Derrick Puckett | Lead Pastor
Derrick grew up near Chicago in Gary, Indiana, spending chapters of his youth between the two neighboring cities. As a high school student, Derrick was introduced to Christ through a relationship with a young woman, Kaley, who would later become his wife. They matriculated at Indiana University and quickly became involved with Campus Crusade Ministries while they earned their degrees. Blessed with a natural ability to lead others, the couple eventually became leaders within Campus Crusade. Both Derrick and Kaley were burdened by the division they saw on campus along racial lines. So Derrick created a new ministry for Crusade within the Impact Movement that reached out to African-American students on campus. The creativity of this new ministry would soon be reduplicated on every college campus where both Campus Crusade and the Impact Movement were present.
After college, Derrick and Kaley moved to Indianapolis, IN to work on staff with Campus Crusade and helped develop a ministry in the inner city of Indianapolis where Churches, College students, and high school students worked together. This ministry brought about needed community in the city while giving churches a natural way into the colleges and high schools in Indianapolis. This work in Indianapolis is where Derrick and Kaley’s heart became burdened for the local church.
After a few years in Indianapolis, the couple moved to Memphis, TN, where Derrick earned an MDiv at MidAmerica Baptist Theological Seminary while serving in the Residency Program and as a Campus Pastor at Fellowship Memphis Church. It is at this multiethnic church where Derrick deepened his passion for seeing the Gospel’s power to reconcile people of all walks of life.
Providentially, Derrick and Aaron Brockett, the pastor of Traders Point Christian Church in Indianapolis, became great friends. This relationship led to Derrick partnering with Orchard Group, a church planting ministry, and the rest, as they say, is history. Derrick and Kaley relocated to Chicago in the Fall of 2013. They have four beautiful girls: Ramiyah, Elyana, Isabelle, and Nalah.