Kevin Haah practiced law with a firm with offices in the U.S. Bank Tower in downtown. He also lived in downtown before it became a popular place to live.
Eventually, Kevin left law to pursue pastoral ministry and became an Associate Pastor at Young Nak Celebration Church. In this role, Kevin led a ministry called Love LA, an outdoor worship service in Skid Row, held in the parking lot of the Union Rescue Mission, that attracts about 200-300 people every Sunday.
One day, he received a telephone call from a stranger who asked him,
“What is your church doing to reach out to the new residents of downtown?”
For some reason, this question struck a chord in his soul.
A few months later, he became burdened by the fact that they had created a successful worship service in skid row, but one without a community where the congregants could grow and fellowship.
Combining these two thoughts, God sparked in his heart a vision of planting a multi-ethnic, multi-socioeconomic church in downtown LA reaching out both Skid Row and new “loft-dwellers” (as they were beginning to be called).
Kevin came to passionately believe that the church should not be a segregated community, but integrated. He believes that the unity that comes from the gospel of Jesus Christ is a powerful testimony of God’s redemptive power in our society. There is a beauty in a community which reflects the vision of the New City in the book of Revelation, where people of all ethnicities and walks of life come together to worship the Lamb Who Was Slain.
Grace, Kevin’s wife, and Kevin continued to pray about this for three years. The more they prayed, the more God gave them the passion for planting such a church.
In late 2007, Young Nak Celebration Church affirmed and encouraged this call and commissioned them to plant “New City Church of Los Angeles.”
Kevin and Grace were accepted as church planters with Stadia, a church planting organization.
Starting from November, 2007, a small multi-ethnic, multi-socioeconomic group of people started to pray together on Sunday evenings; God grew this group to about 20 adults and 10 children.
On December 7, 2008, we moved to our current location, the Los Angeles Theatre Center, a multiplex live-stage theater in the heart of downtown LA.
We celebrated our first anniversary on September 13, 2009.[fve]https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=SlGb5ZHB_GI[/fve]
We are pretty much equally spread-out among Whites, Latinos, Blacks, and Asians. So, we have no majority group or culture. About 25-30% of us come from Skid Row, and the rest come from downtown lofts or outside of downtown. We have people in all age groups. More than one-half of us were unchurched before we came to New City. We have witnessed many people committing or recommitting their lives to Christ and going through significant transformation and spiritual growth as they experience God’s love and grace through the gospel of Jesus Christ. God has been doing something at New City.
Can’t wait to see what God’s going to do next through New City!
For a full version of the Story of the Planting of New City Church of LA (a chapter written for a book on church planting), click HERE.
Kevin and Grace’s Prayer Letter #1 dated December 24, 2007 (Announcing our plan to plant)
Kevin and Grace’s Prayer Email dated July 4, 2008 (Planning for the Hard Launch)
Kevin and Grace’s Prayer Email dated August 14, 2008 (Planning for the Hard Launch)
Kevin and Grace’s Prayer Email dated September 25, 2008 (Hard Launch report)
Stadia New Church Strategies, a church planting organization of which we are a part.
Young Nak Celebration Church, the church that commissioned Kevin and Grace to plant New City.
Eastside Christian Church, a church that supported us.
An Article in Los Angeles Times on March 15, 2008 re: New City Church and Downtown LA: “As Downtown Revives, So Do Congregations.” (This Article appeared on Page 2 of the California Section)