Lincoln Memorial Congregational Church Strives to Impact South L.A.

Source: Los Angeles Sentinel 

Abstract: The desire to positively impact South Los Angeles inspired Pastor Wendell Miller and the members of Lincoln Memorial Congregational Church to explore avenues to make a tangible difference. The church, located at 4126 Arlington Ave., already operates several outreach ministries and even rent space to a local charter school. Yet, the parishioners wanted to do more to help their community.

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Erin Gilmore

Erin Gilmore is the Acting Conference Minister for the Rocky Mountain Conference of the United Church of Christ. Prior to this role, she served as an Associate Conference Minister of the Rocky Mountain Conference from 2017-2023.  In her current work she seeks to support clergy and lay leadership as they aspire to create life-giving and life-affirming spaces that embody the best of what we can be as the Body of Christ. Rev. Gilmore received A Master of Divinity from Pacific School of Religion and undergraduate degree in Mathematics from St. Olaf College.  Before being called to serve in the conference, Rev. Gilmore served as a pastor of two congregations, first at Holladay United Church of Christ in Salt Lake City, UT and then at First Congregational Church, in Loveland, CO.   In addition to serving in the UCC, she is also involved in a worldwide practice of Participative Leadership or the Art of Hosting, which is an approach to leadership that seeks to address the complex challenges we face by harnessing the wisdom and self-organizing capacity of human beings.


Rev. Li’avaa Moevao

Li’avaa Moevao is the Senior Pastor for the First Samoan Congregational Church in Huntington Beach, California.  He is a member of the National Samoan Council of Churches serving as the Youth Director.  Rev. Moevao attended Kanana Fou Theological Seminary in Pago Pago, American Samoa from 2012 to 2015, graduating with a Bachelor of Divinity.  Prior to attending KFTS, Rev, Moevao worked for the Los Angeles Police Department as a Police Officer from 1988 to 2012, retiring after 24 years.  Rev. Moevao also served in the United States Navy from 1978 until 1987.


Melissa Garrett-Hirsch

Melissa Garrett-Hirsch is an executive level technology leader, business organizational development professional and business owner. She has over 30 years of experience developing Information Technology strategies and delivering operational excellence within the consumer products and financial services verticals. She is the Owner and President of the UnBAR Café Inc., an independent Coffee and Wine Bar located in the Larchmere neighborhood of Cleveland, and a licensed Real Estate agent in Ohio. Ms, Garrett-Hirsch currently leads a team of Sr. Analysts at Progressive Insurance Company responsible for improving the quality of IT systems across the enterprise. Previously, Ms, Garrett-Hirsch has spent over 25 years in various senior leadership roles at Cleveland Metropolitan School District, American Greetings, and KeyCorp. She is an active member of the Shaker Area Development Corp (SHAD), Woodhill Steering Committee, National Association of University Women, and Alpha Kappa Sorority Inc., past trustee for the Shaker Heights Library Board, and Greater Cleveland YMCA. She holds a Bachelor of Management and Information Systems (Notre Dame) and a Master of Management with a concentration in Systems Thinking (Ursuline College).


Robert Fard

Robert (Bob) Fard serves as Vice President of Acquisitions and Development for Retirement Housing Foundation; managing the acquisition, construction, project management, forward planning and entitlements for RHF, a recognized ministry of the UCC.  His background is rooted in single-family tract, multi-family and office/retail developments.  Prior to joining RHF, Mr. Fard served in an acquisitions or forward planning role for companies such as CityView (founded by former Secretary of HUD, Henry Cisneros), Red Mountain Retail Group and Young Homes.  Mr. Fard holds a BA in Economics from University of California, Irvine and earned a Masters of Real Estate Development (MRED) from University of Southern California (USC). Mr. Fard also holds a real estate brokers’ license in California.


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Financial consulting services designed to assist churches and faith-based non-profits thrive


Cornerstone Fund provides expert financial consulting services tailored to the unique needs of your church or faith-based non-profit organization. As your trusted partner, we help you navigate the world of loans and investments. We understand that making financial decisions can be complex and overwhelming, so we are here to provide the guidance and support you need to achieve your goals.

Our experienced professionals are dedicated to helping you make informed decisions that align with your financial objectives. Whether you are seeking to fund a new project, expand your operations, or manage your investments effectively, we have the expertise to guide you every step of the way.

What sets Cornerstone Fund apart is our extensive network of trusted partners and affiliates. We have established collaborations with industry-leading organizations that can further enhance your financial journey. When you choose Cornerstone Fund, you gain access to many services and resources that complement our expertise. Here are just a few examples of the trusted partners we can refer you to:

  1. UCC Church Building & Loan Fund: If you’re part of a United Church of Christ (UCC) congregation seeking financial support for building or renovating a church facility, the UCC Church Building & Loan Fund can provide tailored loan solutions and guidance.
  2. Neighborhood Development Ministries: For individuals or organizations involved in community development initiatives, Neighborhood Development Ministries offers resources, consulting, and financing options to support projects that enhance neighborhoods and promote social impact.

These are just a few examples of the trusted partners we work with. By leveraging our extensive network, we ensure you receive the most comprehensive and well-rounded financial guidance possible. We take pride in connecting our clients with the right resources and expertise to meet their needs.

When you choose Cornerstone Fund, you can expect:

  1. Expertise: Our team of seasoned professionals brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in finance, ensuring that you receive the highest level of expertise and guidance.
  2. Personalized Approach: We understand that every financial situation is unique. That’s why we take the time to understand your specific goals and challenges, tailoring our recommendations to your needs.
  3. Network of Partners: Our extensive network of trusted partners allows us to refer you to additional services and resources to complement and enhance our consulting offerings.
  4. Trust and Confidentiality: We treat your financial information with the utmost respect and confidentiality. You can trust us to handle your affairs with professionalism and discretion.

At Cornerstone Fund, we are dedicated to helping you achieve financial success. Let us be your partner in navigating the complexities of loans and investments. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step toward a brighter financial future.