Redemption Hill Community Church had lots to celebrate on Easter Sunday – it was the church’s first service, and they welcomed more than 100 people to Hillside Elementary School at Tesoro Viejo, which serves as the location for this new community church.
For Pastor Kevin Llanos, Tesoro Viejo is the perfect place for the birth of this new non-denominational Christian church. But, it wasn’t exactly in his plans.
A native of the Central Valley, Llanos completed seminary in 2017 as he worked as a police chaplain. While he was an active lay leader at his church in Fresno County leading different ministries and Bible studies, being a pastor was never in the plans until he moved into his new home at Tesoro Viejo.
Llanos and his wife, Brooke, visited their homesite while their home was being built and prayed over their new home under construction.
“We wrote scriptures on the two by fours,” Llanos says.
His wife, Brooke, was inspired by her family members’ master-planned communities in Southern California and was thrilled to find Tesoro Viejo, which had open spaces and a strong sense of community.
According to Llanos, Brooke planted the seed of the new church when she told him that it would be amazing if they could share God in their new life at Tesoro Viejo and build a community of believers who share the freedom of Christ with their neighbors.
They moved into the Altura neighborhood by McCaffrey Homes with their two daughters – Lilly, 16, and Felicity, 15, and they immediately connected with their neighbors and, shortly after, began a Bible study.
When the pandemic hit, they moved to a Zoom Bible study format and then, as restrictions were eased, transitioned to meeting in Harvest Park and eventually at the Ranch House. What was naturally happening was exactly what Brooke had articulated: a community of believers were coming together to share the freedom of Christ.
Llanos said that the people at Tesoro Viejo helped the pieces fall into place. From the Hillside Elementary School Principal – who calls Llanos “the reluctant pastor” – to the HOA manager and staff who created space at the clubhouse for the Bible study, Llanos discovered that planting a church at Tesoro Viejo was his path.
He forged a partnership with Converge, a conglomerate of churches, that provides resources and guidance on how to plant a church through their Assessment Center. The people at Converge encouraged Llanos to move forward with the new church.
Llanos explains that the mission of the new church is to make disciples who love God and love others. It is the vision, he says, to build a community of believers sharing the freedom of Christ with their neighbors.
“This was never something I planned on doing,” he says. “This is God orchestrated.”
Redemption Hill Community Church celebrates its 10 a.m. service every Sunday at Hillside Elementary School at Tesoro Viejo. For more information, visit www.rhccmadera.com.