10 years ago, 2001 alumnus David Huskisson, native of Barbados, began the ethnically
diverse Solid Rock Assembly of God in center-city Springfield, Missouri. The range of
diversity varies from Caucasians, to African Americans, to Hispanics, to Samoans and
I didnt have a plan, Huskisson said about starting the church. I
just had a call. I didnt have a church planting formula, but I knew how to have
church. I just jumped into it. Huskisson held the first service in
a house with 15 people on April 1, 1989.
Eventually, the small congregation built their own building and grew to 30 attendees.
After a while, it became apparent to Huskisson that the church had reached a plateau.
We were trying to do what a mature church does, but without a clear purpose, it
was difficult. The church was content, but it wasnt growing or impacting
the community around it. I felt like there had to be more, Huskisson said.
Huskisson took a class on urban ministry and eventually enrolled at AGTS. He wanted
answers to his questions about ministry, namely, how to make his church grow. While
attending AGTS, Huskisson participated in a church planting boot camp. He left with
a redirected approach to ministry. I followed the pattern that every one else
had used, he said. His attempt to force the church to be normal was
keeping it from fulfilling Gods unique purpose for the neighboring area. Solid
Rock was to play a distinctive role in the spiritual and physical life of its surrounding
The church serves as a uniting element among the various races to whom it ministers.
We try to make the church inviting to all races and socioeconomic statuses,
said Huskisson. We are purposeful about emphasizing our diversity.
The church took on a unique role in the development of center-city Springfield. Huskisson
is the vice president of the Ministers Coalition of Springfield, made up primarily
of black pastors who are involved in social issues. The group helps to educate people
about AIDS. They hold community fairs that offer free health screenings as well as employment