Our Story

Redeemer Covenant Church (RCC) launched as a church plant in early 1991, meeting at the Dutton Middle School. Founding pastor, Joel Kruggel, and ten families teamed with First Covenant Church of Grand Rapids, our “mother church,” to begin a fellowship south of Grand Rapids. The growing community of Dutton was a great location for RCC. People who appreciated the non-doctrinal stance and theological freedom of the Evangelical Covenant Church found a good home at RCC. Historical strengths of the church were music, drama, and missions. In 1996, Paul Hillman replaced Pastor Kruggel as the second pastor of RCC.

In 2008, RCC founded Community Services of Dutton, whose primary functions have been the Dutton Food Pantry and the Dutton Community Garden, located on our grounds. In March of 2019, the pantry will move to its own, independent location, expanding its ministry in the community.

Clergy couple Jack and Sharon Brown brought an emphasis on deepening discipleship. Sharon’s popular book series, Sensible Shoes (Intervarsity Press) was test-driven here at Redeemer with a women’s spirituality group. During that time, “Stations of the Cross” merged artistic forms to offer our neighborhood and members an experience of Lenten devotion in the weeks before Easter.

Pastor Beth Ernest arrived in October 2017. A focus on art continues, both during worship and in seasonal classes. In April 2018, we were joined by the Grand Rapids Matu Christian Church, a group of Christian refugees from Myanmar. This congregation worships in the early afternoon. We share our building and our love for Jesus. RCC’s current emphasis is on revitalization, reconnecting with the many resources and opportunities of the Evangelical Covenant Church, finding new inroads into the Dutton community, and leadership development. Prayer, hospitality, and community continue to be strengths of Redeemer.

God has repeatedly shown himself faithful to our congregation. We are blessed.

What We Believe

Redeemer aims to “Love God, Love Our Neighbor, and Serve the World.”  While we are not a “doctrinal” church, the Apostles’ Creed is a good summary of our theology.


The head of our church is Jesus Christ. Pastor Beth Ernest oversees the flock with guidance from a diverse board of congregation members. Our pastor and board are assisted by Martie Bradley our Office Administrator.


No doubt about it, our main ministry happens Sunday mornings as we offer praise to God, bringing our confessions, offerings, prayers, and receive the blessing of being with people who want to know God better. Sundays, 10 a.m.

English as a Second Language

A team of parishioners helps our Matu (Burmese) friends learn English on Saturday mornings. We have learners at different levels and welcome English speakers who bring patience, humor, a clear speaking voice, and a heart for intercultural relationship building to help out as tutors. Saturdays, 10 a.m.

Special Needs Ministry

Our growing special needs ministry is an organic outgrowth of the love we have for our special needs family members. Still taking shape, we desire to offer hospitality to special needs persons, families, and caregivers in need of spiritual care, friendship, and respite.

Intergenerational Ministry

We believe young people need mentors and that older people need young friends. Thus, our approach to ministry is primarily intergenerational, rather than segregated into age categories. This is not a “separate” ministry, rather, it permeates our life at Redeemer.

Immerse Bible Book Clubs

Twice a year, RCC embarks on intense Bible reading with a twist: home book clubs read sections of the Bible as a regular book, without chapters and verses. The Immerse program asks simple questions about what we notice in our reading. Immerse is changing churches as it brings the Bible to life. Sunday evenings.