Who We Are

Mission: The mission of Redeemer Church is to declare Jesus and develop Jesus followers. 

Vision: The vision of Redeemer Church is to multiply courageous Jesus followers and churches in our region and around the world.


Path of Discipleship


Assurance of Salvation

• Baptism


Spiritual Disciplines

• Understand & Love Biblical Truth
• Depend & Delight in God through Prayer
• Kill Your Sin (Romans 8:13)


Commitment Track

• Connect with a Pastor
• Consider Redeemer Class (1 & 2)
• Commit to Redeemer


Reach the Lost

• Neighbors
• Coworkers
• Local Outreach & Global Missions


Multiply People on Mission

• In Your Family
• In Your Church
• In Your Circle of Influence


We changed our name from Harvest Bible Chapel to Redeemer Church in 2020 out of a desire to communicate that Christ is at the center of all we are and do. We also wanted it to be clear that we are a church, so the name Redeemer Church was born. 


The logo of Redeemer Church is a Christogram - a monogram meaning "Christ." It is an ancient symbol that was used to depict Christianity. The X (Chi) and the P (Rho) are the first two letters used to spell out "Christ" in the Greek language and are superimposed over each other. We modified the P, dropping it down into the crossing point of the X to get the look of an R, for Redeemer Church. 

Missional Partner: Someone who is committed to using their time, talent, and treasure to fulfill the mission and vision of Redeemer Church. 

History Timeline  


In 2001, Two couples began traveling to Harvest Bible Chapel in Rolling Meadows on Saturday night then meeting again Sunday mornings as a core group in Rockford. This group began to grow, and in 2003, we became Harvest's fifth church plant. 

March 30, 2003 

Launch Sunday at Harlem High School

We had 300 people show up for launch Sunday, and we continued to meet at Harlem High School for the next four years. 

March 2005

John Dirkse Arrives as Senior Pastor

Pastor John served in several associate roles after graduation seminary. In 2004, he sensed God calling him to a lead pastor role. That same fall, John received a call from one of the core Harvest Rockford couples asking if he'd consider becoming the senior pastor. Within four months John and Betsey packed up their home and five kids and moved from Spokane, WA to Rockford IL. 

October 2007

Purchased the Building on Windsor Road

After looking for a permanent residence for four years, our current location on Windsor Rd. became available. God moved in miraculous ways as $300,000 was raised for the down payment. 

March 2008 

Auditorium Update

We purchased our building in 2007, but we needed more space for Sunday worship services almost immediately. We began a capital drive and raised $555,000 to expand our auditorium from ~ 300 to 450. The vision was that we would be a sending base for people to go out and fulfill The Great Commission. 

October 2009

Added a Second Service 

Even after the expansion of our auditorium, we realized that one service was not sufficient for our growing congregation. In October of 2009 we added a second service to accommodate our attenders. 

August 2012

Titus Family Sent as Missionaries to The Czech Republic 

For several years, Missional Partners - Matt and Sara Titus, had it on their hearts to move their family to The Czech Republic as missionaries. In August 2012, we sent them to begin planting churches just outside of Prague. 

October 2013

Helped Establish Harvest Bible Chapel Chennai, India

We had the privilege of partnering with Paul and Molly Yuvaraj as they planted the first Harvest Bible Chapel in India. Harvest Chennai launched with over 500 people at their first Sunday service. 

May 31, 2015

Groundbreaking on the Building Expansion

In 2011, it had become increasingly evident that we were in need of more space. For years our leadership prayed about what to do. They looked at buildings and warehouses all around Rockford, at one point even making an offer on a building downtown, but the Lord closed those doors. In 2014, the unanimous decision was made to build onto our current space. 

may 2016

Building Expansion Complete

After thousands of volunteer hours and $1,033,000 raised, our staff was able to move into their new office space, and we now had a gym, youth and children's room, equipping room for classes, and a kitchen. 

fall 2018

Sent Jesse Schmidt to Plant Vertical Church Milwaukee

Jesse Schmidt served as Harvest Rockford's Associate Pastor of Youth and Outreach from 2012-2017. On September 30, 2018, Vertical Church Milwaukee was planted. Three families from Rockford were a part of the core team. 

june 2020

Name Changed to Redeemer Church

After 17 years of being known as Harvest Bible Chapel of Rockford, we changed our name to Redeemer Church. We wanted our name to point to Jesus Christ and the gospel - the center of all we do. 

september 2020

Added a Third Service 

Following COVID-19, we added an additional Sunday service. We quickly grew into these three services, with two of the three at maximum capacity most weeks. 

may 2021

Launched a Compassion International Center in Santa Cruz, Bolivia 

We partnered with Compassion International to build a church in Bolivia, supporting this endeavor financial and through prayers. After the completion of Filadelfia II, our Missional Partners individually sponsored more than 200 children there. 

March 30, 2023

Redeemer Celebrates its 20th Anniversary 

On March 30, 2003, we had 300 people show up for launch Sunday. Twenty years later, we saw more than 1,000 attenders each Sunday and continued to watch our attenders and ministries expand. 

april 2023

Rockford Church Plant: Redemption City 

In 2022, we laid out a vision for Associate Pastor Matt Joiner and his wife Erin to plan a church in south Rockford. In April of 2023 Redemption City began services at Redeemer Church with a core team of almost 200 people - double our initial goal. By May they had been donated a building, and on September 10, 2023, Redemption City launched in their new home. 

Discipeship Avenues

Sunday Worship Services

Worship services are essential to what we do at Redeemer. This is where the preaching of God's Word, worship, and the ordinances happen in community. Sunday services are held at 8, 9:30, and 11:00am. 

Ordinances (baptism & The Lord's supper)

We believe that Christian Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer (Acts 8:36-39; Matt 3:5-6; John 3:22-23; John 4:1-2; Matt 28:19; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Acts 8:12; Acts 16:32-34; Acts 18:8), into the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit (Matt 28:19; Acts 10:47-48; Gal 3:27-28). This demonstrates, in a solemn and beautiful emblem, our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, with its effect in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life (Rom 6:4; Col 2:12; 1 Pet 3:20-21; Acts 22:16). Baptism is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and the Lord’s Supper (Acts 2:41-42; Matt 28:19-20; Acts and Epistles) in which the members of the Church, by the sacred use of bread and wine, are to remember together the dying love of Christ (1 Cor 11:26; Matt 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:14-20); preceded always by solemn self- examination (1 Cor 11:28; 1 Cor 5:1,8; 1 Cor 10:3-32; 1 Cor 11:17-32; John 6:26-71). 

Life Groups

Life Groups are a great avenue at Redeemer for fostering meaningful community and engaging in life-on-life discipleship. Participation in Sunday worship is indispensable, and Life Groups are a complement to Sundays, providing a space for deeper relationship, accountability, and encouragement. Find a group.

  • Who: We encourage every Missional Partner and regular attender to participate in a Life Group. 
  • What: Groups of 12-14 adults who come together for study, gender-specific accountability, prayer, and social hangouts. 
  • When: September-May, with occasional social hangouts in the summer. You commit year to year, and we typically multiply our groups after three years. 
  • Where: In people’s homes or in the church building. 

Institute Classes

The Redeemer Church Institute is all about creating an active and transformative learning environment that makes the Bible and theology accessible to everyone. The goal of the Institute is to equip the saints theologically for the work of the ministry both within and outside the church. 

  • Who: We encourage every missional partner and attender of Redeemer Church to participate in the Institute.
  • What: 11-week core classes for men and women. Classes will be 1.5 hrs long and include: group discussion, homework, engaging lecture, and spiritual formation exercises. We are also developing Bible studies and seminars.
  • When: The institute follows the school calendar by offering classes in the fall and spring semesters. 
  • Where: Redeemer Church 


The church is meant to be a display of God’s glory and a witness to a watching world of the hope of the gospel. This happens when the people in the church love one another, strengthen each other’s faith and serve according to gifting in areas of need. There are many ways for you to serve at Redeemer: check them out here

local Outreach 

Jesus commanded His disciples to make disciples of all nations. We do that by praying, giving, and going into the community to partner with gospel-sharing organizations in the Rockford area. We also have a benevolence process that enables people in need to apply for financial assistance.

global Outreach 

Jesus commanded His disciples to make disciples of all nations. We do that by praying, giving, and going through missionaries and partnerships with gospel-sharing organizations around the world.


See our events calendar for a wide range of events held throughout all of our ministries - all aimed at making disciples, fulfilling our mission.