There is a Wesleyan church set in the Northwoods of Wisconsin where real life change is happening.
At Red Cedar Church, located in Rice Lake, a town of 8,000, the deeply held belief that everybody’s welcome, nobody’s perfect, and anything’s possible drives the mission of the church. A big part of why lives are being changed at Red Cedar is because of the leadership of senior pastor, Rev. Heather Semple.
Red Cedar is not only experiencing incredible growth with average attendance at more than 1,200 each weekend. In 2015 alone, 400 people (adults, youth and kids) accepted Christ for the first time.
A baptism weekend was offered, October 24-25, to those who wanted to publicly declare a personal decision to follow Jesus. A total of 207 people chose to be baptized.
The redemptive stories of those who chose to be baptized included some who’d just been released from prison, some finding freedom from addictions, and a couple finding healing and restoration in their marriage on month after they’d decided to file for divorce.
“God is moving mightily in Wisconsin’s Northwoods, showing that full life is possible through him alone,” said Craig Rayment, executive pastor. “We are watching people experience freedom and healing–from saved marriages to recovery from addictions–as people say ‘yes’ to Jesus: first to salvation, then through baptism, and, finally, to living fully surrendered to Christ.”
The weekend was filled with evidence of incredible life transformation.
“I have never been overwhelmed with God’s presence like that,” said one man who was baptized. “Being baptized has completely changed my life . . . I wish everyone could feel what I felt on Sunday!”
A young father said, “The whole service filled me with tears of happiness, I don’t like to cry, but couldn’t hold back. You could feel God there the whole time.”
Staff and churchgoers alike sense the grace and favor of God within Red Cedar. Based on John 10:10, Red Cedar’s mission is to lead people to full life in Jesus Christ, then equip them to lead others to full life. Rather than settling in, those at the church are “gearing up” for the next season of what God is calling them to: with attenders coming from the surrounding 60 miles, new ways of reaching people is always being considered.