“If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.” - Romans 12:8
In 1999, Rev. Dr. Kevin Dudley had a vision of a new congregation with a non-traditional approach to worship the function of the congregation that would engage Christians and attract the unchurched.
Ten years and many locations later, the Rev. Dudley’s vision of a non-traditional church that ministers to the real-life struggles of its members was realized this spring when the Church at North Pointe held worship services at its new location in Columbus, OH. The Detroit, Michigan native’s wife, Gail, also an ordained minister, is the part of the pastoral staff and their children Alexander, 23 and Dominiq, 15 are active in the Church at North Pointe’s Youth Ministry.
“Our vision from the beginning was simple: Offer people the ‘real life’ that Jesus Christ provides so that we can be the church,” said Dudley,
the areas of emphasis being Dynamic Community, Meaningful Worship and Radical Ministry. “We have sought intentionally to resist the barriers of traditional church in our worship, practices and organization, yet want always to leave room for God to work in us and through us as God chooses. Claiming our mission to ‘receive, release and reproduce the life of Christ’ makes the difference in the lives of those within our community who have to deal daily with the relational, financial, emotional, psychological and physical burdens of being alive in this broken world. We believe the Gospel has something to say and that we have to be the ambassadors and representatives to pro`ve that what God graciously offers to us is real.”
In addition to his pastoral duties at The Church at North Pointe, Dudley is Affiliated Professor of African-American Studies and Director of African American Relations at Trinity Lutheran Seminary, where he earned a Master of Divinity. He earned a Doctor of Ministry in Leadership from Ashland Theological Seminary where he is currently Adjunct Professor of Practical Theology. He is also Adjunct Professor of Religion with Ohio Christian University.
Before answering God’s call, Rev. Dr. Dudley had diverse professional experience in the secular world including an elementary school assistant, police officer and business owner. “I have always felt that God was preparing me for something more, “said Dudley. “I believe my call to the ministry was gradual, but when I was 24-years-old sitting in a church service after recommitting my life to Christ, I recognized clearly God was leading me to serve in ministry leadership.”
Dudley and Rev. Gail’s leadership and the faith and perseverance of all involved were instrumental in the
growth of North Point. The group was initially a small worshipping community that assembled in diverse settings from the chapel area of a local church, to hotel meeting rooms. Its first public service was August 15, 2005.
Jamie Speakes-Gibson has been with The Church at North Pointe since the beginning. “I remember when we did Bible Study at Donato’s Pizza community room and then worshipped at Christ the King Polaris. I truly enjoyed the praise and worship time and Minister Dudley’s preaching. That is the main reason that I began going: He is truly is a man of God with integrity who has genuine concern and love for his members. That is truly refreshing.”
In 2006 the group secured a full-time leased space and two months later became an Authorized Worshipping Community in the ELCA’s Southern Ohio Synod. The congregation increased, relocated again and in December 2007 officially became part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. “Without a doubt the source of our growth -- at least one family a week -- has been the presence of the Holy Spirit,” Dudley said. With the increase in size, there was less pressure to initiate marketing strategies, events and outreach to the unchurched. “We emphasize our worship and study life together so that the supernatural result is growth,”
Before becoming pastor of The Church at North Pointe, Dudley spent three years as Director of Youth, Mt. Olivet Baptist Church in Columbus, OH; two years as Director of Ministry, New Salem Baptist Church, Columbus, OH; and five years as Pastor at Mount Zion Baptist Church, in Oberlin, OH.
Gabrielle Hudecek, currently an Executive Secretary at Southern Ohio Synod has known Revs. Kevin and Gail Dudley since Rev. Kevin’s was a student at Trinity Lutheran Seminary and she worked as the Administrative Assistant to the Academic Dean. “I recognize him as a man of integrity, standing firm on what the Gospel speaks. His interpretation is clear, and as my teenage son has said, ‘He preaches what relates to people today.’ It’s an `in your face’ ministry, yet it affirms God’s grace, love, mercy, and forgiveness in a fallen world.” ...read more PDF Word
Article by: Kimberley Berry