In 2003 a group of friends started talking about starting a new church in Winter Haven and the next year they began planning to start this new church.
In the Fall of 2005 Drew Bennett was called by Trinity Presbyterian Church in Lakeland, FL to serve as Associate Pastor/Church Planting Apprentice in order to be trained to serve as the founding pastor of the new church. This was supposed to be an 18-month apprenticeship, but due to a unique set of needs - both at Trinity and also in the projected target area - the original timeline was delayed. By late 2006 the plans for a new church were practically off. Those who were originally part of the core group began to scatter to do ministry in other places.
However, in February of 2008 (5 years after the initial conversations about a new church) we were all back together again. And the best part was that God had added a bunch of new friends to our number. For 6 months - in the Spring/Summer of 2008 – we met as a “core group” to pray, envision, and plan to plant. There were approximately 35 adults and 20 children that were a part of this core group training. In June of that year Jonathan Winfree was called to serve as an Assistant Pastor at Redeemer.
On October 5, 2008 we began public worship services in the Fine Arts Auditorium at Winter Haven High School. 235 of our closest friends joined us that Sunday morning to help us celebrate the realization of a dream that had been many years in the making.
During the Fall of 2009 the session of Covenant Presbyterian voted to give their property on Dundee Road to the Church of the Redeemer. We began worshipping at our current facilities in November of 2009.
In the fall of 2011 we particularized by installing our first class of elders, finally becoming a “real” church. The following Spring we installed our first class of deacons to lead the church in the area of mercy ministry.
The next chapter of our story began in 2013 when we brought in Jeff Skipper to serve as Church Planting Apprentice. During Jeff's apprenticeship we began transitioning to a multi-congregational model; and in January of 2016 we planted our first new congregation, Redeemer Southwest.
In February of 2016, the session of Redeemer Winter Haven and the Southwest Florida Presbytery agreed to bring in Iglesia Prebisteriana Berea as a part of the body of RWH. Berea has been the only Hispanic work in our presbytery during the last 15 years. We hope to help them find a new pastor and by God's grace, begin a vibrant church planting movement among the growing Hispanic population here in Polk County.