City Church of New Orleans
13123 I-10 Service Rd.
New Orleans, LA 70128
Dr. Owen McManus, Jr., the lead Pastor at City Church of New Orleans, connects to young Christians through Sunday services, outreach programs, and even film. His strategy seems to work. Since 2005, the church’s membership has grown from 21 to more than 5,000 people at its main campus in New Orleans East.
City Church was launched in 1958 by McManus’ father, Bishop Owen McManus. The church was part of the Church of God denomination until 1980, when it became independent. McManus, Jr. became the pastor of the church in 1993.
In 2005, City Church was devastated by Hurricane Katrina, and its members were scattered around the country — but McManus and about twenty other men rebuilt the physical structure of the church and kept moving forward.
“We came back pretty much immediately after the storm,” said McManus. “We started our first service in December of 2005 after (Hurricane) Katrina.”
Three years later, the church was moved to its present location on the I-10 service road, near Chef Menteur Highway. The congregation has continued to grow ever since.
“God came through,” said McManus, adding that his church remained faithful. “God brought us through those many different obstacles.”
McManus says his church’s mission is “to spread the good news of the gospel to this generation,” — as in, “millennials.”
“Our church is filled with thirty-somethings, and under,” he explained, adding that they’ve visited local high school and college campuses to “bring the new good news of the gospel to a generation that needs it now more than ever.”
“Our young people — we teach them about marriage, and stewardship, and management,” said McManus. “People have decided to move to New Orleans East, purchase a home, settle down and build a family.”
Building on City Church’s success, McManus is making plans for the future. For starters, he’d like to build a balcony inside the church, which currently seats about 2000 people,
and also create satellite locations.
He’ll soon launch a liberal arts college on the church’s campus; it will be available online, as well. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredited college will be one of about 20 satellite locations affiliated with Southeastern University in central Florida. It will be the first one in New Orleans.
The church also interacts with its congregation — and prospective members of it — through the short and feature-length films that they produce.
“Our church is known for that, and we plan on using those mediums and tools to get the good news out,” said McManus, recalling how they released their first Christmas movie in November, during a “red carpet” affair.
In 2006, McManus and his wife, Tammy, founded International Bible College. Bishop McManus School, named after Bishop Owen McManus, has “a 43-year history of raising up young men and women with integrity and good principles.”