“Forest Lawn shall become a place…where little churches invite, triumphant in the knowledge that from their pulpits only words of love can be spoken…” —The Builder’s Creed
When Forest Lawn unveiled its memorial-park concept in the early 1900s, it revolutionized what cemeteries and mortuaries would become for future generations by bringing everything together in one place to help relieve the burden of families having to travel to separate locations for their celebrations of life.
Adding churches on cemetery grounds that could be used for purposes beyond the funeral service was also groundbreaking. That’s because Forest Lawn’s churches were designed with the principles and spirit of the Builder’s Creed in mind. They were to be built with a purpose that extended beyond being a physical structure for funerals.
Each church built at Forest Lawn has maintained the integrity and purpose of an association with a well-known historical figure of the past that has withstood the test of time. These are not just churches filled with warm words and picturesque stained glass. They are time-honored examples that house personal mementos, handwritten documents, furniture, portraits, and other artifacts associated with the esteemed figures they honor.
One of Forest Lawn’s special churches, the Church of Our Heritage at Forest Lawn-Covina Hills, is marking its 55th anniversary this year. It was modeled after the 18th-century St. George’s in Fredericksburg, Virginia, which was the life-long place of worship of President James Monroe, the nation’s fifth president. George Washington also served there as a vestryman, and the nation’s first naval hero, John Paul Jones, worshipped there. The church is constructed of Santa Maria stone and is surrounded by a garden of prayer, the bride’s garden, and a spacious forecourt.
Like all Forest Lawn’s churches, it is appropriately sized for intimate memorial gatherings, offering a serene and comforting ambiance for those who are honoring the life of a loved one. It’s also a charming and picturesque location for weddings and christenings.
We invite you to stop by the Church of Our Heritage and all our churches the next time you visit Forest Lawn to experience their quiet and inspirational beauty for yourself.