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Our Story

In Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first inaugural address he captured the disturbing and exciting feelings experienced by those who launch out in the wild-ride adventure of planting a church: "We don't know where we are going, but we are on our way."

FYI, when we speak of “Church Planting” we’re not talking about starting a new religion– don’t get weirded out by the terminology… well, at least, try not to.  Here’s a simple way to understand the lingo… every local Christian Church you’ve ever encountered was at one point “planted” – i.e., some group of people, usually under the oversight of a broader church body, felt a burden to lock arms and join together in establishing a new local church presence in a particular geographic locale.

With that preface in mind, here are some of the high points of Redeemer’s Story.

In the mid-1990’s Jeffrey Lancaster and his wife, Cathy, were inspired by the influence of Rev. Tim Keller and other church leaders who were leading a movement to plant churches in the hearts of center-city areas in the United States and abroad.  Our center-city areas are where America’s urban educated crowd gather.  This demographic is the most unchurched/dechurched group in our country.  The church of Jesus Christ needs to be there seeking to minister the love and renewing work of Christ and offering our neighbors a chance to consider for the first time or, perhaps, reconsider anew, the historic claims of Christ in a safe and welcoming context.

Jeffrey and Cathy Lancaster participated with others in the launch of a church planting effort in Oxford, MS, which began in 1995.  Jeffrey and his family later felt called to parlay this experience into a church planting effort in the center-city area of New Orleans, LA, so they moved to the Big Easy and ministered in the Uptown area of New Orleans from 1999-2005.

In 2005 God prompted Jeffrey’s heart in the direction of yet another church planting opportunity.  Redeemer Presbyterian Church of Memphis began as an idea launched in the Spring of 2005.  A small group of people rallied around this compelling dream.  The dream of a center-city church plant in Midtown/Downtown Memphis was adopted by Covenant Presbytery through the work of its Mission to North America Committee and the work officially began in the summer of 2006.  The inaugural worship service was the first Sunday of September in 2006.

Redeemer Presbyterian Church was officially organized as a particular local church of the Presbyterian Church in America on February 8, 2009. Over the years, Redeemer has called a number of places home, including Church Health Center and Snowden School. In December of 2015, we hosted our first services in our own space at 651 S Cooper.

In June of 2018, Pastor Jeffrey stepped down from being the Senior Pastor at Redeemer as God began to stir he and Cathy's hearts for another church planting opportunity. As always, we continue to exist to be a church for the city and for its renewal, partnering with God in the work that is already being done here.