Iconic co-pastors launch new church in Northwest Houston
On Saturday, January 4th several hundred worshipers gathered for the launch of St. John’s Downtown – Northwest Campus.
Led by charismatic co-pastors, Rudy and Juanita Rasmus, who have been icons in downtown Houston for the past 22 years the standing-room only crowd overflowed into the lounge just outside the sanctuary of the reborn northwest Houston area church. It was formerly St. Timothy's United Methodist Church.
For Pastors Rudy and Juanita, who will continue to lead the very successful St. John's Downtown as well as this new campus, this will be their first time doing ministry in a suburb in 22 years. "We have been doing ministry literally in the urban center of Houston to a very diverse group of people who would drive in from 150 zip codes on a typical Sunday, to now be in a location where there are homes, a neighborhood, and kids in those homes. It is a unique and rich opportunity to touch a whole new demographic," said Pastor Rudy.
The regular weekly worship experience will be at 11:00 a.m. on Saturdays, that's right Saturdays, not Sunday.
"Church on Saturday is a new concept for the church world. As a people we are creatures of habit but what we are trying to do is expand our habits so to speak," Pastor Rudy went on to say.
"We are offering a new opportunity, an opportunity to worship on a day that has normally been reserved for other things."
Pastor Juanita noted that many people work various shifts and simply can't attend a Sunday worship service. "So here is opportunity for people to engage in community and fellowship and not have to feel like they are sacrificing by going to work. Of course we want you to be able to work, but we want you to be able to worship too."
Juanita Rasmus is a Spiritual Director with a desire to see a merger between the contemplative life and active life in society. Rudy Rasmus is an author, and global humanitarian with a passion for outreach to the world’s poorest citizens. Together they co-pastor the St. John’s Downtown, a church that began with 9 existing members in 1992. St. John’s has grown to over 9,000 members (30% were formerly homeless) in 21 years into one of the most culturally diverse congregations in the country where every week people of every social and economic background and ethnicity share the same pew.
The Rasmus’ attribute the success of the church to a compassionate group of people who have embraced the vision of tearing down the walls of classism, sexism, and racism and building bridges of unconditional love, universal recovery, and unprecedented hope. A recent in-house poll revealed the number one reason people attend St. John’s is because they can “feel the love” from the parking lot to the pew.
Judging from the number of people who turned out for launch of the Northwest Campus "to kick the tires" as Pastor Rudy puts it, their is a thirst in this area for what downtown Houston has.
St. John's Downtown Northwest Campus is located at 8787 North Houston-Rosslyn, Houston, TX 77088. For more information visit the www.stjohnsdowntown.org.