How does a new church even get started?
First things first, get yourself a good lawyer.
Well, not exactly. Years ago, this church plant began as a dream that belonged to a guy named Jordan Rice. While practicing law in New York and completing a masters in divinity, Jordan imagined what it would look like to build a church that removed many of the barriers people encounter when trying to discover who Jesus Christ is – a church that introduced people to the gospel in relevant and meaningful ways.
Back in 2010, Jordan was married and preparing with his wife, Danielle, to plant a church. However, 10 months into their marriage, his wife became ill with an extremely rare form of cancer. Just 10 months after her diagnosis and battling bravely, she passed away.
Devastated, Jordan stopped pursuing his church planting dreams. And yet, after more than a year had passed, he couldn’t shake his conviction that God had called him to start a church. Door after door opened – from getting connected with the Orchard Group, an organization with more than 60 years of experience starting churches in major cities, to being selected as a Church Planting Fellow at Redeemer City to City.
In 2012, Jordan left his legal practice to work at a church in NYC as a church planting resident and began his journey to plant a church in Harlem — a neighborhood he’s always loved.
Already in awe of God’s work in his life, another door opened when, to his surprise, Jordan met a woman named Jessica, who was also widowed at a young age. Jordan and Jessica quickly became inseparable and married in June 2013. You can watch the video capturing the story of God’s providence in their lives.
Since September 2013, Jordan and Jessica have been building a diverse Christian community in Harlem. Some of us are native Harlemites, and some of us just moved to Harlem in the last few months. We’re people from different cultures all coming together as a family in community groups, serving at community organizations, and trying to follow Jesus. And we’re growing by the grace of God, prayers, and the work of men and women that are joining the movement.