Redemption Church of Bristol was founded in October 2009 with the simple goal of breathing new life into Bristol Borough. We were a group of 20 misfits who were sent by our sister church The Well, in order to see something new come alive.
Bristol is a beautiful town, nestled along the Delaware, with a deep sense of community, and a history going back to 1681. We love walking the streets and saying hello to neighbors and shop owners we know by name. Charming old houses, a classic main street, and a great waterfront all make us love Bristol.
Bristol is also a town badly in need of revitalization. The industry that was once the backbone of the area has left, leaving many of our storefronts empty and many of our neighbors without jobs. As demographics have changed, our schools and our churches have struggled to keep up. It’s not rare to walk down our main street on a Friday night and be the only one out.
It was this combination of possibility and need that first drew us to Bristol. In the fall of 2009, we went all in. We launched our service, we got out on our main street, we got to know our neighbors in need. We invited everyone we met to come in. God did amazing things during those first three years (like a homeless wedding!). But 3 years in, we found ourselves exhausted and not any bigger than when we started. After lots of prayer and a few tears, we had to ask ourselves, “Maybe God wants something different from us?”
In the summer of 2012, we started meeting in one of our living rooms. And we all exhaled. We stopped trying to build a church (setting up chairs and a AV system) and started investing in one another. We stopped trying to write perfect sermons and started asking honest question of the scripture we were studying. We stopped inviting friends to our church building and invited them to our homes for dinner. And oddly enough, they said yes. We started praying for one another. Things grew both quickly and deeply. And after that, there was no going back. We fell backwards into being a house church network.