Reflecting on our Heritage
Our Early Beginnings
The history of Redeemer Covenant Church began in November of 1899, when 22 Swedish immigrants signed the charter establishing the Swedish Evangelical Mission Church of Camden Place, located in northern Minneapolis. The church outgrew the building on 42nd and Emerson Avenues North, and the decision was made to relocate to the Brooklyn Center area at the intersection of Highway 100 and Osseo Road. Groundbreaking services were held for the new church in 1955—the Brookdale Covenant Church.
Brookdale Covenant Church grew and in 1961 authorized a new church plant to begin in Brooklyn Park. Property was purchased at the intersection of Osseo Road (Brooklyn Boulevard) and Douglas Drive. A Sunday School outreach was begun in the Park Brook Elementary School, about six blocks from the site. Letters of transfer from the parent church to the new work were requested; and on February 28, 1961, 25 members from Brookdale Covenant Church were commissioned for the fledgling church in Brooklyn Park.
On Sunday, March 4, 1962, amid a severe winter blizzard, 44 enthusiastic people gathered to sign the charter establishing a new church in Brooklyn Park—Redeemer Covenant Church. On Sunday, August 26, 1962, the first service was held in the new church building.
Property Needs are Met
Several building programs have added to and changed the look of the original little church: 1962—the Sanctuary, Fellowship Hall, Pastor’s Study, Kitchen and East Wing; 1966—Memorial Room and Basement; 1973—East Overflow Area included enlarging the Choir Room, added classrooms and overflow areas for the first Sanctuary; 1974—New Sanctuary, also redesigned former Sanctuary and added Church Office and Pastor’s Study; 1978—Christian Education unit which included Confirmation Rooms and bathrooms; 1983—Multipurpose Room and Sunday School Complex; 1986—Central Hallway from Sanctuary to Multipurpose area; 1997—the R & R (Repair and Restoration) Task Force—refurbishing of the Sanctuary, sound system, Multipurpose Room, classrooms, hallways, and bathrooms; 2007—new Church Sign with digital display was installed along Brooklyn Blvd; 2013—Garage unit built; 2016—ongoing Parking Lot upgrades; 2018—new Parking Lot and Sidewalk; 2019-2021—the Property Improvement Team/Building Declaration for remodel to improve traffic flow, enlarge gathering lobbies, add cafe, rearrange administration offices, secure children’s area and staff offices, provide adult meeting rooms, and add sanctuary glass wall.
Ministry is Expanding
On October 25, 1987, one hundred members of Redeemer Covenant Church were commissioned at a Sunday service to begin a daughter congregation in Maple Grove.
In 1976—AWANA ministry began; 1990—Stephen Ministry was started; 1989—our first Homecoming; 1994—we moved to two different styles of Sunday morning services: 8:30 Worship (traditional) and 11:00 Celebration (contemporary); 1998—our Summer Children’s Ministry Program was initiated; 2000—was the birth of Disciple U (previously known as Sunday School); 1998—was our first annual Taste of the South (today all the proceeds go for Covenant Pines scholarships so all kids can go to camp); May 2001—the HIP club began as a outreach to Junior High students in our neighborhood. Redeemer celebrated its 40th anniversary with a banquet on May 17, 2002, and music reunion on September 8, 2002.
Recent years of growth at Redeemer have emphasized intentionally reaching out to our surrounding community, continuing to build relationships beyond the doors of the church building. Working with Second Harvest and nearby Revive Brooklyn Park Church, Redeemer Covenant Church provided volunteers to distribute free food to anyone who needs it. Over 350 families were served monthly until this ministry was discontinued in 2019. The annual Taste of Africa celebrates members and friends with a rich African heritage. This event includes colorful dress, a concert of praise music, and a full meal where ethnic foods can be sampled. In 2008 a partnership was formed with La Bendición (The Blessing) Covenant Church to share facilities plus many events, while providing a separate Sunday afternoon service for Spanish-speaking friends. Summers 2010-2021 the Kickin’ Kids Soccer camp was enjoyed weekly by almost a hundred children coming to learn basic game skills while developing sportsmanship and character qualities; parents of players were greeted by volunteers building connections with Redeemer’s programs for all ages. August of 2010 brought 525 people to our grassy soccer field for the 46th annual Corn Boil feast to kick off the fall season of church events; this event continues annually.
Grateful for Redeemer’s 50th Anniversary Celebration in April 2012, members enjoyed glimpses of our heritage through special events all year long.
Flexing in Recent Years
In 2013 Redeemer approved the Leadership Team style of governance, with many active Ministry Teams such as Care Ministry, Missions, and event-oriented teams. New Ministry Teams are being developed regularly. Our compassion and community involvement found expression for a time in Families Moving Forward, hosting homeless families for a week a few times each year. AWANA transitioned to Kid’s Club in 2015, a better fit for our neighborhood children. English as a Learned Language Class was offered for several years on Wednesday evenings. We have continued our consistent support of missions both near and far. In 2021 our Community Action Team led the way in establishing an intentional partnership with neighborhood Park Brook Elementary School. We will support with prayer, a winter clothing drive, staff/teacher encouragement, and on-site meals for teachers during parent-teacher conferences. Summer months brought our annual community kids soccer program and the new weekly lawn picnic/games called Big Backyard.
Vision and Mission
In 2019 our refreshed Vision and Mission statements were enthusiastically embraced by the congregation as part of Redeemer’s newly developed Strategic Plan:
- Vision: A Christ-centered, diverse community united by God’s redeeming love, growing together and going together
- Mission: To join God’s work by reaching, discipling and equipping people to courageously and authentically live out God’s Word in Brooklyn Park and beyond
The vision of the founding members remains the same in the hearts of the members today:
- reach pre-Christians with the good news of Jesus Christ
- exalt God through worship and celebration, to develop believers
- encourage community
- equip men and women for missions
- develop leaders
Redeemer’s response to the varying and changing restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020-2021+ was to intentionally stay safe and stay connected with our congregation members and friends via regular email updates, Zoom meetings and worship, outdoor drive-in worship services, and Facebook broadcasting of Sunday worship services. Our Sunday worship barely missed a beat as our technical team stepped up to learn new methods and acquire updated equipment as we kept pace with available technology for outreach. Read our current safety instructions.
Even though the new year of 2022 is still requiring changes in how we can fulfill some of our current ministries, we know we must remain flexible and energetic as we follow God’s lead for Redeemer. Our sanctuary choir sings most Sundays at the traditional service, and our worship team band leads the contemporary service. Sunday school is available for all ages between services. Our children and youth groups are meeting regularly. Prayer groups, community groups, Bible studies, and conversation groups plus Mom’s Morning and intergenerational gatherings are on the calendar!
The months of decreased use of the building due to COVID-19 was an opportune time to implement our exciting plans to remodel and improve the current property. The project is complete, and we now have an open environment where all are welcome to worship, gather and fellowship, plus learn to live and serve like Jesus. Our new Cafe Commons area provides a centralized location that connects all areas of ministry and simplifies the navigation within the building. From your seat at a cafe table, you can easily see where Adult Formation classes will happen and where parents can bring kids for check-in to our secure nursery and classrooms. New restrooms are nearby, and the big lobby monitor will remind you when it’s time to get to the worship service.
Redeemer members and friends honored our 60th anniversary on Sunday, March 6, 2022, during both worship services and with a cake reception in our new Cafe Commons area.