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Coming Home | The Jesus Center, Freedom Church, Skyway, + Regional Ministries

A legacy of Grandma Adeline at Skyway Baptist Church

· Ministry,Church,Christianity,Skyway Baptist Church,Community

Hi Family,

Home came full circle for two glorious hours on one splendid hot and dry summer afternoon this week when I visited Freedom Church Seattle in Skyway, Wash.

Watch this three minute video of the amazing and thoughtful ministry that integrates five churches to bring church to people and restore hope with essential health and safety services to address food, violence prevention, shelter, education, community outreach, and prayer:

My family's involvement with ministry at Skyway comes from a legacy of my grandma Adeline. Grandma started the ministry with other Christian leaders to create Skyway Baptist Church, which served at the location for 40 years from 1957-1997, and built the building where Freedom now serves. Grandma Adeline's legacy continues to bless me as I grew up at Skyway, and recently reconnected with Freedom with my family after 27 years:

Freedom Church Seattle, Skyway, 2023 July. (cc) Dena Michele Rosko
Freedom Church Seattle, Skyway, 2023 July. (cc) Dena Michele Rosko

I received Christ when I was six years old through the pulpit ministry after a message about heaven, and followed by my dad's influence at home.

I grew up participating with Children's Church, AWANA, special events and holidays, luncheons, choir, youth group, Sunday School, women's prayer group and partners, Vacation Bible School, weddings, funerals, nursery, graduations, anniversaries, visitations, many a sermons, and only a few pranks. I enjoyed the summer weekly prayer meetings on Sunday and Wednesday evenings.

It was an era of adding one more relative or person to the pews, inviting newcomers to lunch, driving people to and from church, sleepovers with cousins, and making friends.

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Through the 1960s-1970s the church expanded and built the building reminiscient of the styles of the 1960s-1970s eras, almost a blend of Modernism meets Organic Architecture makes way for Minimalism with its geometric shapes of the roofs, ceilings, and windows, and for its sympathy with the surrounding natural and neighborly environment. Thoughtful and spacious, the church enjoys plenty of natural light, exits, and human-centered gathering places.

In April 1997, the church of my childhood sold to Korean Calvary Baptist until 2015. Freedom Church Seattle now ministers to the area since its beginning in 1997 in West Seattle,

Skyway Baptist Church merged with Southcenter Community Baptist Church, and some of the members stayed on while many others scattered to other congregations, cities, and elder housing. The church had moved out of the West Hill to Tukwila, Wash.

Grandma maintained her belief that God scales ministry from small. "Do not despise the day of small beginnings" said the prophet (Zech. 4:10). That ministry is missional, and to stay means courage and boldness and neighborly love to put down roots, and serve.

Graduation Celebration with Grandpa, Grandma, and Aunt Judy at Skyway Baptist Church, June 1996, Archived (cc) Dena Michele Rosko

Over the next 27 years, I lived life with family, friends, neighbors, and a few congregations. I studied theology, journalism, creative writing, communication, leadership and development, and organizational systems and anthropology. I served with local congregations in ecumenical ministry because partnership matters. I engaged my city with civic involvement. I started one photography business, and two consulting and coaching practices. I ordained to minister.

All the while I missed home.

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Skyway Collage (cc) Dena Michele Rosko. 2023
Grandma Adeline and Family, Alum, and Skyway Collage (cc) Dena Michele Rosko.

I have benefited from the nest of loving instruction, a caring church family with responsive leadership, and a diverse and family-founded community, all of which has raised me to be the Christian, woman, mother, author, and minister that I am today.

The feeling of deep emotion and affectionate regard for our church family has stayed with me, and continues with our new-old church family today.

My beginnings at Skyway and time with my grandma, plus my transition to motherhood, have influenced the arc of my heritage writing and publishing ministry. I continue to learn the tension of compassion as a gut response to precede miracles (Mk. 6:34; Matt. 9:36, 14:13-25).

As a mother I have wanted to impart and share with my son the legacy that benefited me. I care about the gospel as a foundation for heritage, and kingdom come its vision.

Freedom Church Seattle, Skyway, Collage 2023 July. (cc) Dena Michele Rosko
Skyway Baptist Church Luncheon circa 1950s Restored Photograph (cc) Dena Michele Rosko. 2023

One ministry ended, Freedom began, then new ministries and opportunities emerged, and 27 years later folded back into each other as a rainbow ministry that spanned generations and congregations.

I came home. On a hot and breezy July afternoon, unexpectedly, I came home again,

This time, I drove my parents and son to the church of my youth. I caught up to what I though I had missed, but had "kept on" as Grandma would say.

My son and I felt overjoyed to rejoin our forever family to pray.

"Welcome Home!" Rev. Zachary K. Bruce, Sr., President of The Jesus Center, and Bishop and Senior Pastor of Freedom Church Seattle, called to us.

By appearances, ministries may seem separate.

The joy of homegoing to my forever family, people I did not previously know, but knew, and who also so knew me, casts a glimpse of kingdom come.

Freedom Church Seattle, Skyway, Collage 2023 July. (cc) Dena Michele Rosko
Freedom Church Seattle, Skyway, Collage 2023 July. (cc) Dena Michele Rosko

People of vision, as Grandma Adeline and the folks at Freedom Church Seattle, look and move forward face to the sunshine, listen with ears to the ground of prayer, sing and speak to share stories and the Lord, and ready hands to embrace and serve.

The labors of the gospel continues here as my mom said, "God continues his work."

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Special thanks to Pastor Zachary and Freedom for loving on us in "our house!"

Please join me in supporting the many ministries at the Jesus Center, including Freedom Church Seattle, the Tommy Thompson Fitness Center, the Jesus Inn Food Market, the Youth Violence Prevention Network, homeless ministry, and many others.

Read more about The Essence of Freedom, and what Freedom Church values. Folks here sow the gospel of Jesus into people and the area with love, prayer, forgiveness, transformation, community and kingdom building, and unity. They continue to live the legacy forward.

Donate time, service, or financially here today! If you have the means, we are so grateful because home is a beautiful place, and coming home, a dream come true!

Bouquet of Flowers Grandma Designed at Skyway Baptist Church circa 1980s-1990s (cc) Dena Michele Rosko. 2023

Hallelujah! Thank you, Lord! I love you, and you, too, Family!

Subscribe for upcoming release, A Looking Glass for Adeline, that includes more about Skyway Baptist Church and Grandma's legacy of faith, hope, and love.

Order Kingdom Come Series, five books on heritage theology and formation including a devotional and prayer book, to learn more how a heritage approach to the gospel can bless you and your family, congregation, ministry, seminary, and communities.

Kindly in Christ,

Rev. Dr. Dena