On Sunday evening, February 8, 1931, St. David’s Church of North Hollywood held its first service in the chapel of McNamara’s Mortuary. Lively participation by 51 parishioners and a 14-person borrowed choir belied the somber setting. McNamara’s Mortuary housed the fledgling congregation for the next seven and a half years.
St. David’s, named after the patron saint of medieval Wales, soon became known as “the friendliest church in the San Fernando Valley.” As the mission grew, it needed a bigger, more permanent home. So in September 1937, the congregation of St. David’s left the mortuary and moved onto the property on the South side of Magnolia Boulevard and Lemp Avenue in North Hollywood.
It wasn’t until December 1939, when The Rev. Dr. Alex K. Campbell became vicar of St. David’s, that the mission had a long-term priest. Under Dr. Campbell, membership increased and the church school thrived. Four years later, St. David’s ceased to be a ward of the Bishop and became a full-fledged parish of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles.