In the summer of 2007, I came on staff at Desert Springs Church (DSC). DSC is the only Christian church I have known as a member or as a pastor. I was born and raised in Albuquerque,NM, where I attended St. Pius X High School, and then the University of New Mexico, receiving my degree in History. I grew up Roman Catholic, although it was more of a tradition than it was a belief or marker of who I was. During my junior year of high school I began to smoke pot, and in college I became heavily involved in the party scene. It was in the spring of 2002 when Ritchie McKay was hired as the UNM Menʼs Basketball Coach, the team I had worked for 3 1/2 years prior. Coach McKay and his assistants were faithful to share the gospel with me, and in the winter of 2002-03, I began to attend DSC and was made new in Christ.

Lauren and I met at church (although we were also in elementary school classes together), and through serving The Well (the young adult gathering at DSC) we became friends and eventually began dating. We were married in the summer of 2005. We currently have 3 children: Jordyn (5), Brayden (3), and Cody (1).

During my first year (2007) working at DSC, I met Dave Bruskas, a pastor at Mars Hill Church, who was holding a luncheon to discuss church planting. Almost immediately, I knew that this was the call God had for our lives, and that we were to plant a church here in the ABQ area. I discussed this desire with the DSC elders, and they confirmed this calling and wanted to train me and send me as a full DSC elder.

Our call to Rio Rancho is what we believe to be a Spirit led call. Our hope is to see lives transformed by Jesus and sent out on His mission for His Kingdom. We pray that under the
shepherding of Jesus, we will see a church passionate about proclaiming His name, seeing lives changed, and seeing many churches planted throughout New Mexico and the world for His Name. We believe that Jesus has something special in store for Redemption Church and for the people involved, something much bigger than any of us, but something He bids us to join Him in.

Rio Rancho is the 3rd largest city in New Mexico at over 87,000 people, and is the fastest growing city in the state with a 69% population increase in the past 10 years. Rio Rancho is part of the Albuquerque metro area, which is the most populous in New Mexico and is projected to reach 1 million people by 2020. The rate of churches being planted and growing has not been able to keep up with the rate of population growth in the city. Our prayer is to be part of a movement of churches
being planted who continue to plant churches and bring the message of redemption to the people of New Mexico.

For His Renown,

Carlos Griego
(Lead Pastor)