Westminster Lutheran Church (WLC) started in 1958 in the living room of one of its members. The small group, led by Pastor Leslie Brandt, formed a council and eventually moved into the worship space of a local Presbyterian congregation. WLC experienced rapid growth as the result of a massive influx of workers and their families who came to southern California seeking work in the booming aerospace industry. These displaced families, many of whom were Lutherans from the Midwest, needed a new church home. The name, Westminster Lutheran Church, was all the advertising necessary to bring droves of Lutherans to their community Lutheran church. In its first year of existence, WLC recorded 188 members. Five years after the church opened its doors, it recorded a membership of over one thousand. WLC built its own sanctuary and an education wing, completed in the early 1960s. In 1972, the church started a Lutheran preschool, which it ran until 2009. In 1982, a new sanctuary was erected with a capacity of 400 people, and the old sanctuary was converted into a fellowship hall.
In an effort to be more missionally oriented, beginning in 2004, "of Hope" was added to the church name and the congregation officially became "Westminster Lutheran Church of Hope". In 2010 that was shortened to "Hope Lutheran Church" which is what we currently go by. In this increasingly mobile society Pastor Paul's philosophy is that it's more important to be called by what you stand for than where you're located geographically, so "Hope" is a more compelling message about who we are and what we're about.
Hope Lutheran Church is currently a member congregation of Lutheran Congregations in Mission For Christ (LCMC) and the North American Lutheran Church (NALC), and has been affiliated with other Lutheran bodies throughout its existence. WLC was officially organized on April 26, 1959 under the mission program of the Lutheran Free Church (LFC), a Lutheran denomination in existence since 1897. Part of the LFC's heritage to us today is a primary focus on reaching out to the local community. In 1962, the LFC joined the American Lutheran Church, which became part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) in 1988. In 2010, because of concerns over theological changes in the ELCA, Hope began a study process of other Lutheran bodies to align with and chose to affiliate with LCMC, a relatively young denomination based on the authority of God's Word and the importance of living out our faith in mission.