Pastor Brian Bradford of Rocket City Church in Huntsville, Alabama, sat down with us to share about the church-led Rescue Sunday his church hosted that God used in ways they could have never imagined.

A young church

Rocket City Church, a part of the ARC network, was planted in January 2021. The heart of the church is to help people know and follow Jesus, with a deep emphasis on mobilizing the church body to reach family, friends, acquaintances, neighbors and coworkers.

This young church, with a congregation of a little over 200, launched during the height of the COVID-19 crisis and the Lord has faithfully knit this church family together.

Why choose to help rescue kids?

“Why not?” was Pastor Brian’s instant reply. 

When he learned that $1,500 rescues one child and launches their path to freedom, he saw the realistic possibility of rescuing kids.

“Any church or organization could reach that $1,500 mark for one kid. Is one kid worth it? Sure! If it was my kid, it would be,” Pastor Brian said.

Between having three kids of his own and the blessing of many international and domestic mission opportunities, Pastor Brian shared he has a unique personal and global perspective.

He has seen great need not only in other countries, but in his own home state. He recognized the privilege many of us have and the ability we have to help others—and that it could have been him that was born into a vulnerable situation like these kids.

“We have to do what we can with what we’ve got.”
Pastor Brian and his wife

Pastor Brian and his wife

Why host a Rescue Sunday?

Pastor Brian was teaching a Sunday series titled “FOR”—focused on everything their church body is for and not against.

“We are FOR justice” Pastor Brian exclaimed.

Pastor Brian wanted something tangible for himself and his congregation to be a part of.

“I wanted something to get behind.”

Pastor Brian reached out to U.S. National Director of Church Engagement for Destiny Rescue Tom Cochran to learn what it would look like for his church to rescue kids by hosting a Rescue Sunday.

Tom empowered Pastor Brian and his staff with the Rescue Sunday toolkit—equipping them with everything they needed to launch their own Rescue Sunday to share God’s heart for bringing justice to those trapped in human trafficking and to empower their congregation to rescue vulnerable kids, help them stay free and introduce them to the love of God.

Planning and promoting

Pastor Brian shared it was important for him to tie in their upcoming Rescue Sunday with the heart of the church and the passions of its people. 

He wove the theme of injustice into the fabric of his teaching series as their Rescue Sunday approached, teaching about other various topics of injustice, such as race and reconciliation.

He told us it was also important to share his personal “why” with the congregation. Sharing why injustice—specifically child sex trafficking—is so near and dear to his heart and why he believed it should be near and dear to all of their hearts.

“Every kid deserves a safe place to grow up, learn about God, find freedom and become who God wants them to be—and that’s not the reality everywhere in the world. If you really want to instill some DNA into your church that has the heartbeat of God, it has to come from the main platform.”

The day

For their Rescue Sunday, Pastor Brian taught on why they are “FOR kids”.

They themed the service and all its creative elements around justice and helping set kids free.

They worshiped with songs geared toward God’s freedom and His goodness.

They showed a promo video about Destiny Rescue, and pastor Brian taught on what the Bible says about injustice and what the Word says about children. 

He taught about child abuse statistics in their own state of Alabama and the global realities of child sex trafficking.

Pastor Brian shares human trafficking statistics on their Rescue Sunday

Pastor Brian shares human trafficking statistics on their Rescue Sunday

And then, he asked his congregation to join the fight to rescue kids.

“This is how we’re going to make a difference—by giving. Maybe one day we can go, but now is our time to give,” he shared with the church.

They set out with the goal of rescuing three kids as a congregation.

By the end of the day, they met their goal.

The giving kept going

People in the congregation shared that they wanted to give the following week, so they kept the giving open.  

They watched the number of kids rescued continue to rise over a three-week time frame—3… 7… 10… 12… 17 kids!

In the end, this congregation of a little over 200 rescued 24 children from the nightmare reality of trafficking and exploitation.

Pastor Brian was blown away.

“For a brand-new church plant… I mean that was, at the time, almost 10% of our total budget for the year. That was above and beyond what we were giving locally and nationally. Then it became a rallying cry throughout the rest of the year to say, ‘Look what God did! And if God could do this, what else might God want to do in and through you? And through our church? And through your family?’”

How did this impact the church?

Pastor Brian shared that so many testimonies and stories were bursting from the church. 

A new level of Gospel generosity and faith had been activated. People who had never given or tithed gave to the church for the first time to help rescue kids and continued to give to the church after their Rescue Sunday.

“You can argue the ins and outs of tithing all you want, but how in the world can you argue against this? Once you get enough momentum going, then everyone wants to be a part of it.”

Pastor Brian’s then-first-grade son invited a friend to visit the church, and she and her family came. Soon after, her dad got transferred to another country for work. On their way out the door on their last Sunday, they donated to rescue another five kids. They’re still faithfully giving to the church as they live in another country. 

Pastor Brian shared that when you step out in faith and throw something like this out, you never know where God might take it and expand your territory. He said that this experience grew his faith.

“I can’t think of a better way, especially as a new church plant, to build not just your faith, but your people’s faith.”

Pastor Brian shared that their Rescue Sunday created something they could look back on and see a tangible difference they made together.

“I can’t recommend a church early on to do something like this enough.”

As a pastor, Brian said that many things in the church are qualitative—for example, you can’t measure someone’s prayer life. He said it was so nice to have something quantitative. Something you can look back on as a church and see a tangible, quantifiable impact.

“There are 24 kids now that are free because of our sacrifice.”

It was brought up as a continuous reminder and rallying cry at following Sundays and various gatherings for the next nine to 12 months. “Remember when we did that? Remember how God showed up? For some of you, that was your first time trusting Rocket City Church. Let’s do that again!”

Continued engagement

Rocket City Church plans to continue fighting injustice and fighting for kids. They’re planning a charity golf tournament with corporate sponsors and are giving all the proceeds to Destiny Rescue. 

They’re also planning to keep the issue of child trafficking in front of their people and “making this a part of what we do.”

“What if we could double what we gave before?” Pastor Brian exclaimed.

What advice would you give churches considering hosting a Rescue Sunday?

Pastor Brian’s advice was to:


Don’t just make your Rescue Sunday a one-off thing; intentionally integrate and interweave it into what God is doing and teaching at your church.


Promote it early to prepare your congregation.


Personally stand up there and share your “why”. Share why you’re invested in this personally, and ask them to join you in this venture.


Don’t come into it with a scarcity mindset, but an abundance mindset. “I came at it initially from a scarcity mindset… God’s math was different,” Pastor Brian stated.

“Just be ready for God to show up in ways you wouldn’t have envisioned. Even for you personally.”

On behalf of the King and 24 free children, thank you, Pastor Brian and Rocket City Church.

We praise God for how He’s using Rescue Sundays not only to rescue kids but to further unite church families, activate greater levels of giving, ignite faith and draw the Church nearer to God’s heart for justice.


Ready to launch your Rescue Sunday?



Rocket City Church worship team

Rocket City Church worship team

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Thank you fighting for freedom. You’re now a part of a worldwide team that is helping to rescue and restore the sexually exploited. You’ll receive regular updates on the impact that your generosity is enabling and the lives changed because of you.

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Help fund life-changing empowerment.

Your donation can fund education and economic opportunities to help keep her free.

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