Now that July of 2011 has rolled around, our church has been meeting publicly for a year and a half, and there are several things to note from the last six months. God has been at work in our church, so we want him to be magnfied as we talk about what’s been happening recently.

Probably the most significant event of the last six months was our charter service, which was held Sunday, June 26. Chartering as a church involves accepting members and adopting a Constitution and set of Beliefs to follow and uphold as a church. We were very encouraged to have twenty-four people  sign on as charter members during this service. 

It was also a special blessing to have several representatives from our sending church (Heritage Bible Church in Greer, SC) with us for this charter service. These representatives included five former or current elders at Heritage along with their wives. One of these elders, Will Arndt, currently leads Heritage’s church planting ministry, so it was good to have him with us as well as Eric Sipe, the pastor who formerly oversaw this ministry when Redeemer was first started. These elders were also present to help us with the appointment of our own elders, Todd DavisRyan Fisher, and Matt LaCava. This is the first time that Ryan and Matt have served as elders, so we had a time for questioning them on Saturday the 25th as the last step in training and assessing them according to the qualifications for elders set forth in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. Following this meeting, the five elders mentioned above along with Todd happily recommended Ryan and Matt for affirmation by our church as elders. So, the charter service on Sunday also included the appointment of Todd, Ryan, and Matt as Redeemer’s elders along with two deacons—Erik Frelund and Paul Hurst—all of whom were unanimously affirmed by Redeemer’s new members.

It is very exciting to have our own members and leadership now, and we thank God for what he’s done to bring us to this point. The charter service was a time of rejoicing in Jesus Christ, praying for God’s help and blessing on us, and challenging ourselves from the Bible regarding our responsibilities towards God and each other as a church. Fittingly, we had a fellowship meal following the service as well that gave us further opportunity to celebrate together God’s grace toward us.

Though we are very encouraged with God’s work in our church to bring us to where we are now, we recognize that we’ve just gotten started and there is much work to be done. God has further challenged us from his Word through some recent studies regarding our responsibility to share the good news of Jesus Christ with as many people in our communities as we can, and he has given us some exciting opportunities to do so. Please pray with us that God would bring spritual fruit from these relationships through his life-giving Word and Spirit. And, we’d appreciate your prayers for more such opportunities in the days ahead as we seek to be faithful witnesses in the ordinary course of our lives and through new ways of meeting people that we’re planning for the near future.

We’re very aware of how much we need God to be at work through our efforts, so we continue to devote ourselves to prayer as a church. We have now observed two evenings of prayer together, once in March and once at the beginning of July. We intend to continue this practice at least once each quarter. For an evening of prayer, we gather together on a Friday evening and spend a couple of hours together in prayer around a particular theme. We have a time of singing and praying together as an entire group, and then we break into smaller groups and move together through three or four different rooms in each of which we pray for fifteen to twenty minutes regarding a particular aspect of our theme. For our last evening of prayer, we drew our theme from Acts 19:20 “The Word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily,” so we’re excited to see how God will use our prayers to continue this work in our day as he did in the first century.

As far as some of our future plans, we’re considering adding in a teaching time on Sunday mornings before our corporate prayer time. We see the need for another forum for teaching the Scriptures and for training each other in the ability to use them for evangelism, discipleship, counseling, etc. So, we’re excited about this possibility but still have some details to work out. The same thing goes for other part of our church ministry that we’re seeking to develop, so we would be grateful for prayers regarding God’s direction for these things as we certainly need God’s wisdom for all our decisions.

Before I close, I figured I’d let you know that we’ve also updated our website recently, and we’re excited about that as we hope for it to be a tool God uses to direct people to us and a tool for building up our own body. Our sermons are easily accessible on the site as will be the blog posts, which we hope to make more use of in the days ahead. Check it out at

For those of you have been praying with us, we want to say “Thank you,” and we thank God for you. We believe God is hearing our prayers to further his kingdom and build his church, and we trust that he will continue to do so. Please pray that God will draw many to himself in salvation through the gospel of his Son that we are privileged to share. Please pray that he will also bring any other Christians to us that he wants to be part of Redeemer and that he’ll build us all up in the image of his Son, all to his awesome glory.