Most people in Arcadia are familiar with high-profile long-established churches in town such as the Holy Angels Roman Catholic Parish and the Good Shepherd United Methodist Church.
But not as many are aware that Arcadia is also the base for major centers of operations of the Mormon and Jewish religions for the entire San Gabriel Valley.
- The California Arcadia Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at 170 W. Duarte Road, next door to the LDS Arcadia Stake congregation at 150 West Duarte Road (across from Arcadia High School), manages the administration of about 200 young missionaries from Glendale to Glendora and from La Canada to the 60 freeway (those clean-cut, nicely-dressed young men who walk or bicycle in pairs, going door-to-door with their message). Volunteer retired couple church members from all over the country are assigned to assist in the office for 18-months – two years at a time under current branch President and missionary Jorge Eduardo Torres Becerra. The mission has been based in Arcadia since 1969, though it did not start out in this building.
- The 19-year-old independent non-profit Jewish Federation of Greater San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys, at 550 S. Second Avenue (between Eldorado and Fano Streets), is a fundraising and coordinating body dedicated to bringing together all the many threads of Jewish life East of the Greater Los Angeles area. Executive Director Jason Moss says the mission of the Federation, which moved from Covina to Arcadia in late 2010, is to provide programs and services that meet the needs of the local Jewish community and serve as the Jewish voice of the community.
– By Scott Hettrick