The Row Church

Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:




None, operates on Skid Row


Los Angeles, California


Ministry and aid organization




Stephen Jn-Marie

Contact InfluenceWatch with suggested edits or tips for additional profiles.

The Row Church is a left-of-center tax-exempt nonprofit organization active in the Skid Row area of Los Angeles, California, which mainly evangelizes and offers meals to the large homeless population.


The Row Church (also known as ‘The Row LA,’ ‘The Row,’ or ‘The Row-LA-The Church Without Walls-Skid Row’) was founded in 2006 as a tax-exempt nonprofit organization by former rapper Stephen ‘Cue’ Jn-Marie. The organization bills itself as “The Church Without Walls,” to both suggest its openness and because it has no headquarters. For the most part, the organization is active on Skid Row, a neighborhood in Downtown Los Angeles (officially known as Central City East), which notably contains the largest stable number of homeless people in the United States. 1 2

The organization distributes water, food, and hygiene kits to the homeless with the help of volunteers. 3 But on Friday nights, the Row Church also offers communal worship services and hot meals. On Wednesday nights Bible study sessions led by Jn-Marie. 4 5

Political Advocacy

The Row Church supports a $15 minimum wage on both the state and federal level. 6

In 2014, the organization supported the passage of Proposition 47 (also known as the Criminal Sentences, Misdemeanor Penalties, Initiative Statute), which recategorized offenses (provided the total cash-value associated with each act did not exceed various respective thresholds) such as shoplifting, forgery, fraud, and personal use of most illicit drugs as misdemeanors rather than felonies. 7 8

Fundraising Projects

Starting on August 9, 2016, the Row Church started fundraising to build a headquarters, which it describes as the “RowLA Dream facility” with the aim of raising a total of $200,000. However, as of October 12, 2021, only $2,245, about 2% of that sum, has been raised. 9

Starting on October 6, 2016, the Row Church began fundraising in partnership with the Shaw Community Transformation Corporation (Shaw), another 501(c)(3) organization led by Jn-Marie. The fundraising was for Creating Justice LA, a project of Shaw, which would engage in outreach and education programs to promote “Justice through Creative Expressions.” The groups’ fundraising goal was $50,000 and as of October 12, 2021, $31,542, or about 63%, of that sum had been raised. 10


In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Row Church published a post on its blog by Jn-Marie stating that the organization would be largely continuing its programs but would not be “congregating” and that some of its affiliates would be staying home. 11

Stephen ‘Cue’ Jn-Marie

Stephen ‘Cue’ Jn-Marie is the founder of The Row Church. Formerly, Jn-Marie was a rapper signed with Virgin Records, but left the music industry in 1994 to focus on evangelization, organizing, and activism. According to the Row Church’s website, Jn-Marie worked with a variety of ministries that “took a more traditional approach to practicing Christianity” but felt dissatisfied and eventually sought “something different,” at which point he began projects that eventually coalesced into the Row Church. 12 Jn-Marie is also the president of The Shaw Community Transformation Corporation, a tax-exempt civic development organization also active in Los Angeles, which fundraises with the Row Church. 13


  1. Homeless Brochure. Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. Accessed October 12, 2021.
  2. “The Church…Without Walls.” The Row Church. Accessed October 12, 2021.
  3. “Volunteer.” The Row Church. Accessed October 12, 2021.
  4. “‘Welcome.’” The Row Church. Accessed March 9, 2022.
  5. “Bible Study.” The Row Church. Accessed October 12, 2021.
  6. “Fight for $15.” The Row Church. Accessed October 12, 2021.
  7. “Text of Proposed Laws: Proposition 2.” California Secretary of State. 2014. Accessed October 12, 2021.
  8. “Civic Engagement – Prop 47.” 2014. The Row Church. Accessed October 12, 2021.
  9. “The RowLA Dream facility.” The Row Church. Accessed October 12, 2021.
  10. “CreatingJustice.LA.” The Row Church. Accessed October 12, 2021.
  11. “In the Era of COVID-19, Don’t go to Church.” The Row Church. Accessed October 12, 2021.
  12. [1] “The Church…Without Walls.” The Row Church. Accessed October 12, 2021.
  13. “CreatingJustice.LA.” The Row Church. Accessed October 12, 2021.
  See an error? Let us know!