Teaching Team

Ps. Dominic & Amira Russo

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Pastor Dominic Russo. is the Senior Pastor of Oakland Church. Pastor Dominic’s humorous and memorable presentation of God’s Word speaks directly to people’s hearts, uplifting and inspiring them to fulfill their full potential. Pastor Dominic’s 25 years of leadership at Oakland Church is catapulting many new ministries, including churches, charitable organizations, and international missions projects every year. Most of all, Pastor Dominic is known for his passion for God and genuine love for all people. He is a true example of what a devoted follower of Christ looks like. Amira Russo leads alongside Pastor Dominic and in the woman’s ministry. She also leads a monthly Bible study and fellowship on the 1st Tuesday of every month.

Gabe & Hannah Bahlhorn

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Gabe Bahlhorn is marked by passion, authenticity and a contagious personality.  Since 1999, Gabe has been ministering in local churches while traveling and ministering in foreign nations across the globe.  In 2006, Gabe joined the executive pastoral team at Oakland Church located in Rochester, MI.  Gabe’s passionate and witty communication style allows others to discover and unlock who God has called them to be.

In addition to that Gabe also serves as a speaker and outreach director with Missions.Me and was instrumental in launching the historic 1Nation1Day initiative for Honduras in July of 2013.

Jedidiah & Amber Thurner

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Jedidiah is an emerging voice with a desire to ignite passionate cultural catalysts and activate the destinies of this generation’s world changers. Jedidiah travels both nationally and internationally ministering at churches, schools, conferences, and city-wide crusades. With a heart and call to disciple nations Jedidiah joined Missions.Me as a Director in 2012 – A missions organization that annually sends thousands of people on life-transforming missions trips worldwide and organizes innovative international outreaches and humanitarian campaigns. Jedidiah and his wife, Amber, and their beautiful daughter, Aniya, serve locally at Oakland Church.

Dominic & Lindsay Russo

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Dominic Russo is a speaker, a humanitarian, and an innovator in international missions. At the young age of 20, Dominic founded Missions.Me and began organizing strategic outreach campaigns in cities across Latin America. These multifaceted campaigns include hundreds of missionary volunteers, large-scale relief projects, and collaborative partnerships with local political and religious leaders. In 2011, Dominic launched the “1Nation1Day” vision in Honduras – a project that attracted the largest foreign missions team in history and was officially declared a national holiday by the Honduran President. On the week of July 20, 2013 more than 1 million Hondurans were personally reached through the 1Nation1Day outreaches and every national newspaper announced “We Have A New Honduras.” Dominic authored the book Do Not Say I Am Too Young to motivate people to seize their destiny regardless of their age. Dominic’s story reverberates with inspiration and stirs hearts to dream of a life fully dedicated to impacting people. In 2010, Dominic’s wife Lindsay founded Angel House – an organization that has provided 83 Angel Houses, home to over 2,100 children in India and a safe house for 30 victims of human trafficking in Nepal. Together, they reside in Rochester, Michigan with their sons Mason and Jude.

Oakland Church Culture

1. Honor is for everyone

A Culture of Honor:
Honor creates an environment of the miraculous.
Dishonor limits the supernatural release of heaven.
Honor must be given and not expected.  If you live by the approval of man, you can die by it.

2. We believe in the impossible

Culture of Faith:
Faith is the currency of heaven.
We are not wishers, hopers, spectators – we are believers.  We pursue & expect the impossible.
We were made for the “greater things.”
Miracles are part of the normal Christian life.

3. Humility = Strength

Culture of Humility:
Humility is a position of strength.
The greatest of all is the servant of all.
The lower we are the more leverage we have.
Humility keeps us hungry.

4. Excellence is our evangelism

Culture of Excellence:
Excellence is our evangelism.
Excellence is the product of wisdom.
Kings are drawn to wisdom displayed through excellence.
We will not do what we can not do with excellence.

5. You don't have to believe to belong

Culture of Grace:
We journey together.
We do not hold people to our convictions who have not shared in our commitments.
Destiny is found in community.
It’s the kindness of Christ that leads us to repentance.

6. Generosity is a lifestyle

Culture of Generosity:
We will lead the way in irrational generosity.
Generosity produces generosity.
The action verb of the bible is “give”.
It’s better to give than to receive.

7. Growing things change

Culture of Change:
We are committed to change.
Change is when our world comes into alignment with His word.
Change is our comfort zone.
Change is the component that takes us from one glory to the next.

8. We choose love

Culture of Love:
Love is a choice.
Love is our response.
Love always assumes the best first. (2 Cor. 5:18-19)
We stop to love the one.

9. Unity in diversity is beautiful

Culture of Diversity:
Diversity needs to be celebrated.
We celebrate all generations, all ethnicities, all genders, all classes.
We release the uniqueness of every believer.

10. People are our passion

Culture of Passion:
When we fall in love with Jesus we fall in love with people.
Passion is the “Why” behind the “What”.
Passion is the fuel to fulfill the vision.

Beliefs

The Bible

The Bible is God’s Word to all people. It was written by human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. Because it was inspired by God, the Bible is truth and is completely relevant to our daily lives.
Deuteronomy 4:1-2; Psalms 119:11, 89, 105; Isaiah 40:8; Matthew 22:29; John 5:39; 16:13-15; 17:17; Romans 15:4; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 1:1-2; 4:12; 1 Peter 1:25; 2 Peter 3:16

Trinity

God has existed in relationship with Himself for all eternity. He exists as one substance in three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 61:1; Matthew 28:19; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 1:35; John 5:21-23; 14:10, 16; Romans 8:9-11; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Hebrews 1:8-10; James 2:19

The Father

God is great: He is all powerful, all knowing, ever present, unchanging, completely worthy of our trust, and above all, holy. It is in Him that we live, move and exist. God is good: He is our Father. He is loving, compassionate, and faithful to His people and His promises.
Exodus 3:14; Numbers 23:19; Leviticus 11:44-45; 19:2; Psalm 11:4-6; Malachi 3:6; John 3:16; 4:24; 5:26; 14:1; Acts 17:28; Romans 3:3-4

The Son

Jesus Christ is completely human but, at the same time, completely God. He is the only plan for bringing people who are far from God back into a right relationship with God. He lived a perfect life, so that He could be a substitution for us in satisfying God’s demands for perfection. He defeated death in His resurrection so that we could have life.
Isaiah 7:14; 53; Matthew 1:18-23; 3:17; 8:29; 14:33; 16:16; 28:5-6; Luke 22:70; 24:46-47; John 1:1, 14; 10:30; 11:25-27; 17:1-5; Acts 1:9; 2:22-24; 7:55-56; Romans 1:3-4; 3:23-26; 8:1-3; 10:4; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 2 Corinthians 5:19-21; Gal 4:4-5; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:15; 2:9; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; 3:16

The Holy Spirit

His presence assures us of our relationship with Christ. He guides believers into all truth and exalts Christ. He convicts people of their sin, God’s righteousness, and the coming judgment. He comforts us, gives us spiritual gifts, and makes us more like Christ.
Genesis 1:2; Psalms 51:11; 139:7 ff.; Isaiah 61:1-3; Joel 2:28-32; Mark 1:10; Lk 1:35; 4:1; 11:13; 12:12; John 15:26; 16:7-14; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4; 13:2; Romans 8:9-11, 14-16, 26-27; 1 Corinthians 3:16; Ephesians 1:13-14; 2 Peter 1:21; Revelation 22:17

Eternity

Man was created to exist forever. He will exist either eternally separated from God by sin or in union with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is Hell. To be eternally in union with Him is Heaven. Heaven and Hell are places of eternal existence.
John 3:16, 36; Romans 6:23; 1 John 2:25; 5:11-13; Revelation 20:1

Man

Man is made in the image of God and is the supreme object of His creation. Man was created to have fellowship with God but became separated in that relationship through sinful disobedience. As a result, man cannot attain a right relationship with God through his own effort. Every human personality is uniquely created, possesses dignity, and is worthy of respect and Christian love.
Genesis 1:26-30; 2:7, 18-22; 3; Psalms 8:3-6; 32:1-5; 51:5; Isaiah 6:5; Jeremiah 17:5; Acts 17:26-31; Romans 1:19-32; 3:10-18, 23; 5:6; 6:6; 7:14-25; 1 Corinthians 1:21-31; 15:19, 21-22; Ephesians 2; Colossians 1:21-22; 3:9-11

Salvation

The blood of Jesus Christ, shed on the cross, provides the only way of salvation through the forgiveness of sin. Salvation occurs when people place their faith in the death and resurrection of Christ as sufficient payment for their sin. Salvation is a gift from God, and it cannot be earned through our own efforts.
Isaiah 1:18; 53:5-6; 55:7; Matthew 1:21; 27:22-66, 28:1-6; Luke 1:68-69; 2:28-32; John 1:12; 3:16, 36; 5:24; Acts 2:21; 4:12; 16:30-31; Romans 1:16-18; 3:23-25; 5:8-10; 6; 1 Corinthians 1:18; 2 Corinthians 5:17-20; Galatians 2:20; 3:13; Ephesians 2:8-10; Philippians 2:12-13; Hebrews 9:24-28; Revelation 3:20

The Church

The Church is a local community of believers unified through faith in Christ. It is committed to the teachings of Christ and obeying all of His commands, and it seeks to bring the Gospel to the world. The Church works together in love and unity, intent on the ultimate purpose of glorifying Christ.
Matthew 16:18-19; 18:15-20; Acts 2:41-47; 5:11-14; 13:1-3; 14:23; 16:5; 20:28; 1 Corinthians 7:17; 9:13-14; 12; Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 3:10-12; 5:22-32; Colossians 1:18; 3:15; 1 Timothy 4:14; 1 Peter 5:1-4; Revelation 21:2-3