups. Some of these groups have historic and ongoing ties with some of the mission activities.

First Presbyterian Church Altadena
First Presbyterian Church Altadena


Our corporate history, the significant of our relationships, the importance of gathering around meals, and our outreach into the community are all embedded in the events of our annual calendar. The monthly potlucks, holiday meals, and the Spring chicken dinner allow us to be hospitable to ever broadening circles of family and friends. Worship near Memorial Day gives time for names to be read and candles lit in memory of those who have been part of our extended family. The children of the church and neighborhood enjoy the Easter egg hunt, on one summer Sunday we worship and picnic in a nearby park, and our summer beach picnic is enjoyed for intergenerational fun. We appreciate conversations during our spring church hike and the shared breakfast, and the fall CROP walk provides money for hunger alleviation. The annual rummage sale brings inexpensive items to family and neighbors. Our largest event is the Fall Festival, which celebrates the 1968 move into our present facilities and welcomes the broader Japanese American community and our local neighbors to a day of games, food, fund-raising, and memories.

Denominational Relations

The First Presbyterian Church, Altadena, decided to become Presbyterian in the mid 1940s. For over 50 years, our laity and clergy have taken a vital interest in the business and concerns of denominational bodies. In recent years, elders have faithfully attended Presbytery meetings, and some pastors and delegates have served presbytery committees. An FPCA elder was elected as a commissioner to General Assembly, and a number of elders serve or have served as Trustees of Monte Vista Grove Homes, a Presbyterian retirement home for pastors, missionaries, and spouses. We continue to participate generously in regular and special, denominationally sponsored missions and projects, and about 7% of our annual budget go to General Mission. Our Presbyterian Women contribute to the San Gabriel Presbytery and have sent representatives to PW's national gatherings.

First Presbyterian Church Altadena
First Presbyterian Church Altadena

Mission Activities

In additional to financial involvement, FPCA has an ongoing relationship with several missionaries as noted below:

Our Missionaries:
Tim & Juji Boyle, Japan
Dr. & Mrs. Joseph Kang, St Petersburg, Russia
Michael & Chris Mason, Japan
John & Anne Wheeler-Waddell, Ethiopia
First Presbyterian Church of Altadena has sent over 20 men and women into ministry and mission. These include positions as pastors, counselors, chaplains, and ministers in Christian agencies, denominational executives, and missionaries.

Locally and ecumenically, we are significantly involved in the annual Church World Service/CROP walk, we give financially and participate in service with Union Station (a multi-service rehabilitation center), we give financially to the Ecumenical Council of Pasadena Areas Churches (ECPAC) to support their work with needy families, and we contribute financially to the local cold weather shelter and to Five Acres (a home for youth). The PW supports Project Angel (the county hospital’s fund for needy families) and Friends Outside (a prison project), and several other mission projects. The total annual amount of these commitments is about $8,000.

First Presbyterian Church Altadena Fellowship in Jesus Christ

At First Presbyterian Church, Altadena, it's our mission to help you explore your relationship with God and improve those meaningful relationships in your family life. Join us each Sunday and experience the warmth of faith and the strength of our community.

Who Is Our Senior Pastor?

Reverend Mark Buchanan joined our community as Senior Pastor in 2009 after nearly 15 years at Knox Presbyterian. Today, he leads our congregation in faithful living and community service.

What Do We Teach?

We use both the Old Testament and the Gospels as the foundation for our faith and the inspiration for our daily lives. We put those teachings into practice at home and at work.

What Are Our Core Values?

Just as Jesus said in the Beatitudes, blessed are the poor and the hungry. Our mission is not just to love one another, but to make sure we spread the love of the Gospels everywhere.