Everybody has a story.
Ours began during the summer of 2015 in Bryan, OH. I (Patrick) had been serving as the Lead Pastor of New Hope Community Church for almost four years. In June and July, the elders (leaders) of New Hope began talking about the future – everything from adding services, moving locations, and even planting a church in the region.
It was during those conversations that my wife and I began to sense God’s leading to plant a new church in Ann Arbor, MI. With four kids, two dogs, and a hamster, this seemed rather daunting! But we became increasingly convinced God was telling us to “Go!”
With the support and blessing of our elders at New Hope, in early August 2015, we announced that New Hope would be sending us on this new journey. The good news is that we weren’t the only ones God was telling to “Go!”
What started with two couples already living in the Ann Arbor area, quickly grew to close to 50 people (including kiddos) in just a few weeks. We have been humbled and overwhelmed as people from Bryan, OH and Toledo have made decisions to sell homes, find new jobs, and move to Ann Arbor to help plant Refuge Church!
On December 27th, 2015, I officially transitioned from New Hope. As a core group, we began meeting on January 17th, 2016, planning and preparing to launch Refuge Church. In April, we began our pre-launch phase, opening our doors to others who may be interested in joining us on this journey!
On April 23rd, 2017, we officially opened our doors to the public. Originally a handful of families, Refuge has now grown into a diverse community of all ages - including a large number of college and graduate students from the University of Michigan.
Our hearts resonate with the words of 1 Samuel 7:12: “This far has the Lord helped us.”
Our story is still being written. But “this far,” God has been our help. We have already been witnesses to His goodness, power, love, and faithfulness. We are excited and hopeful of what is yet to come!
To be continued…