What is the Nehemiah House?


The Nehemiah House was built in 1897. It is a 4-unit house that is located blocks away from the church in Pico Union — a largely immigrant Latino community near downtown Los Angeles. In 2010 the church was able to purchase an additional property next door - the Emmaus House.  


Together, these two houses form a community of three families, young interns, and a ministry center where S.A.Y. Yes! teen students meet three days a week. 


There are three major components to the ministry: 

     (1) The 10-month Nehemiah House Internship

     (2) Short-Term Ministry Groups and Internships

     (3) The Open Door - Growing in community with the neighborhood through a teen center in the house, community meals 4 days-a-week, and learning to love one another.


We want to become like Jesus, and as a community, we want to learn to abide in Him, to proclaim Him through our words, and our humble service. Jesus came to reveal Himself and His salvation to the world, which He did by living and walking among the people who He had come to save. We participate with Him when we walk in His ways and learn to do His will, loving and serving people. 


We all come from broken places. We are looking for interns who want to draw close to Jesus and become like Him. 

The 10-month Internship

The internship is a 10-month informal training and ministry experience in which interns live together in intentional community and live out the gospel through loving their neighbors. It runs from mid-August through mid-May of each year. 


We are looking for interns who want to seek God in an intentional way and to invest in humble service and sharing the Gospel in word and deed. Interns can be students, working a job, or serving full-time in the ministry. Their community commitments will be about 10 hours per week. 


What will the interns do? In addition to studying and house Bible studies and prayer, interns will spend 5-20 hours serving in a youth ministry. Current opportunities are the S.A.Y. Yes! Youth Center, a local high school campus ministry, and the church’s youth group


How much does the internship cost? The internship costs $550/month. This includes room, board, gas money, and conferences/retreats during the year. There are scholarships and opportunities to raise support for those who need it. Master’s College students are eligible for a $5,000 Ministry Matching scholarship for their internship. 


Who will the students serve under? The ministry is directed by Scott and Sarah Yetter who live in the Emmaus House next door. Blanca Tolentino, Dorcas and Enrique Montano are adult staff living in the houses. You will serve under other ministry directors from the Church and alongside a team of youth workers.

Nehemiah House Commitments

1. Loving God Through: 

     • Abiding in God and His Word - We are committed to maintaining communion with God and obedience to His Word as first priority. 

     • Prayer (and Fasting) - We are committed to hearing from God through intercession, fasting and worship as key disciplines that allow God’s grace to conform us to His will. 

     • Rest & Reflection - We are committed to taking regular time to rest, reflect and celebrate knowing that overwork is a common and dangerous temptation in areas of great need. 


2. Loving Christians in Community Through: 

     • Sacrificial love - We are committed to allowing God to form us into a body that reflects His life through loving one another. This involves the discipline of spending focused time together listening and valuing one another. 

     • Respecting Diversity - We are committed to appreciating differences and accepting one another. 

     • Reconciliation - We are committed to dealing rightly with conflicts and differences being both honest and humble. 


3. Loving Our Neighbors Through: 

     • Being Examples - We are committed to living above reproach and abstaining from things that may cause others to stumble. 

     • Simplicity - We are committed to living a lifestyle of simplicity as a biblical mandate. We will only seek to accumulate what we really need and will share the rest of what we have freely. 

     • Reaching Out - We are committed to participating with God in making Him known among families and especially youth in the community through proclaiming His gospel and practical service and love.

History of the Nehemiah House

After starting the S.A.Y. Yes! Youth Center in 2001, we were heart-broken over how many kids and families wanted to be a part of the center and yet how few adult leaders there were who could commit to long-term mentoring. We saw many kids who were longing to be loved and believed in and many parents who wanted to believe that our community could do more for our kids.


During the late 90's, many young adults came to Pico Union to live and serve, but many of them would not stay for very long. The struggles of serving in a lower-income area with great spiritual darkness would overwhelm those who came to serve. Most people left before getting victory over this difficult time. Discipleship and leadership development were a challenge because little progress was seen in these areas with only a couple interactions with youths. We cried out to God for leaders to invest in long-term discipleship and community transformation, and we got a vision for what became the Nehemiah House. 


What if we called a group of people together who wanted to commit to loving God deeply and loving our neighbors? We had a vision of living in a house together to help each other grow in Christ and fulfill our call in the community. Perhaps as we walk through the dark times together, we could grow through it together developing as leaders called to serve the forgotten here and around the world. 


The Nehemiah House quickly came together after the vision came. A first group of interns came together along with a stellar group of staff. Financially, we decided to have the church buy a house so that oversight and accountability would remain with church leaders. We raised about $75,000 for a down payment for a 4-unit house. All of the money came in, and we were able to purchase a house that was just 1 1/2 blocks from the church was provided. It was exactly what we were asking the Lord for.  


In August of 2002, the Nehemiah House was launched. Later, in 2010, the property next door - The Emmaus House - was purchased by the church so that the community might be expanded to include space for three families in addition to up to 8 young adults.