What a week we had last week! I am so in awe of all that is happening in Los Angeles and am continually reminded of God’s faithfulness and grace.
I had emailed last week to say that we were making a special announcement at Church on Sunday and I wanted to share it with you now. Even though we are very young as a Church, we have been amazed at what God has done in such a short time. We first gathered with around 20 people in a small airbnb apartment with nothing more than a dream in our hearts and a burning passion for the people of this city. And every step of the way God has exceeded our expectations (truly Ephesians 3:20).
We had our first Sunday service on May 11th 2014, but it wasn’t until July last year that we started regular weekly services. Every week we have seen incredible numbers of people respond to Jesus and we quickly added a second, third, and now a fourth Sunday service (We are now trying to figure out how to add a fifth service to the day, as all 4 services are pretty full right now!).
As a church we have no offices and no space to do all the other things we would love to do such as youth, sisterhood, life courses and so on. So even though we are just getting going, we knew we needed to at least start looking at different solutions to contain what God is doing here.
About 6 months ago we checked out one particular building right in the thick of downtown LA. It was great timing that my dad happened to be in town and so he came to see it as well, and the moment we walked in my jaw was on the floor! Dad was completely amazed, but I was trying to contain myself as I thought this could never be possible for us.
The building was opened in 1924 as a women’s club and included a large theater, smaller theater, a large multi-purpose ballroom, as well as office space. It hasn’t been used in a long time and is in need of a LOT of work and renovations. But the potential in this building is incredible!
And so I am excited to say that after months of hard work and diligence we have just signed a 15-year lease with two 5-year options. Meaning that HILLSONG LA has a stake in the ground in downtown Los Angeles for the next 25 years!!!!
(insert cheers, claps and maybe even some fireworks!!!)
This is an incredible blessing and no doubt miraculous. At the beginning of the year my dad and our senior pastor declared over all of Hillsong Church that this would be the year of Unusual Miracles. And this is just one of many great testimonies across the globe! I really want to thank our church board in Australia for all of their support. In particular George Aghajanian and Phil Denton, who along with Reed Bogard have put so much work in to help make this possible.
There is approximately 18 months of work ahead of us to get this building to a usable state. It’s going to require a lot of prayer and sacrificial giving for us to make this a reality but I can’t help but think how much of a blessing this is. The fact that in this place we will see people married, babies dedicated, and children and young people growing up in an environment where they can discover how loved and believed in they are. That we will see thousands of lives impacted by the love and grace of Jesus. That we will see people baptized, extraordinary miracles, and so much more!
So there is a lot ahead of us as a Church but we have secured our current venue, the Belasco Theater, until we are ready to move in. The Belasco will ALWAYS hold a special place in our heart and we will continue to love people, love our city, and point people to Jesus from this great place.
Anyway it’s hard to put into words what God is doing. Lucille and I are completely amazed and are humbled to be entrusted to lead Hillsong LA. Praying that Gods blessing and favor will be upon you and those closest to you.