It was 2015 when Rev. Ricardo Tavárez began to pray about starting a church in the Burton Heights Neighborhood of Grand Rapids, a former red-light district of the city, though home to many families and small business. Having grown up in the area, it seemed that God was calling him to this mission in his own backyard. In May of 2016, he shared these prayers with several Christian leaders. A handful of these leaders realized that God too was calling them to join the Holy Spirit’s work in Burton Heights. This group joined together and is becoming a multicultural, bilingual worshiping community.
We are En Vivo Church.
As followers of Jesus Christ, we live out and proclaim the good news of God’s kingdom in the Burton Heights Neighborhood.
We envision a church actively engaged with the Holy Spirit in the transformation of the Burton Heights Neighborhood through sharing the gospel, by acting in mercy, the cultivation of community resources, and the practice of justice. We see the freedom of Christ bringing wholeness and righteousness to our neighbors. We anticipate disciples rising from our community as champions for God’s kingdom.
We believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
We believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic* church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
*that is, the true Christian church of all times and all places
Preaching & Discipleship
We proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ so that our neighbors in Burton Heights may be stirred to faith in Christ and so that together with them, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, we may be transformed into a community that seeks to glorify God in all we do. Together we are becoming disciples of Christ through the hearing and living of God’s Word, sharing the Lord’s Supper, and baptizing new brothers and sisters into God’s family. As we do so, we are encouraged to continue sharing the good news of Jesus Christ while growing in the gifts that God has given us to strengthen one another.
Mercy & Compassion
As God has shown us mercy, we are called do the same. We seek to feed those who are hungry, refresh those who are thirsty, welcome strangers, clothe those who need clothes, care for the sick and visit those in prison. We seek to demonstrate this compassion with and for our neighbors in Burton Heights.
Restoration & Development
We believe that God cares about us in our entirety including our ability to flourish in the places where we live. We seek to repairing the broken places in Burton Heights and as we are able to empower those within our community to reach their potential. Through the Holy Spirit we work to raise up Shalom (peace and wholeness) in Burton Heights.
Justice & Advocacy
God calls us to be agents of His kingdom in this present age. So, as we pray for his Kingdom to come on Earth as it is in Heaven, we put our prayer to action by working to set right the wrongs in our surroundings. As a body of believers, we advocate for those in our neighborhood community whose voices are ignored and who have been disadvantaged by systemic injustice.