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City on a Hill Church hopes to befriend and love like Christ

Pastor Bruce Bentley, his wife Jennifer and their four children are part of starting a new church in Rosemount. City on a Hill will hold a going public service at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 2 at the Steeple Center.

As far as Bruce Bentley is concerned, traditional churches aren't reaching many new people. And he wants to change that.

Bentley, along with a small group of people, has started City on a Hill Church. The mission of the church is to reach out to people on their own turf.

"As we grow, we hope we will be known as a church that doesn't wait for people to come in its doors but seeks to become the church living and active in the lives of our friends outside the doors," said Bentley.

Bentley said church members want to intentionally invest their lives with others by living the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

For most of the past year, a growing group has been meeting at houses and in backyards. Recently, though, the church has started renting out the Rosemount Steeple Center on Sunday mornings. Bentley said it's a great location to meet and serves the congregation well.

City on a Hill started with a small group but the congregation has steadily grown. Bentley said they have about 85 people now. He said the group has a broad mix of people coming from all walks of life. Many are former members of South Suburban Evangelical Free Church in Apple Valley.

Bentley served as the youth pastor at South Suburban for eight years. In total Bentley has served as a youth pastor for 19 years.

Bentley started to research the steps involved in planting a church while on sabbatical in 2009. To research the idea he talked with other pastors who had planted churches. He also put together a small group of people to investigate the idea. In July 2010 he resigned from South Suburban to lead the creation of City of a Hill.

"I feel I'm in the right place in life and I have the conviction to do this," said Bentley.

The group chose Rosemount as its home for several reasons. Bentley said the city is growing and underserved, making a great place to start a new church. Bentley said he lives in town, and wants to make a difference in his community. Bentley and his wife, Jennifer, have lived in Rosemount since 2002. The couple has four children.

Bentley said the church is using a slow but steady strategy to establish itself in Rosemount. As the church goes forward, Bentley hopes to reach out to more people through love and friendship. The church motto is "Belong, Believe and Become."

"We want to have a church where people belong," said Bentley.

City on a Hill will host its first public service at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 2 at the Steeple Center. For more information on the church visit their website at email

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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