The Rockpointe story begins in 1968, first at Margaret Black Elementary School, and then in this modest structure on Plumbrook Avenue. The early years of Sterling Heights Assembly of God were ones filled with prayer, worship, and devotion to God’s Word.
After more than a decade in the Plumbrook building, the growing church community purchased a parcel of land on Utica Road, next door to Rammler Golf Course. In April of 1982, under the leadership of Pastor Leo Tomko and with high hopes for the future, they broke ground on their new building.
Construction took about a year, during which time the community continued to meet on Plumbrook, carving out spaces for Sunday School classes as they patiently and prayerfully waited for the new building’s completion.
A whole new era
That day finally arrived on March 13, 1983. In a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony, Pastor Tomko celebrated the moment by reminding the community of God’s enduring faithfulness throughout the church’s 15 years together.
Growth and evangelism
The next decade was marked by a surge of growth, particularly in the church’s young people. A ministry called Genesis formed to disciple and mentor the youth. Out of Genesis grew many healthy trends in the church, including a passion to reach the lost through both domestic and international missions.
Strength, health, and legacy
Now under the leadership of Pastor Leo’s son, Randy Tomko, the church community forged new ground in 1995 when it changed its name to Rockpointe Community Church. The change represented the church’s heartfelt desire to welcome those sincerely seeking Jesus Christ, no matter their church background.
What's in a name
“Rockpointe” comes directly from scripture when Jesus tells the disciples that upon this “rock” He will build His church (Matthew 16:18). The “pointe” represents that point in a person’s life where the choice is made to follow Christ once and for all.
During those early Rockpointe years, the church adopted the identity of “a creative community founded upon Jesus Christ.” Through the use of drama and culturally relevant music, Rockpointe endeavored to create Sunday services that brought Scripture to life in engaging ways.
Building the community
Through another decade of ministry, Rockpointe focused on building the community of faith through small groups, ministry opportunities, church picnics, and special children’s events like Vacation Bible School.
The church community continued to grow until it became apparent that the 1983 building was no longer sufficient to keep up with the community's expanding needs. Through generous and faithful giving, the Rockpointe community embarked on a building expansion in 2004 with the goal of adding valuable gathering space along with completely overhauling the children’s education area.
Breaking new ground
The church community celebrated the groundbreaking by pounding stakes into the area over which construction would take place. Written on the stakes were not only their family names, but the names of those they hoped would come to know Christ in the future. The stakes were ultimately incorporated into an art piece that graces the Sanctuary today.
The newly renovated and expanded space allowed for numerous ministry initiatives to launch and grow including a recovery ministry, expanded seating for Sunday services, as well as Handprints Christian Early Learning Center, Rockpointe’s daycare and preschool that ministers to nearly a hundred families every year.
True to its roots, Rockpointe continues to pursue missions as a core value of the Gospel, striving to form strategic partnerships around the world. Those partnerships have included ministries and organizations in Russia, The Philippines, Australia, England, Senegal, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Haiti, Puerto Rico, as well as domestic ones based in a whole host of states and many right here in the Detroit area.
50 years of faithfulness
Along with its home city of Sterling Heights, in 2018 Rockpointe celebrated its 50th anniversary. From a quiet start in an elementary school gym to its current setting, the church community has always endeavored to give God the glory. “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit” says the Lord (Zechariah 4:6).
Meeting pandemic needs
During 2020s global pandemic, the church expanded its existing Pantry ministry to include more items and weekly deliveries of refrigerated goods. This bounty supported countless families that experienced COVID-related economic hardships.
Detroit Bible Institute celebrated 10 years at its Rockpointe home in 2022! Over the preceding decade, this suburban campus has served a vibrant, diverse community of more than 1400 students and 142 graduates coming from more than 75 different churches. And while Rockpointe may be DBI’s home, the organization is supported by a dynamic partnership of six local churches, all firmly committed to furthering Christian discipleship.
Rockpointe is proud to be the home of Handprints Christian Early Learning Center!