April 11, 2012 - A brand new Oxford church officially opened its doors to the public on Easter Sunday, the most sacred of Christian holidays.
Pastor Kelvin Lott invites everyone to worship at House of His Presence-North, located at 2450 Metamora Rd. in Oxford Twp. Photo by C.J. Carnacchio. (click for larger version)
Approximately 80 folks attended House of His Presence-North's grand opening held at 2450 Metamora Rd., which also houses the New Life Church of God.
"I just want to invite folks to check us out and let people know that we're here for them," said Pastor Kelvin Lott, who resides in neighboring Lake Orion.
House of His Presence-North is an extension (or satellite church) of Rochester First Assembly of God (4435 N. Rochester Rd.), which is led by Senior Pastor Richard Crisco.
Rather than adding more physical space to the existing Rochester facility so as to better accommodate its burgeoning membership, Lott explained Crisco believes in bringing the church to the people.
"He's always felt like God wanted him to extend the reach of this church," he said.
Opening an extension in Oxford made perfect sense to the church leadership.
"We just felt that would be a good place to start the outreach," Lott said. "We have a lot of people from the Oxford area that attend Rochester First Assembly. We also have a number of people that (come from) Metamora, Ortonville, Dryden, Lapeer."
For existing church members, the Oxford location will greatly reduce their travel time and gasoline expenditures, making their weekly worship much more convenient.
"To expect that they'll all come (to Rochester) is kind of ludicrous," Lott noted.
Lott is also hoping House of His Presence-North will be able to attract new members, especially those who are not regular churchgoers.
"We want to bring the presence of God into an area where roughly two-thirds of the population – at least based on the latest Census data – is unchurched," he said.
Lott made it clear House of His Presence-North isn't looking to take away members from existing churches. It's simply seeking to complement what's already here and help reach people who "need the Lord."
"There's a lot of good churches out there," he said. "We just feel like what God is doing here with us is very, very special and we want to see it touch as many lives as possible."
"Our motto for the church is we just want to love God and love people," Lott continued. "We've experienced what the good news of Jesus Christ can do for you. We want to take that message with us, love people and be a blessing to the community."
Lott is extremely grateful to New Life Church of God and its pastor, Mark Cole, for sharing their building with House of His Presence-North.
"It was a big step for them to allow another church to use their facilities," he said. "They just really had what we call a 'kingdom heart' – (they want) to see the Kingdom of God advanced and extended. They've been very, very gracious to allow us to rent and utilize their facilities."
House of His Presence-North will conduct weekly services every Sunday at 4 p.m.
"We really feel like that's a good time," Lott said.
That's due to the modern work schedule.
Lott indicated his church understands that most people nowadays are working six or seven days a week, so when the "traditional church hour" rolls around on Sunday morning, they want to either sleep in or spend time with their families.
"We decided to not buck that trend," he explained. "We decided to create (a schedule) that gives them the opportunity to be involved in a good, solid church at a time that's more convenient for them."
Lott noted House of His Presence-North is looking forward to partnering with local groups like the Oxford-Orion Ministerial Association and Oxford-Orion Kiwanis Club to help others and benefit the community.
"We're not coming there looking for people to do something for us," he said. "We are offering ourselves to be a blessing to that community – whatever that looks like and (in) whatever way we can."
For those interested in extending their outreach beyond Oxford's borders, Lott said once a month, Rochester First Assembly of God's members travel to Cass Park in Detroit where they feed, clothe and minister to between 200 and 300 people.
"We do the same thing in Baldwin Park in Pontiac on the third Saturday of each month," Lott said.
For more information about the church, please visit www.houseofhispresence.net or call (248) 652-3353.
CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.