Oak Pointe West Bloomfield
The Initial Calling
Oak Pointe Church West Bloomfield started as a quiet calling in the heart of its lead pastor, Joe Seestadt. While vacationing with his family in his home state of Michigan in July 2017, Joe was reading through the book of Ezekiel. God told Ezekiel three things: 1) Ezekiel would move back home to preach, 2) God would speak His words through Ezekiel, and 3) Ezekiel would be a watchman for God. At that point, Joe felt the Spirit prompting him to move with his family back to his own hometown of West Bloomfield. After almost a year of praying for confirmation, Joe and his wife, Ranae, left their young adult ministry in Austin, Texas, and moved their family to West Bloomfield in July of 2018. They didn’t know exactly “how” or “when,” but they knew that the Lord had called them to plant a new church there. There were no guarantees: only faith in Jesus and a desire to see what He would do.
The Hometown Context
West Bloomfield is a religiously and culturally diverse township. Growing up there, Joe had never experienced the clear truth of the gospel without the hindrance of religious rules. Ranae’s upbringing was similar; she was religious but not connected to God through Jesus. Not much had changed in Joe’s hometown over the past twenty plus years. West Bloomfield still has a number of religious places of worship, yet very few center on the simple gospel truth–that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation.
The Added Clarity
It was only after Joe and Ranae made the move that they got connected to potential partners to support their calling to launch this local church. Planting a new church is transformative, as it is moving Christ’s Body (His people) into a new neighborhood. Often, there are many physical and spiritual barriers to making that happen. Additionally, planting requires strong partners; starting a church usually doesn’t go well without a sending church or network of churches. God knew exactly what was needed, and within a short time, He led Joe and Ranae to become part of the Oak Pointe family of churches. The Holy Spirit made this partnership clear to all, and in July 2019 the plan to plant this church in West Bloomfield was approved by the elders of Oak Pointe.
The Initial Community
By the end of the summer in 2019, a small group of about 20 adults and their families became the initial launch team for this church. They regularly met in Joe and Ranae’s home to eat together, worship, pray, share testimonies, and become like family with one another. They made it a priority to have outreach events and to continue developing relationships with people around them. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in the Spring of 2020, they prayerfully navigated through it and continued to see the Lord miraculously add to their number. While many churches were closing, this launch team of about 60 adults and their families began gathering together each Sunday morning at the West Bloomfield parks throughout the summer of 2020. The Lord was moving in the hearts of many in the community, as people were coming to faith, being baptized, and experiencing the transforming work of the gospel in their lives. Given the uncertainty of the culture, there was not an identified place to continue to gather for weekends after the summer, so they again prayed for God to move, provide, and literally open doors for the church to be able to gather.
The Commissioning & Launch
True to form, God did move in a mighty way by allowing His church in West Bloomfield to begin gathering on Saturday afternoons at The Sports Club fieldhouse. Pastor Bob Shirock and Oak Pointe Church (Novi) commissioned the launch team of about 90 adults to become Jesus’ hands and feet as part of the Oak Pointe family of churches in West Bloomfield. The next weekend, on October 18, 2020—right in the middle of a global pandemic, just before a divisive presidential election, and during a deeply divided time in our country—God allowed Oak Pointe Church West Bloomfield to hold its first public church service at 4pm.
Oak Pointe West Bloomfield is in awe of all that the Lord has already done, and we continue to trust Him for even greater things! We are a welcoming, family-oriented, gospel-centered, unpretentious, scrappy church that is committed to loving Jesus and loving our neighbors. We desire to be a safe place for people to examine their faith, to grow in grace, to enjoy community, and to be unified with one another by the powerful truth of the gospel. In a time when so many forces seek to divide people from one another, we stand together in love—even when it’s messy. We hope you’ll find a home with us here, because you’re more than “welcome”—you are wanted.