Who Are the Real Preachers of L.A.?
With the announcement of Oxygen’s new Fall show, “Preachers of L.A.”, the internet erupted with the expected controversy over the show. “Preachers of L.A.” features five mega-church pastors who grant the camera’s access to their private lives and ministries. One of the featured pastors, Bishop Noel Jones, says he participated in the show in order to help congregations take their pastors off pedestals. He and the other cast members seem to have certainly done that with admission of sexual immorality, justifications for obscene levels of greed and materialism, and the requisite narcissism that even makes such a show possible.
But this new program raises a necessary question. If these guys are not to be trusted, followed, or listened to—and they are not—then who are the genuine preachers and pastors serving the L.A. area? In this post, I want to introduce you to a few who are faithful to their wives and families, faithful in teaching the scripture accurately, and faithful in caring for the sheep. These are some of the genuine shepherds serving the people of L.A. The bios are excerpted from their church or ministries website.
Carl Hargrove, Fairview Heights Baptist Church
While attending the University of Cincinnati on a football scholarship, the Lord revealed the true meaning of Christianity to Carl through the ministry of Athletes in Action. He graduated from U.C. with an Economics degree and The Master’s Seminary with a M.Div. and Th.M.
Presently, he serves as an Adjunct Professor at TMS in Pastoral Ministries. He has a passion for foreign missions—he is an executive board member for T.E.A.R.S. Ministries (Dominican Republic and Haiti). Carl coordinates the Los Angeles Men’s Bible Conference, which attracts hundreds of men each year and challenges them to grow deeper in their faith and be more effective in ministry. He is a member and certified counselor with the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors.
After graduating from TMS in 1993, he was ordained and sent out by Grace Community Church of Sun Valley to plant a church in the Los Angeles area. From that endeavor, Westside Bible Church was born, where he pastored until 2006. In April of 2007, he assumed the Pastorate of Fairview Heights Baptist Church in Inglewood, CA. He and his wife, Joanna, have five children.
Anthony Kidd, Community of Faith Bible Church
Anthony Kidd was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. After completing high school he attended Washington State University on a basketball scholarship where he graduated in 1990 with his Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. After working in Corporate America for 2 years in Seattle Washington, the Lord led him back to Los Angeles where he met and married his lovely wife Sherry. Anthony and Sherry have been married for 17 years and have been blessed with 5 beautiful children; Jonathan Pau, Isaiah Andrew, Mikayla Rose, Julia Grace, and Timothy James.
Having accepted God’s call into the gospel ministry, Anthony enrolled at The Master’s Seminary in 1998 and earned his Master’s of Divinity degree in 2001. Anthony then joined the staff of Westside Bible church where he served as the Senior Pastor until the merger with Los Angeles Community Bible Church forming Community of Faith Bible Church. In addition to his pastoral responsibilities at CFBC Anthony is a frequent conference speaker for various churches and Christian ministries and has been serving as a Professor at the Los Angeles Bible Training School since 2000. Anthony recently became a published author by contributing a chapter to the book Secret Sex War: A Battle Cry for Purity (Moody Press). Anthony’s passion is to help people to see Jesus Christ in the Scriptures and grow in their understanding of the gospel. In his spare time he enjoys fun & frolic with his family, reading great theological works of the Christian Faith, and good afternoon naps.
John MacArthur, Grace Community Church
John MacArthur is the pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, as well as an author, conference speaker, president of The Master’s College and Seminary, and featured teacher with the Grace to You media ministry.
In 1969, after graduating from Talbot Theological Seminary, John came to Grace Community Church. The emphasis of his pulpit ministry is the careful study and verse-by-verse exposition of the Bible, with special attention devoted to the historical and grammatical background behind each passage. Under John’s leadership, Grace Community Church’s two morning worship services fill the 3,500-seat auditorium to capacity. Several thousand members participate every week in dozens of fellowship groups and training programs, most led by lay leaders and each dedicated to equipping members for ministry on local, national, and international levels.
Since completing his first best-selling book The Gospel According to Jesus in 1988, John has written nearly 400 books and study guides, including Our Sufficiency in Christ, Charismatic Chaos, Ashamed of the Gospel, The Murder of Jesus, A Tale of Two Sons, Twelve Ordinary Men, The Truth War, The Jesus You Can’t Ignore, Slave, One Perfect Life, and The MacArthur New Testament Commentary series. John’s titles have been translated into more than two dozen languages. The MacArthur Study Bible, the cornerstone resource of his ministry, is available in English (NKJ, NAS, and ESV), Spanish, Russian, German, French, Portuguese, Italian, and Arabic with a Chinese translation underway.
John and his wife, Patricia, live in Southern California and have four adult children: Matt, Marcy, Mark, and Melinda. They also enjoy the enthusiastic company of their fifteen grandchildren.
Alex Montoya, First Fundamental Bible Church
Pastor Montoya has been the senior pastor at First Fundamental Bible Church since 1972 and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Latin American History from Biola and Master in Divinity and Master in Theology degrees from Talbot Theological Seminary.
In addition to his pastoral duties at FFBC, Pastor Montoya serves as Associate Professor of Pastoral Ministries at The Master’s Seminary in Sun Valley, California and was previously Adjunct Professor of New Testament Languages at Talbot Theological Seminary. He preaches weekly on the Word of Truth radio program and is a member and former Southern California Regional President of the Independent Fundamental Churches of America International (IFCA). In 1975, Pastor Montoya founded the Seminario Biblico Fundamental, which prepares Spanish-speaking men for the Gospel ministry. He is also author of Hispanic Ministry in North America (Zondervan, 1987) and Preaching with Passion (Kregel, 2000).
Pastor Montoya and his wife Favy have a grown son and daughter plus several grandchildren.
Bobby Scott, Community of Faith Bible Church
Bobby Scott serves the people of Community of Faith Bible Church as pastor-teacher. He also teaches at The Los Angeles Bible Training School near Watts (www.labts.org), as visiting lecturer at The Master’s Seminary, and professor at Biola University’s BOLD Program. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from UCLA, a Master’s of Divinity degree from The Master’s Seminary, and a Th.M. from Master’s.
He and his wife Naomi have six children. They love the local church and have a consuming desire to see strong congregations in the urban community. Bobby focuses on strengthening the family and developing a ministry built upon the word of God.
Pastor Scott edited Secret Sex Wars: A Battle Cry for Purity.