Guest post by the Rev Mr Dan Milward. I met Dan several years ago when I spoke at a conference hosted by Redeemer PCA in Traverse City.
New City Presbyterian Church is committed to church planting in Detroit. Our church planting initiative is called the Detroit Project. Motown and The Motor City are two of Detroit’s well-known nicknames (because of its history as the automotive capitol of the world.) Shortly after 1977 and the building of the Renaissance Center (the largest privately financed project in the world), Detroit became known as the Renaissance City. But the city continued to struggle and people had given up on the possibility of a true renaissance. But now in 2013 there appear to be signs of a legitimate comeback, most apparent in the Downtown and Midtown areas.
Our starting point to accomplish this vision is to establish biblically faithful, outward facing, mission-minded churches at the Northern and Southern ends of the most influential corridor in Detroit—the Woodward Corridor—Royal Oak to the North and Midtown/ Downtown Detroit to the South.
Both my wife Laura and I were born and raised in the northern suburbs of Detroit. This is where we were married and blessed with three beautiful children. We worked together as a team in building one of the largest retail floor covering companies in the state, and in 1992 we sold our two companies and moved the family north to Traverse City. My favorite pastime was fishing and I had a long-time dream of becoming involved in the fishing industry (fishing charters, river guiding, etc.), and happily did so for two years, after which time it became obvious to me that God had a different kind of fishing in mind for me. He was calling me into the ministry.
In September of 1994 I became the area director for a parachurch youth work. After five years of fruitful work there, I entered seminary with the idea of working in the area of Christian Education. A short time later I began to realize the call God was placing on me to be a pastor. Providentially, in the summer of 2001, a little over one year into my seminary studies, I was asked and agreed to pastor a small community church of about 30 people on the west side of Traverse City. After three years and a congregation of over 100, and on the brink of finishing my seminary studies, a small group of folks approached us to consider becoming the church-planter for a new PCA work in Traverse City. We formally received and accepted the call to take on that work, and I be- came the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church of Traverse City, PCA.
Now, nine years later, Rev. Ryan McVicar, the head of “The Detroit Project” and Church Planter of the first congregation in Royal Oak, has invited us to join him in this work, specifically to begin a congregation in Midtown Detroit. After much prayer and affirmation from our presbytery and denomination, Laura and I have accepted the call and upon the raising of our funding, we will be moving to Midtown/Downtown Detroit to begin this kingdom work.
The Detroit Project is seeking partners who will be involved with us relationally, prayerfully, and financially. We do trust that God will provide the resources and the people necessary for the launch of this initiative. We would like to ask you to prayerfully consider partnering with us.
First and foremost we believe we are entering into an area that has been overcome by spiritual darkness for decades. That said, the enemy is not likely to give up territory he believes belongs to him. Therefore, we need faithful Christians who will commit to pray for this ministry regularly. We need to pray to our Lord and Savior to bind the forces of evil and to allow the power that is at work within us to shine through in the light of Gospel truth, both through our message and our love and service to the city.
To enter the field and begin ministry, we must raise 50% of the proposed five-year budget. Experience has shown us, the new congregation being formed will provide the other 50% over that same five-year period, and typically by year six should be self-sustaining. The proposed (and approved by the denomination) five -year budget is $1,350,000. Therefore, we are seeking proposed financial partners who will join with us in providing the $675k.
If you know someone who lives in Metro-Detroit, please consider telling them about our church plant and encourage them to contact Daniel Millward to learn more about our vision and values. If you currently live in the Detroit area, please consider partnering with us by joining our “start-up” team to help shape and build this new church from ground level.