What does it look like to you?

God is doing something amazing in our community. Dark and dirty motels that were once filled with hopelessness have now become the backdrop for an evangelical movement changing the lives of the forgotten and introducing Salvation to the overlooked.

Scroll down to learn more about the incredible things God is doing at the motels. If you would like to join us in serving the poor and hurting just click the button below to get started.

A church in a motel?

MotelChurch is not just a nonprofit organization, it's not just a ministry, it's a movement.


Each week volunteers are working to plant churches in weekly motels. These motels have become home to the working poor and transitional homeless. For many reasons guests at these motels are not going to attend a local 'traditional' church. Believing Matthew 18:20 we're partnering with guests in building a congregation made up entirely of people experiencing poverty.


Motel guests are all too familiar with loneliness, heartbreak and the feeling that nobody cares - that they aren't loved. Our primary focus is to be the hands and feet of Christ, expressing love and kindness toward the unnoticed and forgotten among us. It is our job to show love and compassion whether it is through a hug, prayer, or simply through eye contact and a friendly smile.


The Gift of Salvation is a gift for all people yet our motel guests don't know about their Heavenly Father who deeply loves them and wants a relationship with them. Through relationship building, prayer, and teaching we're introducing guests to a Savior who loved them so much He died for them. Each week guests commit their lives to Christ. Many then get baptized in where else but a motel pool.

We plant churches in weekly motels serving the transitional homeless and working poor. These motels are packed with individuals and families who desperately need to experience Christ’s love, and they desperately need you.

Each motel church is just like any other church with music, a message, baptisms and even baby dedications. We believe that a church is not a building, it’s people coming together.


The MotelChurch vision to be used by God, planting churches among the poor living in motels.

Our mission is to serve as God’s servants to help the homeless and working poor living in and around weekly motels to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, grow in Christ to carry on the great commission and the great commandment as the body of Christ and as individual believers, and to become responsible members of the body of Christ in their local area.


Our vision is to be used by God to plant churches in weekly motels, where the body of Christ can meet, grow, serve and reach others for Christ as acts of worship.

We seek to preserve the dignity of each individual by helping them to grow into leadership of their church and to assume responsibility for its operation and for the spiritual growth and health of its members.


Our goal is to lead each fledgling church in each motel through three phases of growth and maturity and to ultimately hand over the keys to the church in each motel when there is a vibrant, responsible leadership team in the motel capable of leading the church on. At each phase of development we will challenge and lead the church to reach for the next phase.


  • We care more about a person’s relationship to Jesus than their denominational loyalties.
  • We care more about a person growing to be like Christ than their membership in any church.
  • We care more about disciples being made than who gets credit for doing it.
  • We care more about the Gospel being shared than the methodology of sharing it.
  • We care more about expanding the Kingdom than church structure.
  • We care more about obedience to Christ than the approval of others.
  • We care more about God’s glory than man’s recognition.


We believe in the transformational development model, which is to help people be self-sustaining and able to do things for themselves, rather than dependent on us.


You will spend a couple hours serving a warm breakfast and participating in a church service with the motel residents as the guests of honor. When you volunteer, you’re not just serving a temporary meal you made. You’re sharing the message of God’s love that lasts forever.

It’s just a couple hours

It doesn’t cost much time to serve people who need you

We’re not a feeding line

You will get to serve people, not just eggs and bacon

All locations are local

You don’t have to drive far to serve those in need

Saturdays and Sundays

You can pick the day that works best for you and your friends

All motels are kid friendly

You don’t need a sitter and you get a teaching opportunity

All are welcome

Bring your saved or un-saved friends and family


Below you will find some answers to our most common questions.
Don't see an answer to your question? Click here to contact us.
Are my kids allowed to come with me when I serve at MotelChurch?
Absolutely! All locations are family friendly so everyone is welcome. Not only will you be able to bring your children but many volunteers find serving at MotelChurch to be a valuable teaching experience. Kids are able to not only learn how other people live but they learn about God's love and how we are called to serve Him by serving each other.
Hide Answers
What church are you affiliated with?
We are not affiliated with any traditional church congregation. MotelChurch volunteers come from a variety of churches and they have all come together to serve those in need. God's vision for MotelChurch is that each individual motel location stand on its own as a church body. We could not fulfill His vision if MotelChurch was run by a single church entity.
Hide Answers
Where is each motel located? Can you give me a specific address?
Volunteers who sign up to serve are given an address and specific directions. However, we do not publicly share this information on our website or social media channels. We keep this information private to protect the privacy of motel guests and management. It is important to understand that guests living in these motels are living through incredibly difficult situations. We want to help them without drawing additional attention.
Hide Answers
Is MotelChurch only located in Orange County, California?
The majority of our locations are in North Orange County (Santa Ana, Anaheim, Fullerton, etc). In 2014 we expanded to serve San Diego and we hope to launch locations in Los Angeles County as soon as leaders step up to help build those communities. If you are interested in bringing MotelChurch to your city please contact us.
Hide Answers
What kind of people live at these motels.
The short answer? People who deeply matter to God. We can never forget that. When you arrive at a MotelChurch location you may be surprised by who you meet. Yes, some are people trying to rebuild their lives after addiction or a prison sentence. Others have been thrown into this situation because of job loss or an accident that they could not afford. Nobody at the motels fits 100% into a stereotype or your idea of what poverty 'looks like.'
Hide Answers

"For me, when I saw how people responded, not only to food for their bodies but spiritual food I felt closer to God. As we served people who probably hadn’t been served by anyone lately, I felt a little like Jesus washing the feet of the apostles.

I knew that this is where I was supposed to be, helping those who are probably invisible to us every day."

- Mark Ernst