Detroit Church, a new non-denominational church startup hosting its first service at noon on Sunday, April 10, is seeking to awaken Detroit as a cultural epicenter for people to experience church in a new way.
The church’s services will be at Spain Elementary Middle School, 3700 Beaubien Street, a school that recently made headlines after being featured on the Ellen Degeneres show.
Detroit Church’s Founder and Lead Pastor Sonny Smith says he wants the new church to bring together people from diverse backgrounds, cultures, socioeconomic status and generations as one.
“This really is the greatest adventure of all time,” said Smith. “That’s why Detroit Church exists. We aren’t interested in just filling a building or occupying space, but engaging in the life and culture of the city, impacting lives, and helping to be a bridge builder between old Detroit and new Detroit to make One Detroit.”
Detroit Church’s strategy, coined “Up, In, Out,” combines elements of worshiping and hearing the Gospel, being a part of intentional community through LIFE groups, and serving and making an impact in the city.
More than 100 people have joined the launch team to support Detroit Church through their time, talents and treasure. Smith says his goal is for 250 people to be a part of that launch team. Six prominent metro Detroit church leaders also have been instrumental in the launch of Detroit Church.
Steve Andrews, Co-founder and Lead Pastor of Kensington Church, is one of the six churches in the metro Detroit region supporting Detroit Church. Andrews has helped launch more than 50 churches around the globe.
“This has orchestrated into something really beautiful as six different churches with different DNA and denominations are uniting as one team,” he said. “As church leaders we aren’t competitors, but we’re all after the same mission to see everyone transformed by Jesus—and there will be no shortage of that happening in and through people who are a part of Detroit Church.”
In addition to Kensington Church, the five other churches supporting the launch are Detroit-based Grace Community Church, Oak Pointe Church in Novi, Northville-based Ward Church, Detroit’s Evangel Ministries and 242 Community Church in Brighton.
For Smith, the seed for Detroit Church was planted in his heart five years ago while pastoring a church his father founded on Detroit’s east side.
At the time Sonny and his family were living in the suburbs, having left the city for better educational options and what he hoped would be a better environment in which to raise their four sons. While pastoring and serving in the neighborhood, he felt the Lord tugging on his heart to move back to the city. He felt it was important to experience the challenges first hand, to walk alongside his neighbors and be a part of restoring the sense of family and community in the city he loves.
“Somewhere along the way, the beautiful city filled with hope became broken—escalated with racism, injustice, crime, corruption, poverty,” said Smith. “We hope for better things, and Detroit’s best days are yet to come. We may have fallen, but God is at work making all things new through people filled with the hope and love of Christ. We’re excited to be part of this great adventure.
For more information, visit thedetroitchurch.com