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Live Church Opening Its Doors at Club Nokia on Sunday

By Eric Richardson
Published: Thursday, September 24, 2009, at 12:43PM
Jesse Ross Eric Richardson [Flickr]

Jesse Ross stands in front of Club Nokia, where Live Church LA will hold its first meeting this Sunday.

While Jesse Ross may be new to living Downtown, the founding pastor of Live Church LA has had his eye on the neighborhood for a while now. Back in 2001, Ross was in a Masters program at Azusa Pacific University when began to feel a calling toward Downtown and bringing the church back to the urban core.

This year, that calling turned into action. On Sunday, Live Church LA will hold its grand opening service inside L.A. Live's Club Nokia.

The church becomes the third to launch Downtown in the last year. New City Church held its official launch last September at Club 740, and has since settled at the LATC. A few months later, The Bridge opened as a partnership between Little Tokyo's Union Church and Bel Air Presbyterian.

While Ross' idea may have long roots, the implementation happened fast. It was just six months ago that Ross and his wife Shelley took a short trip Downtown to walk the neighborhood and scout out potential sites. He found a connection with the newness of South Park, and was connected to a willing partner in Club Nokia. Once the couple decided to make the move, they found a renter for their house in just six days.

In this market, Ross saw that as a sign that he was on the right track.

The church he had been working at in Brea provided backing for the new ministry, and the couple settled on a unit at the Packard Lofts as a living space and office.

Sitting at Starbucks this week, Ross emphasized that he wants to see the church build a strong connection the community outside its walls -- in this case, its rented walls. Ross said that most churches spend a large percentage of their budget on their facility, and that he would rather see Live Church spend that money on making a difference in the neighborhood.

Councilwoman Jan Perry will be on hand to say hello during Sunday's kickoff service, which takes place at 10am. More information can be found on the Live Church LA website.

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