In 2001, Redeemed Life Church co-founder Anthony Powell and his wife as well as business partner Bonnie Powell quit their lives as entertainers after the Lord transformed Powell’s everyday life and led him down a path of redemption.

“I thought I was coming to Los Angeles to pursue the industry,” Powell said. “Instead, I found a church and fell in love with it. I felt the ministry call in my life and it changed everything.”

On Sunday, Jan. 29, Redeemed Life Church celebrated its 1-year-anniversary. Churchgoers and supporters gathered in the Redeemed Life space to commemorate the church’s accomplishments and the lives that were changed throughout the year.

The history of the church is built on the people coming to be redeemed. It’s a church where people can come broken and find a new life through Jesus Christ. The community is a priority within the church, and it is often preached to the visitors.

“It’s a place where we love people and we care for people. We call it legit community,” Powell said.

Powell describes his church as an urban denomination where visitors would use their gifts for God in amazing and creative ways.

“I remember coming and dancers were spinning on their heads. I didn’t know you can do headspins for Jesus,” Powell said.

As he began serving for the church, Powell started to realize that the choice he was making and the projects that he was taking in the industry weren’t glorifying Christ. He came to realize that he needed to change his life fully, not just for his career, but for his wife and his future ahead of him.

“In LA as I was dancing and touring, the Lord started to shake my heart about what I was doing,” Powell said. “I felt the Lord say to me, ‘I want you to pursue me as hard as you can. Give me two years and we’ll see what happens’.”

Pastor Powell followed the Lord’s calling and started to climb up in leadership at the church he was attending. After those two years, he decided to go back to school and started attending Azusa Pacific University to obtain his Master’s Degree in Pastoral Studies.

Bonnie Powell also went back to school to get a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership in Ministry and together they worked with their home church to open Redeemed Life Church on Jan. 31, 2016, in Azusa, CA.

The Powells are looking to build up the ministries within the church, especially for the youth.

“I believe that God is going to send one person who has a heart for youth ministry,” Pastor Powell said.

Pastor Powell describes this year as the year of building up and teaching leaders for the church. He is looking to find people and build up those who are already in the church to minister to others. The church’s foundation and culture have been a main priority to maintain and now they want to establish the foundation among their community.

This year, Redeemed Life is looking to open a 6 p.m. service for those who wish to attend in the evening. The church desires to cater more towards the college campuses in Azusa as well.

Through community, the church has been blessed in many ways. Redeemed Life Church has limited resources because of its size, but through God’s grace, they have seen amazing things happen within their walls. They have seen a homeless family find a church and have been blessed with a car to get another family to and from church.

These testimonies were talked about during the 1-year-anniversary celebration, dubbed the name “Redemption Sunday Lit,” where the churchgoers came together and gave messages centered around their communal spirit. It was a day that showed people what the Lord has done in the local church. Through the visitors’ presence, prayers and support, Redeemed Life has grown and met the goals of becoming community-driven through the Lord.