Who We Are

Manna was established in 2018 by James Gann, an entrepreneur and also a former pastor and planter, in cooperation with Southlands Church in Brea. After a failed church plant ending in 2012, James had hopes of planting once more.  But in 2016, he sensed that God was asking him to put those dreams of planting on the shelf at least for the time being, to support and strengthen others with similar dreams, that is pastors, planters and their churches.  Essentially, it was a call to lay down one’s life to serve another.  

Manna was established with a pastor’s heart for pastors, especially those that have recently planted or lead smaller churches, and in particular those that tend to be under resourced.  As it has developed, it has become a vehicle to strengthen and extend the Southern California Church, regardless of denomination or network, in order to see the gospel spread more extensively throughout this region.

This is accomplished in three primary ways:

Manna Mercy & Justice Grant – Manna provides financial gifts to Southern California churches who need funding to love and serve their communities in tangible ways. In addition to grants, we equip the grant recipients through monthly gatherings centered around mercy and justice.

Manna Forum – Manna hosts quarterly gatherings for pastors in Southern California, to encourage and strengthen pastors and their churches towards sustainability. This looks like a Spring Forum with speakers such as Ed Stetzer and Mark DeYmaz, a Summer Pastor’s Retreat, a Regional Forum to connect with pastors close to home, and our year end banquet.

Manna Sustain – Manna provides ongoing coaching and mentoring through relationship to pastors and planters to help them lead in sustainable and healthy rhythms.  Through gospel partnerships across Southern California based churches and organizations our sustainable focus is threefold – church structure and administration, church economics and pastoral health.

In 2 Corinthians 8 we read about how the Jerusalem Church was in great need. Paul encouraged the Corinthian Church to come to their aid and give of their material abundance just as the Jerusalem Church had contributed to them spiritually. He referred to Exodus 16 in which the Israelites collected manna and how those who were only able to collect little still had enough and those who collected much did not have too much.

The cooperation between the churches in Corinth and Jerusalem led to the following: Strength amongst the local churches, unity as they suffered and rejoiced together, awareness of one another’s struggles, triumphs and characteristics, mutual accountability, dependence upon God in the form of other churches for wisdom and provision, and equipping through Paul’s encouragement and writings.

Our prayer is that similar to the relationship forged between the Corinthian and Jerusalem Churches, this Manna program would be a tool through which we mutually encourage one another to greater strength, unity, and awareness, and look to one another for accountability, dependence and equipping as we see the local churches reach further into Southern California for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.