Church Highlight: Redemption Church Wilmington
Your name: Ryan MinklerWife: Terri
Children: Alyssa Romero, Joshua Minkler
Grandchildren: Alexis Romero, (And one more on the way!)
Name of your church: Redemption Church Wilmington
Location of church: Wilmington, North Carolina
Date church was planted (if your church is a plant): Our first official launch service was December 25, 2016.
What are the reasons you decided to plant a church in your city (if your church is a plant)? We decided to plant a church in Wilmington for the main reason of advancing the true gospel of Jesus Christ into some of the darkest and hardest to reach areas of Wilmington. We desire to reach broken people in our city. We have a dichotomy in Wilmington. Yes, we are a beautiful city with great beaches and a revitilized downtown, but our city in many ways is being ravaged by heroin addiction, sex trafficking, gang violence, the pornography industry, acoholism, spousal abuse, liberalism, and has two main colleges with a percentage of students who struggle with the same things. In the next two years alone, sixty-thousand people are expected to move into Wilmington. While we are appreciative for Gospel-driven churches in town, we know that a huge segment of the population here is not being reached or addressed. We want to simply lead broken people in this city to the Great Physcian who alone can give them a new heart and new life.
What have you seen the Lord do in and through your church/church plant?
We have seen people in this last year come into the church broken by sin and have witnessed the Spirit of God moving through consistent, expository, Biblical preaching/teaching and prayer. The Lord has been using His Word to convict, change, and conform his people to the mind of Christ. We started with three people in our living room, went to a restaurant, and now we are getting ready to move downtown and be located at the Community Arts Center building. Even though we are small, we continue to see God work into people a hunger for the Word and bring broken people into our midst. One of the men in our church found us online, and drove every Sunday, all the way from Jacksonville, NC when we first started at the restaurant. He was never exposed to biblical preaching and teaching. He became born again, was baptized, and he is now enrolled online in theology classes with Liberty. At 50-something years of age he will eventually, by God’s grace, become an Elder-in-training at the church. This is just one example of how we have seen God move.
What do you hope to see the Lord do in and through your church in the future?
We want to reach all people with the Gospel in this city, broken by sin, especially in the downtown area, and serve the Lord faithfully as we see His own redeemed people added to the church. We also hope to become a free biblical counseling center located in the downtown area within one year after we make our move to the Community Arts Center. We are also praying for laborers for the harvest because the harvest is full of broken people in this city, and the laborers are few. We hope others in the network would consider partnering with us.
What advice do you have for current or future church planters?
- Don’t move too fast and try to get too much going at once. Slow and steady wins the race.
- Be sound in doctrine not just church strategy.
- Guard yourself against wanting to always see more and more fruitfulness. Focus on faithfulness. There will be seasons of little fruit. Remember, you plow, you sow, you water, repeat. God brings forth the increase.
- Remember the little church plants in our network if you are a “big” church plant. Not every planter starts with twenty or thirty people and comes from a big partnering church. Sometimes, it would be better to invest in a “small” church plant before you start another.
What are your 3-4 main prayer requests?
- Pray the Lord to add deeply committed believers to our core group
- Pray for our move on March 5th to the Community Arts Center Building.
- Pray for our evangelistic efforts with the college downtown and as we go to areas downtown largely forgotten.
- Pray for our first Easter launch service downtown on April 16.