iNgage Church was never started with the intention to be a church. In fact, the name wasn’t even iNgage Church, it was actually called Redemption Project. Redemption Project was an idea given to Nelson of a ministry that would be attractive to young adults through some of the leading Christian artists, the best speakers, and would be in stadiums all across the United States. This burdened Nelson for almost a full year in 2009, and while he understood that it was a great idea, he came to grips with the fact that he didn’t have the funding, the networks, nor the man power to pull such an endeavor off, and Redemption Project became nothing but an idea sitting in four black journals filled with prayers, notes, and dreams about what seemingly would never come.
In 2011, Nelson was sitting in the Dome, a stadium located in St. Louis, the stage was set, empty with people, but filled with HOPE. It was a moment where everything that Nelson had wrote in his journal, all the prayers, the notes, and the dreams, came rushing back, as if God was finally giving him the green light to dream again. This time it wouldn’t be as Redemption Project, but as engage, with an “i”. iNgage. Over the next two years iNgage kept Nelson in deep thought and deep prayer of how to impact a culture and influence a generation to chase after God relentlessly.
For two years, Nelson wrote in a journal and prayed about iNgage but never knew when it would start. In 2013, Nelson was fired from his job in North Carolina and found himself back in Waldorf, Maryland working at Target. He hated it. He cried almost every night, battled depression, and felt stuck emotionally and physically. One night, his mother walked into his bedroom and said, “son, you are a preacher, preach.” His mother’s simple yet powerful words were all he needed. He dried his eyes, picked up every journal where he’d written about iNgage, and called 5 people, three of which are still here today. On August 25th, 2013 at Berkshire Elementary School, iNgage had its first Worship Experience, “Shine Brite” on a Sunday Night at 6pm. The mission was simple: To see a city changed and a generation healed through the HOPE of Jesus Christ.
iNgage held three Worship Experiences in 2013 during August, October, and November. After the final worship experience in November, it was apparent that iNgage needed to be more frequent. The problem was that iNgage was very expensive to hold every single month. All the equipment and venue was rented, and the budget was always a concern. There was a staff meeting called in December, where Nelson was adamant about trusting God to do the impossible concerning iNgage and we must move to holding these experiences twice a month. The problem was that there was only $7.85 in the bank account.
Nonetheless on January 3, 2014 the iNgage team proceeded to move forward with holding two worship experiences a month, and a miracle happened. At the end of the night, without anyone asking, someone wrote a check to iNgage for $785.00. The Lord multiplied $7.85 into $785 in just one night.
Since that miraculous experience, iNgage has never looked back and never slowed down. We have held Worship Experiences in Forestville, MD, Washington D.C, Glen Burnie, MD, taken mission trips to Guatemala, provided hundreds of coats to homeless people, hundreds of school supplies to kids in needs, given thousands of supplies to a homeless shelter, and over $6,000 dollars to local and global charities.
In the midst of all that God has asked us to do, we have put our roots down in Waldorf, MD. We are currently holding Worship Experiences in Waldorf every weekend, with the anticipation of our Church Launch that the Lord has called us to! On September 25, 2016 we launched iNgage Church. The mission is the same, but the vision burns deep within us. We desire to see people grow, lives transformed, and communities impacted. As a church we have committed to being an intricate part of the Waldorf community and to plant a church where all are welcomed, everyone is loved, and bring you undeniable HOPE.