Over the last 6 months, we’ve had to privilege to announce two new church plants out of The Summit Network, Mercy Hill Church, which will be planted in Greensboro, NC, beginning June 2012, and Soma Church, which is currently gathering a team to launch in the city on Indianapolis.
But that’s not all that is happening this year. We’re excited to announce that beginning this month, we will be building a team to plant our latest church in…Baltimore, MD!
My wife Jena-Marie and I were both caught off guard when we sensed God calling us to plant a church. We love Durham deeply and have been blessed immensely in the time that we have spent at our church, the Summit Church. However, as we considered how we could be used by God to leverage our lives for advancing the Gospel, we couldn’t ignore this opportunity. A lot of people have asked the question “why leave the Summit to plant a church?”
We don’t really see this as leaving as much as being sent out. In my 9 years of ministry here, I’ve seen numerous friends commissioned to take the Gospel around the world. Now we are on the other side of that experience. Rather than praying for someone that is going, we are going to be the ones being sent. We couldn’t think of a better church to be sent out by as ministers of the Gospel.
As far as “why Baltimore”, there are two main reasons:
Baltimore is a very strategic city. This is something that I didn’t recognize 18 months ago, but I’ve discovered that Baltimore is a city that possesses global influence. There are nearly 100,000 college students in Baltimore that attend one of fifteen different colleges/universities. They come to Baltimore from all over the world to attend schools like Johns Hopkins. Also, Johns Hopkins Hospital has been ranked the #1 hospital in the country for 20+ consecutive years. There are people that come to Baltimore for medical care from many unreached nations. Also, Baltimore is one of the most livable cities in what some consider as the most powerful mega-region in the world. Baltimore is a great place to live in the middle of the Northeast mega-region that stretches from Boston down to Washington D.C.
Baltimore is a city that needs the gospel. As soon as you mention Baltimore to someone, they often have an image that comes to mind. For many people it is the idea of violence. Baltimore is ranked the 11th most violent city in the country. It’s a city that desperately needs the gospel. Less than 4% of the population in Baltimore consider themselves to be evangelical. Within four miles of the neighborhood we’re targeting (Riverside) there are some pretty alarming realities: 56% of the homesare led by single moms; 25% of the homes live below the poverty line. We believe that the Gospel not only transforms individual lives, but entire cities. We are asking God to bring peace in the midst of violence, the family of God to the fatherless and generosity in the midst of poverty.
Want to help? Or just want to get more information? Fill out the interest form below and Brad will follow up with you. Also check out their website at www.redeemerbaltimore.com.
[contact-form 12 “Baltimore Interest”]