Send Us to a Hard-to-Reach City
The Heart LA
Los Angeles, California
“We are so thankful for the Matching Funds we received that were provided by AGTrust donors in cooperation with The Church Planting Network. Because we were planting a church in one of the top 10 most expensive cities to live in, cash flow was very important at the start. Thank you to everyone who believed in the work God is doing in Los Angeles and invested in our church plant; some of the seeds are already reaping a harvest!”
Once the Araujos knew God was leading them to plant a church, they participated in a training conference with The Church Multiplication Network (CMN). That experience solidified their calling. They began to pray, “God, send us to a hard-to-reach city, where people are not in the habit of going to church.”
To see people in Los Angeles transformed with God’s love is the mission of The Heart LA church planted in September 2021.
Los Angeles, a city of 4 million, is home to an extremely diverse population representing multiple countries and languages.
“It’s an amazing city with many professional sports teams, several universities, and fantastic restaurants,” Pastor Randall Araujo says, “but it is also a city of people filled with hopelessness and fear—fear of failure, fear of being alone.”
The Heart LA, which David and Randall and their team launched in September 2021, is located in Mid-Wilshire on the historic street of Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. Nearly 80 percent of the 44,000 people in Mid-Wilshire are unchurched.
“Our vision is to see people become men and women after God’s own heart, in order to transform Los Angeles with God’s love,” Lead Pastors David and Randall say. “We believe God can transform our city!”
Sharing God’s love by serving others is a primary focus at The Heart LA.
David and Randall moved with their children to Los Angeles in August 2020 during the COVID pandemic lockdown. For months prior to the church launch, they reached out to the community through prayer walks, coffee meetings, and startup events on zoom and at a local coffee shop where people could come and learn more about the vision of The Heart LA.
“Finding the location for our church to meet was a miracle!” Randall says. After touring several venues that were far too expensive to lease, the Araujos met a Christian landlord who led them to an old nightclub that had failed during the pandemic. He leased it to them for a very reasonable price. Then 10 churches sent volunteers to help remodel the space, and many businesses offered free furnishings. The launch team grew to about 30 people that helped canvass the neighborhoods with flyers and devoted themselves to prayer.
On launch day in September 2021, more than 100 people attended!
Worship service at The Heart LA
Two of the many lives being impacted for Christ by The Heart LA are Jen and Ashley. Jen, a single mom not by choice, has two young sons. The Heart Kids team is making a difference in their lives, and recently Jen brought two of her friends and three more children to church. Every week, Jen takes a step closer to accepting Christ.
Randall and David connected with Ashley right after they moved to LA. Ashley told them she had no purpose in life. Sometime later she became pregnant, and the father told her to terminate the baby. The Heart LA team prayed with her, and one couple even offered to adopt the baby. After visiting Planned Parenthood three times, Ashley decided to keep the baby.
“God is a God of second chances,” Randall says, “and I am believing that Ashley will give her whole heart to Christ in the months to come. I am so thankful that our church gets to be part of this baby’s story!”
Co-Lead Pastor Randall Araujo (right) teaches a Growth Track class, which is held on the first Sunday of each month at The Heart LA. This is an opportunity for people to learn more about the church and its values, meet the pastors and team members, and discover ways to get involved in ministry.
The Heart LA is planning to launch a second service in spring 2022, and they hope to launch another LA campus in 2023. “There are many neighborhoods in Los Angeles that need a church presence,” Pastor David says. “But for now we are being faithful to where God has placed us! We want our steps to be directed by His Spirit. One goal is to become more generous in our missions giving to missionaries and missions entities worldwide.”
The Heart Kids ministry is a high priority at The Heart LA church.
Prior to planting The Heart LA, David and Randall served on staff at churches in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Modesto, California. David earned a master’s degree from Biola University in La Mirada, California. Randall, an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God, earned a master’s degree from the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in Springfield, Missouri.
Members of The Dream Team enjoy teaching the children about God and His love for them.
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