If you drive or walk through Five Points, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Denver, you might wonder if a church could be established there. Laced with bars, warehouses, small business establishments, and with graffiti everywhere, it gives the impression of a dangerous place to start a church.

Miloš Tomić, an associate pastor of the Arvada Adventist Church, recalls when he threw out an idea during a pastoral evaluation meeting in 2019 at the Rocky Mountain Conference. Ed Barnett, then RMC president, challenged him directly: “You know what? You guys from Arvada, you can do this. You should just get a place and start a church downtown.”

They took the challenge with a group of young Adventists from their local church, Miloš said. But then COVID came and put things on hold until the middle of 2021. Yet the idea did not go away. “Let’s do something that is not going to be [getting] in the way of people connecting with this ministry because this neighborhood is very dangerous. People who live in the neighborhood, they’re a part of the space [we] rent. They’re a part of the neighborhood we are in, and a lot of them are very anti-church,” Miloš added.

The group began their involvement in Five Points by getting to know their neighbors and promoting their presence in the area. Then on Sabbath, Dec. 11, 2021, Pastor Tomić and a group of Arvada young people met for what could be seen as a seeker worship. Thus started the Five Points Life Adventist Church.

Miloš stated that the group of young people in attendance were committed to “helping this neighborhood experience something better, something bigger and something that will improve the neighborhood and just get the people over here, [to help them] understand that the spiritual aspect of life is as important as boozing and bar hopping as they have it around here.”

Five Points Life has two objectives: to create an environment that is a welcoming community for everyone, and to promote the values of the gospel and the teachings of Jesus—sticking to the things that really matter to people, allowing them to find their path with God and to find solutions in their lives with God.

This is a church, Miloš said, “but this is not like your usual church. This is a group of people who are here not to listen to me. People come here to share, to hear what others have to share. This will never be that typical [approach] with let’s line up, let’s stand up, let’s sit down, let’s do this, let’s do that. The New Testament church was kind of a complete freedom of expression. We are going to the basics.”

Mickey Mallory, RMC Ministerial director, joined the group on its inaugural day. “It thrills my soul to know that we now have a safe place in the Five Points neighborhood of Denver where young adults can come and connect to God and with other young adults,” Mallory said.