After 14 years in Sterling, Illinois, Pastor Ronald Alexander has returned to his Rockford roots. SOUL caught up with the pastor as he shared more about his decision to return to Rockford, his vision for New Direction Fellowship Church, and the installation services scheduled for later this month, March 13, 14, and 17.
Where have you been the past 14 years?
I was senior pastor at Macedonia Baptist Church in Sterling, Illinois
Where are you pastoring now?
New Direction Fellowship Church, located at 1135 E. State Street in Rockford. We will replant the Church on Easter Sunday as Hope Fellowship Church.
Why did you decide to return?
I felt led to come back to Rockford for a few reasons:
- I saw a place for ministry that was different. The larger churches here are thriving, but very few with a gospel flavor and an emphasis on Word being emphasized.
- I really wanted to see a genuinely multicultural ministry thrive and I thought the downtown location would be ideal.
- Even with all the churches in town, there is still such and un-churched population. There is room for a ministry that reaches out to young men who are caught up in the violence that has been permeating the city as of late.
- I love this city.
What do you think will be the most rewarding and the most difficult about your new assignment?
The most rewarding will be seeing people who have not been in church or who weren’t saved, get saved and be excited about God, ministry, and possibilities. The most difficult will be getting people to see the possibilities of what can be done, when they’ve never seen anything like it before.
What will people find different about your church, New Direction?
When people come to visit, they’ll see a ministry that is unique because the emphasis will be more on word, worship, and witness. Not that other churches are not doing that, it’s just that we will keep the service short, and we are purposely emphasizing scriptural basis and intentionally trying to create a loving atmosphere that is welcoming to everyone regardless of race, status, income level or background.
What community initiatives do you plan to get involved in?
I think it’s important for me to know the leaders in the community and see what they are doing, and for the leaders to get to know me again as well. I’m excited about working together with many churches in the community, on both sides of the river. Fortunately, I’m familiar with many of the organizational leaders, such as Booker Washington Center, Rockford Public Library, Rockford School District, etc. I’m moved by the need to address violence and the need for more teen initiatives. Our church wants to be a positive influence in the community, both spiritually and socially. The Lord has blessed us with enough room and a facility that is ideal for classes, training, social functions, as well as worship.
Tell us more about the three-days of Installation Services
As an expression of how we all plan to work together to rebuild the Kingdom of God and help our community, we wanted it to be a community event that shows connections to people here and abroad.
The Installation services are open to the public and everyone is welcome
Wednesday – March 13 at 7 pm
Thursday – March 14 at 7 pm
Sunday – March 17 at 11 am and 3:30 pm
New Direction is located at 1135 E. State Street in Rockford.
Rockford welcomes Pastor Alexander and First Lady Ishelia Alexander back home.