Pico Union is nestled between Downtown LA and the famed MacArthur Park. As a smaller district in the Westlake Region, Pico Union is one of the poorest portions of Los Angeles, and is home to many immigrant families. This little district, though at first glance appears relatively insignificant, has quietly launched both negative and positive movements worldwide including housing the birth pangs of West coast Hip Hop, promoting aspiring artists in the Graff industry, and importing the notorious MS- 13 gang all across the world. This relatively small strip of land has contributed to influential movements with ripples internationally.
In September 2014, we began a move that would impact the journey of our church. With title and deed in hand, we moved 8 modular units to a parking lot on 8th & Garland Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles, just minutes from the Staples Center. We believe it is time to set God’s House as the focal point and the claim to fame of Pico Union.
A Search for Spirituality
Pico Union has been a hotbed of syncretism for people in need of spiritual guidance. The increase of cults, "botanicas" (spiritual shrines for Santa Muerte), idol-worship, and the senseless violence reveals the need for something more.
A Search for Family
Pico Union is the birthplace of MS-13, which is considered the most dangerous gang in the history of the United States, that has gone on to create tentacles worldwide. Pico Union also hosts the second largest gang in Los Angeles known as 18th Street. These two facts alone are a sober reminder of the failure of the family unit. Gangs are counterfeit families and the church is challenged to meet the needs of the people in its community. Westlake espouses the highest density of people per capita and has the most people per square foot west of the Mississippi River.
A Search for Assistance
Pico Union has very practical needs, which range from financial assistance, education-oriented programs, parenting and marriage enrichment centers, and also life-coaching programs.
The needs of this district are very apparent. The Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin and the Lost Son have suddenly become very real. This city is on the cusp of some major changes. We believe Jesus has been hidden, but we also believe that He is the Lion of Judah waiting to roar. This city is desperately crying out for a Savior!