About
Our History

The Rising began as a Command from Jesus Christ, spoken at the beginning of the first century in Palestine shortly after His crucifixion and resurrection:

Matthew 28:19-20: Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Believing this Command, a ministry of New Life Community Church in Belton, Missouri acted by moving a number of college aged students to the campus area of UMKC. We were determined to make Jesus’ message and story considered on that campus. Over time, God put it on our hearts to graduate this ministry into a Church plant to midtown Kansas City. We officially planted in 2013 and set out on our own, confident that his promise of presence would sustain us.

Without a building in which to meet, our first year was an exciting mix of meeting in people’s homes, at the UMKC Student Union, in open air services at Swope Park, and other midtown venues. Increasingly, as we grew, we felt the need to put down roots in the community and began a site search. In February, 2015 God provided the building at 43rd and Walnut that we are in today.

Over the last three years the Rising has more than doubled and we’ve expanded our meeting space to accommodate our growing church family. We’re extremely blessed with talented artists in multiple disciplines, including music, and due to our close proximity to KCAI we enjoy using our space as a gallery to showcase local talent. We focus our energies around a few, key ministries: loving one another, discipleship, serving the poor and needy in our community, and Christian apologetics to students searching for answers in an unsettled world; both at UMKC and the Art Institute.

We’d love to meet you. Feel free to drop on in at 10am any Sunday, at our Friday night Coffee House and Game night, or reach out to Joseph or Kevin (our elders) for more details. For a complete list of upcoming and weekly events, head to our Events page.

What We Do

We believe Jesus Christ called his Church to action. First and foremost we want to love one another in community as Christ loves us. Our focus in midtown Kansas City is centered around a few key ministries: Build strong marriages and families; Disciple one another; Serve the poor, downcast and wounded in our city; and represent the message and story of Jesus Christ to students at UMKC and the Art Institute. If you'd like to see this in action, we'd love for you to be our guest. Just check out the events page and pick a time to swing by or feel free to reach out to Joseph or Kevin. We'll get you plugged right in. For a complete list of upcoming and weekly events, head to our Events page.

Our Elders

Joseph Hobbs (who goes by Hobbs) is a bi-vocational pastor who also works as a Business Intelligence Consultant for a variety of companies. He's married to pretty much the best woman on earth, Amanda Hobbs, and he has four nearly perfect children: Gabriel, Arthur, Evangeline, and Dulcinea. He became the primary teaching elder with the Rising in 2013 and has never enjoyed a church so much in his life.


Kevin Berger is also a bi-vocational pastor who is a practicing attorney since 1991 and has a civil trial practice in Kansas City, Missouri. He enjoys using his law degree to help people under difficult circumstances and very much rejoices at the opportunity to work alongside Hobbs in The Rising. He has been a Pastor for approximately 15 years. He definitely married up in 1989 to Sarah, his love of this life, and has seven wonderful children aged 26 – 11; Alex, married to Alexandra and son Liam, Emily, Jacob, Aaron, Alyse, Hannah and Lauren. His passion is for the nearby campuses of UMKC and the Kansas City Art Institute to be reached with the wonderful news of our Savior, Jesus Christ. He too has never enjoyed a church so much in his life.

What's Next?

The Rising has a fairly simple goal: See God uplifted and glorified in Kansas City. Towards that end, we focus on our efforts on our four prime values (Holiness, Discipleship, Community, and Outreach). Please link to any of these values from the Home page to enter the discussion.