Pastor Dernlan became a Christian shortly after his service in the U.S. Navy during the war in Vietnam. He was quickly drawn toward ministry, quit his job, and moved his wife and young children to central Ohio to pursue a bible degree at Cedarville University.
Four years later, he became the pastor of Grace Chapel Church in West Liberty, OH while earning his Master's Religious Education at Grand Rapids Seminary. He faithfully served as the senior pastor and proclaimed the truth of God's word at Grace Chapel for 25 years. During that time, the body of believers grew in faith and understanding of God's Word and also in number, from 60 to 600 souls.
God then called him to Eastern Europe to train local pastors. In 2002, Pastor Dernlan and his wife moved to Moscow, Russia for one year to learn the culture and connect with God's people in Eurasia. Serving as mobile missionaries, they served in Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, China, Mongolia, and Azerbaijan to provide local pastors with a four year seminary degree. They have worked with thousands of Christians and graduated over 300 men who faithfully serve as pastors throughout Eurasia.
Pastor Dernlan also served as a founding elder for five years at Substance Church in Ashland, OH. Now, when he is not preaching at Church of the Redeemer, he continues in international ministry with periodic trips to Damuc, Romania. Church of the Redeemer is blessed to be a small supporting church of this International ministry.
Pastor Dernlan was married to his wife Susan in 1967. They have four grown sons and fourteen grandchildren. His wife Susan is a constant support to him and a wonderful mentor and encouragement to young mothers and wives of pastors and ministry leaders.
Pastor Thornbury grew up in Montgomery, Alabama. He attended Auburn University where he received a BA in History. Pastor Thornbury later pursued seminary in Louisville, KY and earned a Master's of Divinity from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2010.
He served as a youth minister at a local PCA church for 10 years and has also served as a teacher of History, Logic, and Bible for over a decade at a local classical Christian school. Pastor Thornbury strongly desires to see God's people rise up to bring every area of life under the Lordship of Christ.
Pastor Thornbury is married to his wife Sarah. They married in 2010 and have three children, Annie (11), Davis (9), and Banks (5). He loves watching his kids play sports, spending time with his family, teaching the Scriptures, and being outdoors.
His favorite Bible verse is Habakkuk 2:14, " For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea."
Sunday Morning Worship
Sunday Morning Worship
Family Game Night
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have a youth group for teens?
We do not have a "youth group," but we do have a robust and active group of teens in the church who gather together for Pickleball, meals, board games, and other social activities. We also have frequent Family Nights for fellowship and growth as a Christian community.
Do you have programing for children during the worship service?
We do not have programing for children during the worship service. We welcome all ages to worship together as God's people during the worship service. We do not mind the noise of infants and young children during service. We have a "cry room" available for families with young children to use during the worship service.
What type of music and songs are used during worship service?
We sing psalms and hymns with rich theological meaning during Sunday morning worship. We also gather for periodic "psalm sings" to grow as a church and cultivate a robustly joyful singing community.
Should I bring food for the Sunday morning fellowship meal?
Visitors should not plan to bring any food. Just worship God and enjoy a nice Sunday meal with fellow believers after the service. Regular attendees bring enough food for everyone. Visitors are encouraged to stay for the meal but we also understand if you have other plans and can not stay for the fellowship meal after the worship service.
How many people worship with you on Sunday mornings?
There are currently about 13 families and 65 people worshiping together on Sunday mornings with new visitors every few weeks. We started worshiping together at a home in Daphne on July 3, 2022 with 38 people. On August 7, 2022 we moved to the Holiday Inn (Fairhope) for Sunday morning services and on March 5, 2023 we moved to our current home at 809 Nichols Avenue in Fairhope, AL. We hope you will join us to worship God together this Sunday.
Do you have a Sunday school?
We do offer a Sunday school time from 8:45-9:40am. We offer one class for adults and and young adults and another class for younger children.
How do you practice baptism?
We are comprised of both pedobaptist and credobaptist families. We allow members to participate in baptism from a pedobaptist conviction (baptizing infants of Christian parents as a sign of the covenant by pouring or sprinkling of water) or a credobaptism conviction (baptizing professing Christians after a profession of faith by submersion under water).
We believe there is one right and true way (meaning and mode) of baptism as God is the author and ultimate judge of all truth. However, we acknowledge that biblically based convictions held by Godly and Christ-like individuals do not always align in this important sacrament. We pray that the Holy Spirit will lead us to a unified understanding of His Word amongst our church family.
How do you practice The Lord's Table?
We celebrate The Lord's Table (communion) weekly with bread and wine. The pastoral staff oversees the distribution of the elements and invite members of God's family to participate in this covenant meal with joy, discernment, and remembrance.
How do the pastors select sermon topics?
It is rare for our pastors to select a topic for a sermon or to deliver a sermon series. Instead, they preach through an entire book of the Bible in an expository approach to preaching. This approach allows them to preach and teach all of God's Word to His people.
Are you a member of a denomination?
Yes. Church of the Redeemer is a member of the Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches (CREC). The governing documents for the CREC are located below. We appreciate the encouragement and support we receive from Providence Church in Pensacola, FL.
We hope you will join us for worship at Church of the Redeemer as we
grow in Christian community together here on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay.
Please let us know if you have any other questions.
FAITH & DOCTRINE
In an effort to provide clarity and order for the local church, we have adopted the following documents. These standards do not supplant Scripture, but rather are an expression of our understanding of Biblical church government under God with Christ as the Head of the Church. While seeking to be Biblical in structure, we make no claim that every detail found here is expressly taught by Scripture.