This month we are focusing on the ministry of Mercy Road Church in Redford, MI. Established on 10/10/10 at 10 AM, Mercy Road had a unique beginning as a joint effort of Presbyterians and Baptists. Mercy Road exists to lead people back into the arms of God and to serve the poor and oppressed in Jesus’ name. At the time, the pastor, Mike Gorr, was on staff as the youth pastor for Grace Chapel, an Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Farmington Hills, MI. Their senior pastor had a vision for starting new churches throughout the Detroit Metro area and tagged him as their first planter. Because his theology is more baptistic, they reached out to Converge in 2007 as a potential partner. Converge provided the coaching and structure and a pay it forward grant of $25,000 for their church plant. Converge later loaned them money to purchase their own building in 2018 and coached them through their capital campaign.
Throughout the capital campaign process, Mercy Road and its leadership felt supported through the wonderful coach Converge provided in Bryan Moak. Bryan was not only knowledgeable but a joy to be around. Mercy Road found a building that was perfect for their church plant. Even though they had some money in savings, they would have had to drain their account for a down payment to qualify for a bank loan. Converge MidAmerica stepped in and loaned them $250,000 to purchase their building which included available funds to remodel the sanctuary. The goal was to raise enough money to pay off the building, tithe a gift towards church planting and have extra money to launch ministry forward for the next decade at Mercy Road. They are more than half way to their goals and while they may not have extra funds for the next decade of ministry, they believe that God will provide all they need to do His will in the years to come.
Mercy Road embarked on a capital campaign so that they could pay off the loan within 5 years. There was always a possibility that their people would not be willing to pledge and get on board, but Mike had seen their church body rise to the occasion in the past when generosity was called for so he was quite hopeful. He also believed that God had provided this building for them through many specific answers to prayer, so he had very little reason to doubt God’s provision through the capital campaign.
Mike has been encouraged by two things about Converge. For starters, they have a lot of experience with coaching campaigns in the past. Secondly, Mike has recently seen Converge adjust and adopt their campaign strategy according to the needs and size of the local church being coached. A partnership in planning between the campaign team and coach is a recipe for success.
Mercy Road gets its name from the Prodigal Son story in Luke 15. Mike shares, “I’ve always said if I had just one chance to paint a picture of what God is like, I’d tell the parable of the prodigal son so that they might know that God is the kind of God who runs down the road to welcome home his lost sons and daughters no matter what they’ve done. We call that road the Father runs down ‘Mercy Road.’ It’s our prayer that God uses us more and more so that others might know His embrace on that road.”
Just before the pandemic, Mercy Road started Alpha for the first time at their church. Alpha is a ministry designed to reach those who wouldn’t typically come to church on a Sunday morning by providing dinner together, clear Bible teaching, and a safe place to explore life’s questions from a Jesus-centered perspective.They have seen God open eyes, draw people closer to Him and even grow some of their own team with significant ministry responsibilities.
Mike and Mercy Road Church ask that you pray that God would show them more and more ways to serve the poor and needy in their community. They have been able to lead spiritual enrichment experiences (youth group) for a boys’ home in their community, and they are a go-to resource for the senior department in their community for the elderly who need a helping hand. Please pray that the Holy Spirit opens more and more doors to share the love and truth of Jesus with Redford and beyond.
Praise God that Mercy Road is an example of the wider body of Christ working together for the sake of the gospel!
Is your church ready to start the Capital Campaign journey with Converge? For more information, please contact Bryan Moak, Vice President of Church Strengthening for Converge MidAmerica or visit our Capital Campaigns website.