Letter from the pastors.
This is a monumental time in the life of Madison Church: Ford Campus. We believe that Jesus is alive and that He is transforming lives. God is calling people to Himself and He is releasing them in their homes and workplace. We believe that the Gospel of Jesus Christ ushers in peace in this city.
In 2008 when multisites were launched through Madison Square Church, our first multisite was at the Gerald R. Ford Academic Center. It has been powerful to be in relationship with Grand Rapids Public Schools throughout these years, but we believe we can be a far greater asset if we are rooted here in the community for the long haul.
Since 2011, a massive building across the street from the school where we worship has been vacant and sitting underutilized—simply gathering dust. 415 Franklin started as the original Grand Rapids Christian High School. At one point more than a thousand students attended there. Christian High eventually moved and the Department of Human Service moved in during the 1970’s. After operating it for more than 30 years, DHS moved out in 2010.
We want to see Gospel-centered revitalization happen in this space with ministry going on seven days a week. God is doing a work with this building as well as in the community. Over the last number of years, we as a church we have been praying over every room, every hallway, and every doorway from the basement up into the roof asking, “Not us, but you, Oh Lord—what do you want to accomplish here?” Over that time, we can't count how many laps of prayer we have done around the building, imagining what would it look like if the church were to take root in the space.
By God's grace, we received this building in February of 2015 when Ed DeVries donated it to Madison. Now 4 years later there is a clear vision over every inch of this space to see affordable housing through ICCF on the 2nd and 3rd Floor, high quality early childhood education through the Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative on the 1st floor, worship and gathering space in the former chapel, and office space for Madison, ICCF, and early childhood staff.
We believe in the invitation to join the kingdom of God already present here in the neighborhood. And here's how:
Would you pray with us as we prepare for this important step?
Would you also entertain the question of how you might come alongside this project by supporting it financially?
When we imagine this place becoming a home of thriving worship, we can see Jeremiah 29:7 on the walls, “But for you now seek the peace of the city for when you seek the peace and the prosperity of the city you too shall prosper.” Join us as we seek to live out the gospel both in this generation and in setting the table for the generations to come.
Pastor David Beelen & Pastor Brad Knetsch
Madison Senior Pastor & Ford Campus Pastor