|Senior pastor(s)||Erwin McManus|
Thirty-five charter members of Bethel Baptist Church began meeting on January 3, 1943 in a rented store front in Los Angeles, California. In its humble beginnings, members brought their own chairs to the first service. By 1958, two more "missions" or services were established in Baldwin Park and Monterey Park, and weekly attendance in worship was averaging 250.
In 1969, at age 24, Thomas A. Wolf "Brother Tom" became senior pastor of the then-named First Southern Baptist Church of East Los Angeles. The '60s brought many changes to East Los Angeles with many groups resettling into new area in the county. The handful of people still attending were predominantly Caucasian/Anglo and elderly in an area that was becoming more and more mixed with Hispanic, Armenian and Asian families (and others from the lower and middle classes) moving in as Caucasian/Anglo families moved to the suburbs. The churches new make-up was approximately 50% Hispanic, 40% Caucasian/Anglo and 10% Asian.
Wolf brought enthusiasm, hope, drive and vision. He created a leadership team that reflected this new cultural make-up with Hispanics filling well over 50% of elder and leadership roles and Asian serving approximately 20% of these roles.
Located on Brady Ave, church members began to refer to the congregation as The Church on Brady. Although never officially changed this was how it became recognized. Wolf gracefully weathered the fall-out from traditionalists who worried over the term "Baptist" missing from church signs and communications.
Brother Tom, as he was called, developed and led the church in a common mission to "become a spiritual reference point east of downtown Los Angeles and a sending base to the ends of the earth."
Wolf pioneered "Oikos Evangelism": reaching out to one’s circle of influence; home church groups or "Share Groups". He fostered a new church, an American apostolic church, rather a church based solely on tradition. After examining American apostolic churches (including Willow Creek and Saddleback Church) George Hunter III , Reaching the Unreached (1997) found The Church on Brady to be "...the most apostolic congregation in America."
In the early 1990s The Church on Brady was responsible for more missionaries than any other church in the International Mission Board, regardless of size. Dr. Lyle Schaller states, The Church on Brady tenaciously and persistently pursued the perennial apostolic paradigm of church ... multiplication rather than church maintenance." The Church on Brady started many new churches both locally in or near Los Angeles and internationally.
By 1983 the original building on Brady was far outgrown and in need of repair. Wolf lead the church through a building phase that was completed in 1987. Even though many were sent out, Brady faced a constant issue of overcrowding due to perennial growth.
Initializing the Spare Not Conference on World Evangelism Wolf saw it become internationally recognized encouraging worldwide evangelism and influencing the thoughts and actions of hundreds of congregations and thousands of students, leaders and missionaries across the United States as well as like-minded individuals and organizations across the globe. Brady became the destination of those wanting to get closer to God and to learn to share with others. Brady was not a suburban church of professionals, but was composed of ordinary people.
In 25 years as Senior Pastor, Tom Wolf saw the rebirth and great growth of a vibrant, world impacting, multi-national community.
In October 1991, Erwin McManus was first introduced to The Church on Brady as the keynote speaker at Brady’s Spare Not Conference on World Evangelism. He was then invited to move to The Church on Brady and Los Angeles to transition into the role of Senior Pastor.
Born in El Salvador, McManus had moved at an early age to the United States with his family. He brought 15 years experience as urban church planter, evangelist, and speaker.
McManus built on the foundation set at Brady. Multi-media was the new tool in churches at the time. McManus encouraged use of these new tools making greater use of art and dance as weekly components of worship. Regular night-time services became part of the landscape.
A new name was sought with "Mosaic" being the accepted choice. It was at this time that the Sunday night service was moved to the Club Soho, a nightclub in downtown L.A. (relocating several years later to the Mayan Theatre in downtown L.A.). Mosaic became a single church with multiple sites. In 2003 the property on Brady street was sold making Mosaic independent of land ownership.
Mosaic has been mentioned as one the "top 50 most influential churches in the nation" and has approximately 60 nationalities in attendance. In January 2012, Mosaic started holding its worship services in Hollywood. Associated Press called Mosaic a "hipster megachurch", describing it as a "congregation full of hip twenty-somethings who mostly work in the film industry and make short films for a hobby".
- 2013′s Top Ranked Churches in America, ChurchRelevance.com, January 31, 2013, retrieved November 29, 2013
- Oikos Evangelism
- Gerardo Marti. 2005. A Mosaic of Believers: Diversity and Innovation in a Multiethnic Church. Indiana University Press.
- 50 most influential
- 50 most influential
- Video Update posted on December 17, 2011 at Mosaic Facebook page
- Flaccus, Gillian (2010-02-01). "LA megachurch hopes to win Super Bowl ad contest". Yahoo News. Associated Press. Retrieved 2010-02-01.[dead link]