It was Friday night and that meant movie night for ten-year-old Adam Muhtaseb and his mom. Adam’s parents divorced when he was a baby and he cherished this weekend tradition. Someone had given them a copy of the Jesus Film and they chose it for movie night. By the end of the movie, both Adam and his mom believed the gospel and became Christians.
Adam’s transformation came with harsh consequences. His dad was a Palestinian immigrant and was raising Adam to share his Muslim faith. “I grew up following the five pillars of Islam, working my way to try to get into heaven,” Adam said. “But I found Islam to be crushing. And then I heard the gospel . . . and it changed my life forever.”
When he told his dad he was no longer a Muslim because he was now a Christian, his father was angry and ostracized him. As Adam slowly began growing in his new faith, his dad moved to Jordan and cut off all contact with Adam. It would be ten years before Adam heard from his dad again. When Adam was 20 years old, his dad moved back to the US. They met up and his dad told him, “You’re a bad son; that’s why I left.”
It’s been 11 years since his dad moved back, but Adam has witnessed the Lord softening his dad’s heart toward him and his young family. Adam and his wife, Sherrie, are raising three little boys together. His dad doesn’t agree with their faith, but he can’t deny its power in their lives.
Christians Plant Churches
While Adam was getting his communications degree at a university in Maryland, he began discipling a few guys; this developed into a thriving college ministry on campus. His study of the Scriptures ignited a passion for church planting. He said, “I knew I wanted to plant a church because I saw it in the book of Acts. That’s what the whole book is—planting churches. I just assumed that’s what Christians do.”I knew I wanted to plant a church because I saw it in the book of Acts. That’s what the whole book is—planting churches. I just assumed that’s what Christians do. - Adam Muhtaseb Click To Tweet
After completing his seminary degree and spending years being mentored by Tony Merida—Acts 29’s vice president for theological training—Adam, his wife, and his core team planted Redemption City Church (RCC) in 2018. “It became pretty clear to us after talking with some church-planting experts that Baltimore was a city in drastic need of gospel-preaching churches,” Adam said. “In fact, there were no Acts 29 churches at all in Baltimore.”
A Sending Church in Baltimore
Adam joined Acts 29 in 2019. He said that having RCC listed on the Acts 29 website has been a huge benefit. God has led many people their way who were searching for an Acts 29 church in Baltimore. He also values the brotherhood of Acts 29 pastors faithfully laboring in their cities.
Baltimore is a city with transient neighbors, high poverty and crime, and little concern for the gospel. But these challenges to church planting create a deep urgency within the saints at RCC to use every opportunity the Lord gives to proclaim the good news their city desperately needs. This community of believers is bearing witness to the saving grace of Jesus, spreading the light of the gospel into the darkest places.
Many churches are abandoning these dark places in cities. In Baltimore, old church buildings are used for apartments, coffee shops, and yoga studios. Baltimore is short on long-standing churches, on missions-minded, sending churches. That’s why Adam believes, “The most revolutionary thing we can do is to be a church that exists for the next hundred years, that keeps preaching the Bible and the gospel. That’s a win.”Decades ago, God saved a young Muslim boy who today is leading a church-planting movement in Baltimore. Click To Tweet
Like most Acts 29 churches, RCC wants to be a true Antioch church. They hope to start a church-planting movement in Baltimore and beyond. They’re sending out a nurse as a missionary who works with special needs children in the Middle East. In 2022, one of their pastors will complete his church-planting residency and plant a church in Japan among one of the most unreached people groups in the world. And they’re working toward planting two more churches in Baltimore over the next few years.
Decades ago, God saved a young Muslim boy who today is leading a church-planting movement in Baltimore. Adam said, “Our prayer and our hope is that for the next hundred years you’d be able to see Redemption City Church preaching the Bible and sending out missionaries far beyond my lifetime.” Let’s pray that God will continue to grow his church in Baltimore, and that revival will sweep this city and many more like it for his glory.