The Alpha Story

Alpha is a gigantic ministry with groups meeting across the entire world. Like most beginnings, it started small: at a London church in 1977. 

In the late 90s, Minnesotans who had been living in London brought Alpha back home to North Heights. One dedicated warrior prayed Alpha into our church where it was enthusiastically embraced. In fact, North Heights was the site of the first Alpha conference in Minnesota. 

Alpha has now been part of North Heights for 25 years, and the team behind it is fiercely passionate about the premise of it: bringing people from outside the church in. Over the years, the Alpha team at North Heights has certainly done that.

Mark Gregory once drove a homeless man to Alpha for 10 weeks. That man is now in Heaven.

A woman named Susan once invited her hostile neighbor who was struggling with mental illness. After attending Alpha and church services, he came to faith, is free of addiction and mental illness, and is on fire for the Lord.

Another man was the top dog of freemasonry until he went to Alpha and gave his life to the Lord. His dying wish was to get his friends set free.

A Buddhist man came to Alpha with not much interest and then not only came to the Lord but became a strong evangelist himself.

Alpha attenders have brought drug dealer friends that found Jesus. People have been healed, and several have been baptized with the Holy Spirit.

The stories are truly endless over the last 25 years. To see a 10-minute video of stories from the Gregorys, click here.

Some outside the church have discovered Alpha through promotions, online, or through other divine encounters. Most are invited by friends, co-workers, or neighbors.

Mark Gregory describes Alpha as the greatest evangelism tool; it’s all about inviting others. Mark explains that the daunting task of inviting strangers and neighbors could be as easy as saying, “Come and see what this is all about.”

The key is that you can belong before you believe at Alpha. It’s a safe place of belonging for everyone, regardless of faith or background. Some may even call Alpha training for believers and seekers alike. The course equips others to share their faith, pray for healing, and be ministers of the gospel. When people do come to new life in Christ, they are already prepared to go out and bring other people to Him, and the cycle continues.

Even with all the success, all the people invited and saved, the Alpha story isn’t over. There is so much potential for more healings, transformations, freedom, and salvation here at North Heights.

What was the key to Alpha’s success over the years at North Heights? People were on fire to share their faith and invite other people. People in the church caught the vision and joined Alpha with the intention of bringing others to have discussions, experience community, and encounter Jesus.

“I want our church to embrace that again,” Elaine Gregory says. “It has to come from within.” 

Alpha happens every Wednesday night with dinner starting at 6pm. Who can you invite this year?  

Posted by Hannah Varberg

The Fervent Women Story

Fervent Women isn’t a club. It’s more than a small group. It doesn’t neatly fit the definition of a Bible study. 

Fervent Women is a community of women passionate, ardent, fervent about God and the betterment of each other.

The group was formed out of a need to rebuild community after the pandemic. For human beings to feel loved and connected, some research suggests we need to be within 6 feet of other humans. The pandemic broke that connection, forcing us 6 feet apart. Fervent Women is the avenue in which to not only get physically closer but spiritually and emotionally closer.

Ginny Runeberg was part of the team that saw the need for community and acted, birthing a new, living, vibrant ministry. The secret success of this ministry is the ladies’ ability to be real, and Ginny gets real about her beginning involvement: “When TJ asked me, I was like ‘absolutely.’ But I wasn’t expecting to be one of the leads.”

Even so, God placed Ginny on the leadership team of Fervent Women. After historically working with children, she at first questioned, “Do I know how to work with women?! I work with kids all the time!”

At heart, we’re all just kids looking for a place to belong. No matter age or life circumstances, women need a space to belong and simply be. Belonging together eventually leads to passionately seeking and living a life that is hungry for God and doing that together.

Ginny talks about how Fervent Women is a safe place for women to take off their masks (literally and figuratively!) and have a connection with the women in the church. Susie Anderson, another leader of Fervent Women, emphasizes that the vision is for those outside the church too; the heart of the group is sharing Jesus with people outside the walls of the church and adding them to the group. Fervent Women is for the churched and unchurched alike. 

Fervent Women is for the churched and unchurched alike.

“More people need to know the truth. The church kind of forgot that we need to share that with people outside our walls. I don’t know how we forgot that, but we did,” Susie says frankly. 

Sometimes the obvious needs to be emphasized. Fervent Women prioritizes helping women find their gifts and talents so that they can be internally encouraged and confident and externally motivated in their daily-life ministry. 

The hope is for this community of women to grow. It’s a community of joy. Laughter. Intimate discussion. Encouragement. Passion. It’s a community you want to be part of.  

Fervent Women meets every Wednesday from 6:30 to 8 at North Heights Arden Hills. Bring some friends, and join the community.

Posted by Hannah Varberg

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Arden Hills Campus

1700 West Highway 96, Arden Hills
Saint Paul, MN


Roseville Campus

2701 North Rice Street
Roseville, MN


(651) 797-7800