Welcome to Heart of the Bay!

If you are checking us out for the first time or looking to find a church that feels like home, we welcome you!


Here at Heart of the Bay, we are more than a place to worship. We are a growing and loving church family. There are plenty of opportunities to make friends, receive an incredible message from God’s Word, and be a positive influence in the lives of others through God’s love. There is something here for everyone and we invite you to take a look and see!

Get to KNow Us



We are a non-denominational, multi-ethnic and multi-generational Church rooted in Jesus Christ.
He is the reason why we gather together as a community and why our lives are completely
changed for the better!

Find out more about us below.

  • Heart of the Bay Christian Center was birthed from a group of people who had been meeting together since the fall of 1977. In 1982, this group found themselves in need of a pastor. Thousands of miles away a couple living in Minnesota, Mark and Brenda Thomas, had a strong leading in their hearts to move to the San Francisco Bay Area and plant a church.


    In answer to the prayers of that group of people, Mark and Brenda Thomas became pastors of that small congregation on July 4, 1982. The church began to grow and needed a new facility, eventually occupying the old Marina High School in San Leandro until land development required them to move again. They found a new home at Sunset Elementary School where they built their own Sanctuary. After many years there, Pastors Mark and Brenda and staff knew it was time to look for a permanent home for Heart of the Bay.


    One day, while checking in with the office, Pastor Mark was informed that a movie theater located on a main thoroughfare in Hayward was going on the market soon. He knew in his heart that this property would be the perfect home for Heart of the Bay. Pastors Mark and Brenda, the church staff, and congregation stepped out in faith to purchase the property in 2003. After renovating the building, we held our first service in our own facility in August 2007. From this building many lives have been touched and changed with the love of God and the spirit of faith through our services, classes and outreaches.


    Today many people attend Heart of the Bay on a weekly basis. We invite you to attend our services and see for yourself how exciting church can be.

  • Heart of the Bay Christian Center is all about people encountering the reality of God and His love for us – for you! We love God, love His Word and love His people. He is the reason why we join together as a community of believers and why our lives are continually changed for the better! We believe that God has a special plan for each of us, and we are committed to discovering our God-given purpose.


    All our services are filled with worship, praise, and the teaching of God’s Word, which is central to all that we do. Each service offers a great opportunity to build an enduring foundation in God’s Word.

    Your children are important to us. We know that many of you may find it easier to stay home with your young ones, but we don't want them to feel left out. Head over to our Children and Youth ministry page for Bible lessons and ways for your children to connect with God.


    We’d love for you to come and join us for a service. It’s the best way to find out what we’re about as a church. No matter who you are or where you are in your life journey, there is a place for you in our church family!

  • To encourage, equip and empower people to become mature disciples of Jesus Christ so that they may fulfill their ministry in both the church and in the world.


    We believe the Bible is God’s living Word. The best way to reach people and make a difference is through teaching the Bible in practical and helpful ways that can be put to use in the real world.

    We love and value every person because each of us matters to the Lord. In all that we do, we seek to glorify God and edify man.



    We believe that God is good and our great privilege is to know and experience Him. God’s presence is an indicator of His direction and blessing upon this church.



    We assist believers in seeing the importance of a vibrant prayer life based on fellowship and relationship with God and knowing the Biblical truths that lead to answered prayer.



    We believe that a church should operate as a unified community of believers with men and women using their spiritual gifts, talents and treasures.


    We believe that excellence honors God and inspires people.



    We believe the power of God and the gifts of the Spirit will be demonstrated in great power and love in these days.



    God loves us and has richly blessed us with His mercy and grace. Every spiritual blessing and every good and perfect gift is from Him so we are free to generously love, give and serve others. We are generous because He is generous.


    Being a part of the church is not about being a spectator. It’s about giving our very best to God. We encourage everyone to get involved by using their gifts and serve the greater good because there’s nothing like belonging and being a part of something big!


    The Bible is God’s Word and it is inspired and accurate. It is our perfect guide in all matters of our daily lives.



    We believe there is only one God, who is loving, holy and just. He exists in three Persons — the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Although each member of the Trinity serves different functions, they each possess equal power and authority. 



    We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, and in His bodily resurrection. Jesus Christ is completely human but, at the same time, completely God. He is the only plan for bringing people who are far from God back into a right relationship with God.



    We believe in salvation by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus was sent to give His life and shed His blood to redeem and restore man back to God providing us with salvation. It is available to anyone who confesses the Lord Jesus with their mouth and believes that God has raised Him from death to life.  



    Water baptism is a symbol of the cleansing power of God and a testimony of our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a public declaration of the internal work of God in the heart and life of a believer.  



    We believe the Holy Spirit is our Comforter. He guides us in all areas of our lives. He also blesses us with spiritual gifts and empowers us to yield the fruit of the Spirit.



    We believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues as a subsequent gift to salvation.



    Holy Communion is a celebration of Jesus’ death and our remembrance of Him.



    We believe in the provision of bodily healing in the atoning work of Jesus our Savior. God wants to transform, heal, and provide for us, so that we can live blessed and victorious lives that will impact and help others.



    We believe our Lord Jesus Christ is coming back again just as He promised.

Meet Pastors Mark and Brenda Thomas

Pastors Mark and Brenda have been the Senior Pastors of Heart of the Bay Christian Center since 1982. They count it a great privilege to pastor such a dynamic church in the Bay Area. Our Pastors are passionate to see people discover God’s plan for their lives and to experience His freedom, joy and peace.


Mark and Brenda come from different backgrounds and life experiences. The blend of these diversities makes them a great ministry team. Mark grew up in a good Catholic family in Minneapolis, MN. Brenda grew up in rural Oklahoma and comes from a strong Pentecostal background. They met while attending RHEMA Bible College in Tulsa, OK. They were married shortly after graduation and soon entered into full time ministry.


Mark and Brenda are the proud parents of two married sons, who are both in full time ministry, two beautiful daughters-in-law, and most importantly, three amazing granddaughters!

Church Staff

  • Pastors Tom and Kimberly Hernandez - Asst. Pastors

    Assistant Pastors and Worship Leaders for decades, Pastors Tom and Kimberly have faithfully served at HBCC guiding and teaching the skills and heart of worship to the Worship Team and congregation alike.


  • Pastor Nancy DeMello - Pastoral Care

    Faithfully dedicated to growing believers of all ages in their relationship with God, Pastor Nancy has participated and overseen many ministries and continues providing Pastoral Care to those that are hurting and in need.


  • Pastor Caleb Pape – Young Adults Pastor

    Serves with a passionate and strong desire to reach and connect this generation to the love of God, the power of His Word and to each other through fellowship, activities, and sharing relevant topics.


  • Chuck and Sherri Woods - Children's Ministers

    Growing up at HBCC Chuck never left Children's Ministry. Joined in ministry by Sherri they are dedicated to teaching our children the love of God along with the Children In Action Team.


  • Ruben and Sabrina Richardson - Youth Ministers

    Sabrina has faithfully served our youth for over a decade, joined by Ruben they are teaching our youth the Word of God and the love of God alongside the Oneighty Youth Team.