In July 2010 Mike & Jamie Bartlett moved from a student ministries position in South Florida to begin a church planting residency at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis. Mike had a huge respect for the pastor, John Piper, loved the mission of Bethlehem to “spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ”, and wanted to go through assessment, training, and be mentored at Bethlehem. Through prayer, fasting, visits, and building some key relationships in the city, Mike & Jamie decided they wanted to give their lives to spreading a passion for the supremacy of God in Grand Rapids through church planting.
In July 2011 Mike & Jamie moved to Grand Rapids to spend a year learning about the city, meeting new people, sharing their vision for a new church in the heart of the city, and building a launch team. During this year they were able to embed at Crossroads Bible Church, a church with a big heart for the gospel, the city, and church planting. Crossroad’s mission is to be “a biblical community where Jesus transforms lives, renews the city, and impacts the world”. Bethlehem and Crossroads DNA deeply impacted the formation of this new launch team that grew to 30 members over the course of the year. During this same year Riverview Church in Holt (which also has a big heart for the gospel & church planting) helped support the church, sent over several key couples to join the launch team, and added their DNA to Redemption City. “Riverview exists to proclaim the liberating power of the gospel as we grow, serve, and go.” Riv also connected Redemption City with the Acts 29 Church Planting Network, helped Mike & Jamie through the assessment process, and have been a key partner in church planting in Michigan.
In September 2012, Crossroads sent us out to begin gathering as a new church in their (old) Upper Room space on the Westside off Front Avenue attracting 60 people who wanted to be a part of a new church plant in Eastown. In January 2013 Redemption City moved over to the campus of Aquinas College in Eastown where it still meets and is still seeking to be a redemption movement in the heart of the city that transforms lives, forms communities, renews the city, and impacts the world through church planting.
Redemption City Church is nondenominational, but is affiliated with the following organizations.
Bethlehem Baptist Church
Crossroads Bible Church
Grand Rapids, MI