REDFORD, MI – I remember when it all changed, the exact moment when I gave my life to Christ. Sitting in a home Bible fellowship I remember everything about that day, but most importantly I remember the hymn we sang, “Let Your Lower Lights Be Burning” a Phillip Bass hymn written in 1871. Nearly 125 years later, it would be made famous by Johnny Cash. It spoke volumes to me as a new believer, and is still speaking volumes to me as a church planter here in Redford. Something about the illustration of the lighthouse still speaks to me. Maybe it’s because I’m a native Michigander and my family loves nothing more than spending our summers in towns like Spring Lake or Beulah. The imagery of GOD’s mercy beaming brightly from His lighthouse to us still gives me chills. The hymnist goes on to say, “But to us He gives the keeping of the lights along the shore.”
Heeding that call to be the keeper of the lights along the shore is what led me along with our team to plant The Commonwealth of Faith Church here in Redford Township, Mi. Our aim was never to become just another church in the community, but to be the community’s church. Since our launch we’ve hosted several community events leading to tangible physical and spiritual needs being met. At our Harvest & Community Resource Night, we hosted more than 300 families and partnered with several community-based organizations such as THAW who gave out over $35,000 in assistance to families who are facing hardships keeping their homes warm during the winter. We’ve even had the misfortune of actually physically rescuing a member of ours who was in an abusive relationship and being held along with her children in dog cages by a former lover.
As dark as that was, we’re ever so thankful for the opportunity to shine bright. Redford and the surrounding area of Detroit has changed quite significantly in the past few years. For those seeking safer schools and a stronger neighborhood we’ve become a “safe haven” positioning us to reach them in a greater way. Since we’ve “started” we’ve had the pleasure of partnering with 3 schools providing them with a stronger sense of community by stepping up and filling the gap when and wherever our presence could help. Now as a Christian community, we stand ready to tackle another project in our community, and need your prayers and assistance to do so.
We’ve been given the opportunity to make the former St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church our home. The building was sold to a charter school operator who had no interest in operating a church. It was later confirmed that they had made plans to raze the edifice. To be honest with you, it broke my heart to know that a business could tear down a facility that was built to boldly beam the Gospel. This November, literally a year since the church’s closing, we’re happy to announce that GOD is moving us forward in our effort to restore this lighthouse.
This campaign isn’t just about a Sunday service, it’s about recommissioning this facility, dedicating it back to God’s service to serve our neighbors. It’s ensuring that the families in this community have access to at least one hot meal a week through our planned Mercy Kitchen, and that children have a safe place to do homework through our Safe Haven Homework Help Program. Through our ROOTED IN REDFORD, ROOTED IN CHRIST campaign (COLO 2:7) our plan is to restore this facility so that others can lay ROOTS and grow stronger in Christ.
With your prayers, elbow grease, and donations we can bring this vision into fruition and ensure that our lights will beam BRIGHT. For more information on how you can help and commit yourself to the campaign visit www.rootedinredford.org
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Torion Bridges is the Lead Pastor of The Commonwealth of Faith Church in Redford, he and his wife Jasmine are the proud parents of Hunter (age 2) and Hannah (7 months). Torion is a bi-vocational church planter serving who loves using the art of story-telling to WIN souls for the Kingdom.