The Rev. William S. Meyer, whose 24-year tenure at Immanuel Presbyterian Church was marked by a strengthening of the congregation in an era when downtown churches generally were on the wane, died Monday at his Los Angeles home. He was 82 and had retired from the Wilshire Boulevard church in 1974.
During Meyer's pastorship, more than 2,000 children and young adults enrolled in the church's Sunday School while his acquisition of four nearby parking lots was credited with keeping membership at or near 4,000. Additionally a church renovation costing more than $500,000 was completed and the church debt retired.
Meyer, who received a doctor of divinity degree in 1938 from the College of Emporia in Kansas and a doctor of laws degree from Huron College in South Dakota in 1947, came to Los Angeles from pastorates in New York, Oklahoma and Chicago where he directed evangelistic work at Fourth Presbyterian Church.
A former commissioner to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in both 1938 and 1958, Meyer authored several publications and was given an honorary degree in sacred theology by USC in 1959.
Survivors include his wife, Helen, two children, four grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and a sister. They ask that in lieu of flowers donations in his name be made to the Endowment Fund of Emmanuel Presbyterian.
A memorial service will be held Friday at 10 a.m. in the church at 3300 Wilshire Blvd.