DETROIT, MI – Coming into my freshman year of college at the University of Michigan back in 1999 I felt like I was at a Crossroads. Up until this point in my life I had four worlds that I juggled: school, church, the social scene (which quickly became the party scene), and sports. I injured my knee in high school and knew with that injury I pretty much had no chance at making it in collegiate athletics, so I was down to three. However, I was so anxious to do well in school I knew I would have to choose between the party scene and church. That year I walked into a university auditorium, Angell Hall auditorium B, to be a part of a church service right on my college campus. Over 100 college students worshipped Jesus and heard an authentic sermon that morning, and I knew this is what I wanted and what God wanted for me. Later that freshman year, at a Winter Retreat, I heard a pastor share Philippians 1:21 which begins, “To live is Christ.” In a moment I knew that’s what I wanted, and I made the decision to push all of my worlds into one world: Jesus.
My story is a lot like that of many college students. College is a crossroads for many young people. College often is treated as our American rite of passage into adulthood. It is a time when young men and women are making decisions that will influence the next several decades of their life. All of which, along with a passion for the inner city that God developed in both Meghan and I from our childhood, are reasons that God used to lead us to plant a church at Wayne State University in the heart of Detroit. Can you imagine the impact of seeing the nearly 40,000 Detroit college students have the opportunity to hear about and experience Jesus? Can you imagine the impact these students will have as they take this faith into the world? Can you imagine the impact on this city for those for those who stay?
We planted back in the fall of 2013 and God has grown us to a church of more than 100 college students and many city members. We believe God has more than numbers for us in the future, though. We believe He wants to see every member of our church, every Detroit college student, and every Detroiter know that He is dependable and can redeem every hurt. We want Detroiters to worship Jesus, and we want His kids mobilized here to tell the Good News, that the Kingdom of God is here. As a church, we want to tell this news and to live out Kingdom values in a city that Satan has tried to claim as his own. We believe that the church of Jesus Christ in Detroit will bring healing and hope to not only our campuses and our city, but an entire nation that has a legacy of sin in racial division and oppression. We are believing Jesus to build His church in a powerful and needed way, and we would cherish your prayers to our Father, asking for His guidance, help and protection.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kevin Armstrong is a pastor, church planter. He lives, along with his wife, Meghan, in Detroit, MI where they started the New Life Church of Detroit, a campus church.