Rocket City Church staff and church members have an extra pep in their steps this week as they approach this weekend’s big celebration: it’s the church’s 2nd birthday! For those who have been a part of RCC from the start, this weekend’s celebration means more to them than they can quite articulate. Most say that being a part of RCC has changed their lives.
Lead pastor Brian Bradford along with his family, staff, and local launch team officially held their first service in January 2021 at the CinePlanet 15 movie theater (near the Intersection of Hughes Road and HWY 72) after a year of disappointing delays due to the pandemic.
Two years later, this same movie theater parking lot is packed each Sunday morning as residents from all over north Alabama attend either the 9:15 a.m. or 10:45 a.m. service.
Rocket City Church is a non-denominational Christian church with active ministries for children and youth as well as many groups with demographics of all kinds that meet throughout the week.
Bradford says that Rocket City Church is “first and foremost a church where people can feel a part of who we are and feel loved and celebrated.”
He says that individuals and families show up each week that are often facing a lot of challenges in life, and that “no matter their background, they decided to show up, and God has met them right where they are.”
Bradford says that RCC has singles, widows, retirees, young families, families with older kids, and more.
“God has brought people from all walks of life and faith traditions together which have all blended into what has become Rocket City Church.”
Bradford shares that diversity within the church is very important to Rocket City Church and reflects the nature of its community.
“We want the church to look like the community and not a country club, and it does. That’s the beauty of what God has built.”
Bradford shares that there is no better time to visit Rocket City Church than this weekend for its second birthday.
“Guests can expect a fun, celebratory atmosphere with connections that are appropriate for the whole family. You can expect to meet new people, make new friends, and feel the presence of God in your life in a tangible way.”
When asked what Bradford would say to those who have never been to church before and/or feel intimidated by the idea of visiting somewhere new, he says that everybody you’ll see had to muster the same courage at some point and walk inside for the first time.
“You are going to meet people who also at some point wondered if this place would be for them. Because they opened the car door and walked in, they’re now so glad they did. The people at this church were just like you and were in your shoes recently.”
Bradford also shares that guests can let out a deep breath and expect to be hosted every step of the way. Whether you need help getting set up with the children’s ministry or need a hand finding the auditorium for service, staff and church members will be there with a smile to give you a hand.
One suggestion Bradford gives to first-time guests is to arrive a few minutes early and spend some time in the lobby. You’ll have the chance to meet new people or just observe the feel and tone of RCC.
Creating opportunities to meet others and make new friends is one of the heartbeats of who Rocket City Church is.
“We know that there are generally two purposes why people start coming to church. The first purpose is to meet with God and grow spiritually. The second purpose is to meet with other people and make friends either for themselves, their kids, or both. Combining those two factors – to meet with God and make new friends – I think that really gets at the heart of what we are trying to accomplish at the church.”
The children’s ministry at RCC is a great place for little ones to learn about God and have fun with friends. Newborns through 5th graders can be checked in at the kids’ kiosk and then head to their age-appropriate nursery or classroom.
The kids’ ministry area is secure, and the same adult that drops off the child must pick up the child.
6th-12th graders are invited to join the regular Sunday morning services and will especially enjoy the reclinable, lounge movie theater seats!
Having a thriving youth program is very important to Rocket City Church, and offering a variety of experiences to build friendships and grow in relationship with and understanding of Jesus is an area of the church they are constantly pouring into. The youth group meets each Wednesday evening from 6:30-8 p.m. at their downtown Madison office location for “a weekly rhythm of lessons, games, and small group time.”
The youth program also has a winter retreat coming up in February as well as a weeklong youth camp in Panama City Beach, Florida this summer.
To plug in further at Rocket City Church, Bradford encourages attending their LIFT classes for new members. These classes take place twice a month and are co-taught by Bradford and his wife Shannon. Shannon says that in this class “we share part of our story, the vision of the church, and how people can plug in.”
Other members will pop into the class as well to briefly share their personal stories about RCC and why it’s so important to them.
Bradford hopes that area residents who are looking for a new church home will consider checking out Rocket City Church this weekend for their 2nd birthday celebration or at a future service this winter/spring.
When asked what it means to Bradford to celebrate such a milestone, he quickly says that it simply shows the kindness of God.
“Many start-up businesses don’t make it out of the first year, and as a church, we’ve especially had many challenges of starting up during this time. We are thriving though, lives are constantly being changed, and people are finding community.”
“I hope that God is saying ‘Look at what I’ve done and keep watching for what I’m going to do.'”
Quick Links for Rocket City Church in Madison, Alabama
2100 Hughes Road, Madison, AL 35758
Sunday services at 9:15 a.m. and 10:45 a.m.
Download the RCC app by searching for Rocket City Church on your device’s app store!
More from Madison