Have you ever seen “Run Lola Run”? Its one movie with three stories. Our church is a little like that – one community, two stories.
Birthed out of the Royal Oak Vineyard Church and the First Baptist Church of Ferndale, we are one people with one purpose.
The First Baptist Church of Ferndale was planted in 1922, 90 years ago, a year before Ferndale was a city! First located where the post office now is, the church later moved to its present spot at the corner of 9 Mile and Pinecrest. Affiliated with the American Baptist Churches-USA, the church has a rich heritage of justice and compassion. ABC churches were committed to abolition in the 1850’s and civil rights in the 1950’s and have connections to Dr. Martin Luther King and others like him. First Baptist Ferndale maintained that tradition, with longtime faithful commitment to holistic, compassionate outreach internationally and locally. The warming shelter and food pantry, among other ministries, have touched the lives of many.
The Royal Oak Vineyard Church was planted in early 2001 by a small team, led by Jim & Megan Pool. A member of the Vineyard Community of Churches, they placed a high priority on experiencing the presence of God in worship and prayer, healthy relationships in community, and church planting at home and abroad.
In the fall of 2011, the Royal Oak Vineyard Church was in need of a home. Through a mutual friend, Jim Pool and Cathi Feldpausch (pastor of First Baptist) met to discuss the possibility of ROVC renting space from FBCF. God had something more in mind. Jim was impacted by Cathi’s heart for a worshiping and serving community continuing in their building. The rental idea wouldn’t work, but the ROVC team was really intrigued by the building. However, Jim was sure it wouldn’t work – the building would cost too much to buy, it was too big to maintain, etc. After a couple of weeks of this kind of thinking, God spoke to Jim, “Jim, what if the building was a gift, and the two congregations did together what neither can do alone.” “Lord,” Jim said, “I don’t think you were in the meeting. That’s not what they’re asking for.” After two more weeks of going back and forth with God, and a few close friends, Jim finally called and proposed the idea. The rest, as they say, is history.
The new church, dubbed the Renaissance Vineyard Church, held its first services Christmas eve 2011. A fitting time for a new work of God to be born. The church remains a member of the Vineyard Community of Churches and builds on the great legacy of the American Baptist tradition. Now a four generation church, Renaissance Vineyard is a worshiping and serving community, reaching out in love to bless the city of Ferndale and its people. Its an exciting time as a new chapter is written. We look forward to you joining us on the journey.