Mosaic (church)

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CountryUnited States
DenominationSouthern Baptist Convention
Founded1943 (1943)
DivisionCalifornia Southern Baptist Convention
Senior pastor(s)Erwin McManus

Mosaic is a multi-site church based in Los Angeles, California, currently led by lead pastor Erwin McManus. The church originally formed as the Bethel Baptist Church in 1943.

Mosaic has approximately 60 nationalities in attendance.[1] In January 2012,[2] Mosaic started holding its worship services in Hollywood.[3] 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".[4]



Thirty-five charter members of Bethel Baptist Church began meeting on January 3, 1943 in a rented store front in Los Angeles, California. 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.

Growth years[edit]

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. Demographic shifted in the '60s in East Los Angeles, and the small number of people still attending were predominantly Caucasian/Anglo and elderly in an area that was becoming more diverse with Hispanic, Armenian and Asian families 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 created a leadership team that reflected this new cultural make-up with Hispanics filling 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.

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."[citation needed]

Wolf pioneered "Oikos Evangelism":[5] 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.

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. Lyle E. Schaller states, "The Church on Brady tenaciously and persistently pursued the perennial apostolic paradigm of church ... multiplication rather than church maintenance."[citation needed] 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 led 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.

Transitional years[edit]

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.

Early in 1994, McManus officially became Senior Pastor. Wolf then moved into the role of "Teaching Pastor" and simultaneously accepted a teaching position at Golden Gate Seminary in San Francisco.

Born in El Salvador, McManus had moved at an early age to the United States with his family. He brought 15 years experience as an evangelist and speaker.[6]

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 began being offered.

A new name was sought with "Mosaic" being the accepted choice.[7] 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 a worship band named Mosaic MSC.


In 2015, Mosaic released MSC (Live from LA), its first worship album.[8] The album peaked at number 21 on the Christian Albums chart.[9] Their second album Glory & Wonder peaked at number 16 in 2016.[9]

Year Album Peak positions


2015 MSC (Live from LA) 21 10
2016 Glory & Wonder 16 11


Mosaic MSC has several charting singles. The song "Nvr Stp" peaked at number 49 on the Billboard Hot Christian Songs in 2015 and their song "Tremble" peaked at number 19 on the chart in March 2018.[12]

Year Singles Peak positions




2015 Nvr Stp 49 - - -
2016 Heartbeat - 36 - -
2018 "Tremble" 19 20 11 23


  1. ^ 50 most influential Archived 2007-02-16 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Video Update posted on December 17, 2011 at Mosaic Facebook page
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ Flaccus, Gillian (2010-02-01). "LA megachurch hopes to win Super Bowl ad contest". Yahoo News. Associated Press. Archived from the original on February 5, 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-01.
  5. ^ Oikos Evangelism
  6. ^ Erwin McManus, Senior Pastor, Mosaic Church, Los Angeles, CA,
  7. ^ Gerardo Marti. 2005. A Mosaic of Believers: Diversity and Innovation in a Multiethnic Church. Indiana University Press.
  8. ^ "MSC (Live in LA) by Mosaic MSC". iTunes. Retrieved 2015-04-21.
  9. ^ a b "Christian Albums". Billboard magazine. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  10. ^ "Mosaic MSC - Chart history | Billboard". Billboard. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  11. ^ "Mosaic MSC - Chart history | Billboard". Billboard. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  12. ^ "Hot Christian Songs". Billboard magazine. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  13. ^ "Mosaic MSC - Chart history | Billboard". Billboard. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  14. ^ "Mosaic MSC - Chart history | Billboard". Billboard. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  15. ^ "Mosaic MSC - Chart history | Billboard". Billboard. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  16. ^ "Mosaic MSC - Chart history | Billboard". Billboard. Retrieved July 21, 2018.

External links[edit]