Pacific Crossroads Church began in early 1998 as a group of five friends meeting together to pray in West Los Angeles. Their hope was to start a new church on the Westside. At the same time, church planter Bill Powis was preparing to move to LA to plant a church with the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). When he teamed up with these five friends, Pacific Crossroads had found its first pastor.
Their first public worship service was held in May 1999 at a Los Angeles banquet center. As the church grew, it moved to larger locations, settling for several years at University High School. In 2005, Pastor Bill left Pacific Crossroads to plant a church in Atlanta. To the surprise of many, the remaining community not only stayed together but actually grew—without pastoral staff, without any elders, and with most people assuming the church would dissolve—as they were convinced that God had special plans for this church.
This thriving community got the attention of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, a church with a particular burden for planting churches in global cities. In hopes that Pacific Crossroads could become a church-planting church in and for Los Angeles, Redeemer challenged Rankin Wilbourne, who was pastoring in Chattanooga at the time, to consider moving to Los Angeles to “re-plant” Pacific Crossroads. Although initially hesitant to come to Los Angeles, Rankin became convinced that the Lord was indeed calling him to this community, and he became the pastor of Pacific Crossroads in August of 2006.
Since then, Pacific Crossroads has experienced significant and rapid growth. In 2009, the church added a second morning service and elected their first Elders to help lead the community. In 2010, Crossroads outgrew University High and moved to a larger middle school. At about the same time they expanded geographically by starting an evening service in Downtown Los Angeles at St. John’s Cathedral. The Downtown congregation has a personality of its own even as the weekly liturgy remains almost identical to that of the Westside services. In 2012, the Westside morning services moved to their current location at Barnum Hall on the campus of Santa Monica High School.
Outside of Sunday services, the church meets as over 80 smaller Community Groups throughout the city, and serves the needs of Los Angeles in tangible ways through the partnerships of Hope for Los Angeles, the mercy and justice arm of Pacific Crossroads. Loving our city and loving the world continue to be driving forces of the community. In whatever place Pacific Crossroads happens to be meeting, the mission remains the same: to gather, grow, and send forth strong disciples of Jesus, for the glory of God, motivated by the Gospel of Grace, because He first loved us.
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