Home is Where God Sends You

At Detroit Church we believe that "home" isn't always where YOU think it should be, but where GOD sends you. Meet Tanya and Joel Tiemeyer: 

"Joel and I were living in Ypsilanti while I attended graduate school. We began to feel a tug on our hearts to relocate after graduation. I was interning as a speech-language pathologist in Ann Arbor and knew that I was called to work in special education.I felt called to explore other options in the surrounding area and Detroit kept coming up in all of our conversations. 

We visited Detroit many weekends to find a neighborhood that felt like home. After much frustration, we heard about a great landlord in the Rosedale Park neighborhood. It was an immediate decision to sign the lease and move in. 

Youth With A Mission was renting a house a couple doors over. One of the team members invited us to his church on the baptism Sunday. The following Sunday, we attended without him and Pastor Sonny started a rap party. Even though it was challenging to go to an unfamiliar church, we were impressed with the diversity and genuineness of the congregation. I am now involved with the photography team. Joel volunteers with marketing team and the set-up and tear-down crew. We attend the Renaissance life group and feel like we have family far away from home. Detroit Church has welcomed us into their family and we feel loved and accepted!" ~ Tanya Tiemeyer

Change begins here!

At Detroit Church we believe that Detroit is a starting point for the revival God is sparking in this nation and around the world, not an ending point. Change begins here! Meet DeLean Tolbert: 

"I grew up in North Rosedale Park. My grandmother helped my mom and dad get a beautiful 1930’s brick home. Around the fourth grade my parents divorced and life (as we kids knew it) became a little more challenging and complex but God sustained my mom and all my siblings! Fast forward.

In 2003, I surrendered my life to Christ. When I heard that God had given his son Jesus so that He could have a relationship with me…I wanted what He had to offer. I am so glad I did and since then, my relationship with my own father has started to improve.

I moved away for school but I believed that Detroit would experience a spiritual revival. Once I finished my last degree, I envisioned myself traveling the country and the world and then settling in Detroit! But God had a surprise for me, “Detroit is a starting point, not an ending point!” 

God provided a job for me at the University of Michigan-Dearborn as an Assistant Professor of engineering. I ultimately was excited to come back home because I missed my family and wanted to impact the Detroit area with them. Now I needed to trust God to send me to a church. Back in 2016, I saw an online article about this new ministry called Detroit Church. When I moved back, I prayed that I would meet someone from Detroit Church before visiting. That week I caught up with an old college friend and he invited to come to his church…Detroit Church. An answered prayer!

Detroit Church has been many answered prayers. The Monday night prayer group has been a lifeline. It is so cool to connect with brothers and sisters, worship God, share burdens, and see God answer prayers. The Renaissance Lifegroup has become family. We dig deep because we are learning to be transparent so that God can work in and through us! We are new creatures in Christ! I look forward to see what is coming next..." DeLean Tolbert

A life better than you can imagine

At Detroit Church we believe that all things work together for the good to them that love God, to them who are called according to HIS purpose. Sometimes His purpose reveals itself during trying times, resulting in a life better than you can imagine. Meet Jeff and Dana Adams:

"1998 was a water shed year for Dana and me. Though we had accepted Christ while in college, we did not really understand what it meant to follow and rely upon Him. In 1998 Dana got breast cancer. During her treatment she experienced God’s comforting and love. 

The cancer caused us to evaluate our life priorities which led to a career change and family relocation to Detroit. On our first visit to Detroit we found Kensington Church. There we experienced the church in action. We went on a Mission trip to Recife, Brazil. When returning we felt God’s calling from a sermon based on the book of Nehemiah. God called Nehemiah to return to Jerusalem. God is calling followers to return to the urban core to bring the Kingdom there. As a result we moved to the Brightmoor neighborhood in 2003. 

In April of 2015 Artesian Farms launched, a social enterprise business which transforms blighted buildings, provides economic opportunity for folks in the neighborhood, and protects the environment. We grow a variety of lettuce, kale and basil 365 days a year. Currently three people are employed. Artesian products are sold thru several grocers in Southeast Michigan.

In 2015 Kensington became one of the churches to launch Detroit Church. Once again God spoke very clearly that we should be involved with Detroit Church. Dana works in the nursery and I volunteer on the First Impressions Team." ~ Jeff Adams

For more information on Artesian Farms go to www.artesianfarms.com

Seeing what God sees

How often do we look at our surroundings from God's perspective? At Detroit Church seeing what God sees and loving how He loves is at the core of everything we do. Meet the Sims:

"After moving to Virginia to attend Bible school in 2011, my wife and I felt that we should come back to Detroit to be a part of the comeback story that was in place. Detroit is her home city, and I felt a real tug in my spirit to return. So, in the year 2016 we did just that; we packed our family and our things and made the 13-hour drive back to Detroit, Michigan.

Just before relocating back to Michigan, I really began to look at my surroundings from God’s perspective. I saw a city that needed God’s intervention to be restored and transformed, and I saw God using me to give back to its community. In contacting and connecting with people from other cities, I felt the sense of despair and negativity always regarding Detroit. It bothered me to hear all people had to say about Detroit was adverse especially from those who were born and raised in the city. So, I decided with God’s leading to found PUSH. PUSH is a community-based organization whose sole purpose is to give back to it and ‘do something’ were needed. The first division, PUSH-Detroit, was the great endeavor. And it’s been growing ever since. We have gathered in both Detroit and Pontiac to spruce up neighborhoods and give food and hygiene packages to the homeless and much more. It has truly become my mission and will last for a long time.

Upon returning to Michigan, my wife and I knew we needed a solid church home where we were comfortable and happy and our children were safe, having fun, and were spiritually fed. I, more specifically, was looking for a church with a vision that aligned with my organization. We returned to our original church, but it did not fit the vision of PUSH, nor did it fit our individual or our familial needs. Then, I came across a website of a brand-new church. It seemed small, yet promising because its vision has Jesus at the center and desired to give back to the community, just as I did. My family and I attended one service, then made trips to other churches in the area, but Detroit Church would not leave our minds, nor our hearts. Finally, in October 2016 we made the decision to plug in to Detroit Church. Now, active as a service producer, working with media and a part of the men’s ministry I am enjoying life and a living witness that God makes ‘all things new’. To find out more about PUSH, visit www.thepushnetwork.org or our Facebook page THE PUSH NETWORK

Don't Be Idly Woke by Lito

There is alot of crazy stuff going on in our city, nation, and across the world. At Detroit Church we work hard to keep our finger on the pulse of the truth of what is happening around us - the good and the bad. Meet Carlito. A few months ago his dad challenged him to use his time more wisely by using his God given talents to express himself. Carlito began to write an entire notebook of thoughts and feelings about his generation and the world around us. Don't be idly woke.

Strengthening the Foundation

Sometimes we get so caught up in doing FOR God that we forget it should be doing WITH God, living out our lives intimately with Him. Meet Keith and Javon Jason:

"We met in church, got to know each other through church, and even waited for our first kiss until we said "I do" at the altar of our church. We've both served in ministry and invested a lot of our time, talent, and treasure in church. However, it wasn't until we encountered the extremely transparent sharing of the Gospel at Detroit Church that we started to realize just how often we placed "church" over God's ability to work in us through our daily living. I don't think we realized just how much we struggled with communication in our marriage, taking care of our home, and how to prioritze our time until we decided to align ourselves with the vision of Detroit Church. The overall culture of Detroit Church (transparent messages, commitment to Life Groups, and focus on family) has helped us strengthen the foundation of our marriage and focus more on how we can allow God's principles to impact our lives daily, not just when we are at "church"." ~ Keith P. Jason #allthingsnew

Life Is Messy

Life is messy.  People have pasts.  At Detroit Church we recognize that some of the greatest victories come after some epic defeats.  Allowing Christ to redeem your story, then use that story to positively impact others, is actively walking out God's grace.  Meet Tray Little and hear how God is using his story to change the lives of people through his gifts and talents!

"My name is Tray Little, I was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. My mom was a teenager mother and I lost my father in a shooting at the age of four. My background consisted of pain, loss, struggle, and confusion. In an attempt to find an identity in the environment I was growing up in, I found a place in the street life.  I began selling drugs, failing in school, and was on a path of destruction. When I was 14, I found God and I have never looked back!!! My goal became to use my voice to influence the community I grew up in, and anyone who would listen, with a message of hope!  Over the last couple of years, I have been traveling around the country rapping, performing at festivals, churches and many different events. I have also spoken at life recovery institutions for those overcoming addictions, a Juvenile detention center and schools. I have been able to work with well-known artists playing for audiences as big as 30,000. 

After I moved back to Detroit I was looking for a church community where I could serve, use my gifts, and impact my city and I found Detroit Church. Ironically I found out that the church moved only a couple blocks away from away from Dexter, the neighborhood where I was raised. I am excited to get back to my roots and believe that God is gonna use my wife and I in big ways in our new community. 

What I love about Detroit Church is that we are committed as a body to get in the messiness of everyday life!  Serve while offering hope, love, unity;  challenging each other and demonstrating Christ's love." ~ Tray Little

...It’s what we believe Heaven will look like.

'Many different kinds of people from many different places, united in Christ.' That's Detroit Church! Meet Don and Mary Butler and read what they have to say about Detroit Church and the ministry being done: 

"We first heard about Detroit Church while attending Oakpointe. We were intrigued by this new church in Detroit and wanted to see what it was about. We attended their second service and have been a part of Detroit Church ever since. We didn’t know that would be the case at first but we were attracted by what we saw—an ethnically, generationally and socio-economically diverse body of believers, a senior pastor who was genuine, transparent and Christ-centered, not self-centered and a context that was totally God-focused and dependent on Him for provision. In many ways Detroit Church reminds us of the church we attended while we lived in Egypt. Many different kinds of people from many different places and walks of life all united in Christ. It’s what we believe Heaven will look like. We have a heart for Detroit and we want to be a part of what God is doing in our city. As new empty-nesters we feel a newness to our lives and are honestly very excited about it! We know God is calling us to love and serve the people of Detroit. We love the fact that Detroit Church is not traditional in the sense of ritual or “that’s the way we’ve always done it”. We love that there is such total dependence on our Lord and what He wills for us as we seek to advance His kingdom purpose in seeing “all things made new”." ~ Don and Mary Butler

God Had Other Plans!

Edward and I moved to the area in August of 2016. After a three year stint in Houston, TX, the Lord opened up new opportunities for us here in Michigan. I am from the Midwest, but I never dreamed of moving to Michigan, it just wasn't on my radar. Of course God had other plans, so we packed up everything we owned into a Penske truck and drove here to start the next chapter of our lives. Edward started a new role as mechanical engineer at a local company and after a short break, I started working for the Detroit Public Schools Community District. We found Detroit Church through an old friend who had started going to the church. Since our first Sunday there, we felt like this is where we were supposed to be. We've gotten involved with the set up and tear down team, First Impressions, and The Midtown Life Group. Being part of Detroit Church has helped us grow in ways we could have never imagined, and we are grateful to be able to serve in the ministry." ~ Adrienne Cole


From Memphis to Detroit...

    On June 3,1997 I was driving back to Memphis, TN after attending a week long church conference here in Detroit. As I was driving down I-75 the Lord said “I’m moving to Detroit”. As I hit a huge pot hole on I-75 I said “oh no, we don’t have pot holes in TN and I don’t know anyone in Detroit.”  I wrestled with the idea for over a year. On October 2, 1998 I was getting dressed for work and he said to me again “I’m moving you to Detroit to prepare you for ministry”. I just knew that I was hearing things as I was very active in a large prominent church in Memphis where I served as the assistant department head over our evangelism department. I remember the day vividly. 


    That same morning I sat across the table with my Director discussing details of our acquisition and merger of another hospital. At the end of our discussion, I slid her a sealed envelope with my 4 week resignation in it. She slid it back without opening it. The back and forth went on silently for a few minutes. She asked me where was I going and where was I going to work. I said “Detroit and I don’t know that yet.” The day that I gave my resignation, I had no job and no place to live. I said Lord if this is you, you do it. In one week I had a job and a place to live with a full moving package. My apartment was fully set up when I arrived on Nov 2, 1998 and my contract covered rent and utilities.

   I worked in a ministry here in Detroit for 13 years, 10 of those years were ministering to young girls 12-17 at Vista Maria. Those were wonderful years because God taught me how to really minister his grace and love but I knew that I still had more work to do for him so I patiently awaited his leading. 

   In the fall of 2015, I began to see Facebook posts about Detroit Church. The first time I saw the post, my spirit was pricked. I continued to follow the posts for a few weeks but I knew that I was delaying the inevitable as I clearly heard God say “your destiny is tied to that ministry”. By now I had experiential knowledge with God. It only took that one time for me to say “yes Lord.” I am an introvert and usually will quietly inquire but this time was different. I reached out to Pastor Sonny personally and without hesitation. I attended the next launch meeting and knew when I walked in that I was home.

   It didn’t take long for me to get involved and I immediately started helping with set up and break down. One Sunday Sherita said that she had some ideas of where she wanted me to work in the ministry. I said sure, ok. I didn’t know that she had BIG ideas! She did. I was assigned to be the Outreach Coordinator. The purpose of this role was to bridge our community and church together. Our focus was school and community partnership!

   I have been the Outreach Coordinator for the past 9 months and it has been truly amazing. As the Outreach Coordinator, I was school liaison for many schools in the midtown area; University Prep Academy, Spain Elementary, Golightly elementary and Ben Carson High School. Our mission was to partner with schools in our community to provide support to our teachers and our students. Celebrating them with food and school supplies was one of my greatest moments. I had the privilege of working with Pastor Scott Blanchard, Lead Pastor of Lakepointe Church and Nikole Tucker, School Administrator for George Washington Carver Academy in Highland Park to donate complete Thanksgiving baskets to those students and members in that community. We were able to feed 155 families! I was honored to coordinate a renovation projectwith our Church family and Detroit Rescue Mission Father’s with Children housing units. The Father’s with children program offers housing opportunities to Father’s with children who have found themselves in a homeless situation.  As the Outreach Coordinator, I also worked with Prison Fellowship Ministry and the Angel Tree Program to share the love of Christ through gift giving at Christmas to 38 children with incarcerated parents.

    My next assignment at Detroit Church will be Life Group leader of our West Group. It is the best Life Group, my humble opinion of course. We meet every Monday and do “life” together. I am ALL IN andhumbled to be a part of the Greatest Adventure of all time.

Leaving The Comforts Of Home...

In 2010, God told me very clearly that my life would involve working with Arabs and Muslims. I didn’t know what this meant fully at the time though. But after graduating from college in 2013 I lived in the Detroit area for about 6 months because I knew there was such a large Arab population here. But just a year later, I found myself back in My home state of Kentucky. 

My wife Felicia and I were quite happy living in Kentucky with all of the beautiful rolling hills and the small town feel. Plus we were pretty comfortable in our work situations as well. I couldn’t have asked for a better position on staff at a church. I absolutely loved where I was!

In February of 2016 God began to remind me of what he’s called me to do with my life. Through a string of small moments God had been speaking to both myself and Felicia about what our next step was in life. It only took a couple weeks after beginning the conversation that we realized God was calling us to move the Metro-Detroit area. In May we moved here to launch our new ministry, Arab World Outreach. 

One of the most challenging things for the both of us about our move was leaving our home church. We loved the people, were growing so much, and loved the vision the church had to reach the region we lived in. We thought it would be a challenge to find a community of believers so special to our heart as that one. 

God works things out for the good of His people, in amazing ways that we wouldn’t even expect. We visited Detroit Church our 4th week in the area. We knew instantly that this was our new home church. We absolutely love being involved here, whether we're chatting late about real issues with our Life Group or having the ability to pray with people each Sunday on the Prayer Team... We are all in with the mission of what Detroit Church is about. The people quickly became family and the church body had the same kind of vision for the region that we loved so much back in Kentucky. 

God gave us Detroit Church and we are so blessed to call it home.

Marion and Felicia, founders of Arab World Outreach, have dedicated their lives to showing the love of Jesus to the Arab community in Dearborn. For more information on Arab World Outreach go to Arabworldoutreach.org




...but obedience trumps sanity so we bought a house IN Detroit – no suburbs for us, packed up the kids, and moved! No jobs.  No family.  No Nothing.   All we knew was Detroit was our mission field and in spite of all the horrible things we heard about Detroit in the news, that was where we needed to be.

When we arrived with our two kids in February – 8 months ago, the furnace and hot water heater had been stolen out of the house we bought.  A month later someone tried to shoot out our car windows; a couple of months after that all four wheels were stolen off of our other car!  The house had no kitchen, busted windows, and mice.  People kept saying, “if you HAVE to stay at least move to a better neighborhood, but you really should move back.”  We refused to be deterred.  We knew THIS city, THIS house, was where we were called to be. 

Finding a new church home was a priority but we hadn’t found a church that loved Detroit like we did, until Detroit Church.  During our first service we knew we had found our family!   It’s been full speed ahead since then.  Rob and I work with the youth on Wednesday nights, we also head up one of the LIFEgroups on Tuesday nights in our home (that now has a heater – praise God), I am taking over the Detroit Church’s marketing initiatives, and have gotten very involved in the Heavenly Hope Sex Trafficking ministry.

Being obedient and willing to be used seems crazy – even to other believers. Time and time again, just when we thought Satan might have won one of the battles we were facing, we have seen GOD use what was meant for bad and turn it around to be used as a testimony to HIS goodness and faithfulness.   We are excited to see what God is going to continue to do in and through Detroit Church, and in and through our family.

Rob & Ashley Davis

Daniel Gonzalez - Reaction

Check out Detroit Church's own Daniel Gonzalez and his reaction to Sunday's message "See the Unseen".

FAITH is seeing the unseen.
When we decide to place our faith in the invisible all powerful God, the world takes notice. WHY??
Because our walk, talk and life start to look different then the rest. Suddenly the unseen God, becomes evident in our lives for all to see. "The unseen, seen". LIVE out you're faith, and allow Jesus to be seen.

Chris Lambert - Impacted

As a former church planter, I am passionate about what happens inside the walls of a Sunday service... but I'm even more passionate about Christians looking like Jesus during the other six days. I love that Detroit Church feels the same way, and Sunday's message was dope! I've heard a lot of sermons over the years, and as crazy as this may sound it's rare for a pastor to analyze the "ways" of Jesus and show the congregation how to imitate Him. I'm honored to do life with these inspiring people on the greatest adventure of all time... following JC!

Kevin Scott - Impacted

Last Sunday, Sonny talked about Jeremiah 29 and how God promised to work on behalf of the people, over time, as they lived and made a difference in their community. The message changed my view of ministry; instead of it being an "opportunity" it HAS TO BE a lifestyle. This has helped the way I approach my work with kids, many of whom are fatherless and forgotten, and changed the way I pray for them. Instead of praying for their pain I now pray for them to rise above and understand that my lifestyle can play a big role in helping make that happen.

Walter Ward - Impacted

Sunday's service at Detroit Church was amazing. Although I've always believed in Christ; one of the things that has turned me off about many churches in the past is the hypercritical environment that they've created. It encourages people to hide their mess. I've found it as disingenuous and off-putting and I often discovered myself hiding my own brokenness. What I loved about Sunday was that Pastor Sonny was open in a way that many leaders are not. It was a real example of how in our weakness and in our brokenness God's grace makes us strong. It was encouraging to me because I'm faaaaaarrrr from perfect. I can be a clown at times. Lol. But I was reminded that in my weakest moments Gods grace is ever present to make me strong. It's only when we are open and transparent to ourselves, God and others that Gods grace truly strengthen us to make our walk stronger. I encourage anyone who feels less than, not good enough, feels defeated or is simply painfully aware of their imperfections to come lean into His Grace!