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Dancers Dancing on the dance floor



UpperLVL Worship cross

Rev. Jeremy Bellsmith

Lead Pastor

I was born into the church, the son of a church leader.  I learned the language and rituals early on. But I also discovered that the church wasn’t perfect. Hurt people, hurt people. Questions can raise defences. Churches fight and break up. Add to that lots of questions about how the Bible is true, whether science and religion are compatible, and how best to love my friends & family from the 2SLGBTQ+ community, and I had a recipe for a lifelong wrestling match with God.


I reluctantly stumbled into the ministry twenty eight years ago, and it became the arena for this wrestling match. Wrestling has meant deconstructing the faith I grew up in. I found that asking God good questions brings me closer to Jesus. And the more I do it, the more God proves trustworthy. 


When Austin and I started UpperLVL, I wanted it to be a place where questions were OK to ask. We're creating a space where folks who’ve left the church are safe to ask their questions, and where those who’ve never tried the church don’t have to worry about knowing the right words or rituals. I don't have all the answers, but I can point you to One who does.

Rev. Jeremy Bellsmith

Lay Pastor | DJ

Austin Penner

I didn’t grow up in the Christian faith. After over a decade of multiple addictions and personal struggles, I bottomed out completely at 27 years old. At rock bottom I was divinely funneled into a life of faith surrendered to Jesus in late 2021. Words truly can't describe the ways God made Himself known in that season of life, and the forgiveness I've come to know in God alone. After this, I started going to church, where I met Jeremy and we quickly became close friends.


So, after LevelTwo reopened in 2022, my life looked a lot different than it did when it closed due to COVID in 2020. I wrestled with where my job as a newly-sober resident DJ following Jesus in a fresh, post-pandemic nightclub scene fits into the puzzle... Is this compatible? Can I still pursue music or do I pack it up? How can I share this new life with my friends that don't know of the real love and forgiveness that God has for them?


So Jeremy and I arrived at this conclusion: Jesus came and hung out with us broken sinners to show us the true Life. Just as He came to us, He still calls us to do the same to one another. To go and share His love and truth with people where they are at, with a heart full of love, grace, patience, understanding and compassion. After weeks of praying together, one day we both received the same word: church plant.


The doors began to fly open from there. After a spring and summer of planning, as God would have it, our first UpperLVL Worship service in the club landed exactly 365 days after I got sober.


In September of 2022 I stepped into the same DJ booth I used to get hammered in - now sober and sharing the love of God found in Jesus Christ. We do so as broken vessels finding healing in Him, forgiven by His grace and mercy, justified by faith in Him, and raised to new, free and empowered life through His life, death, and resurrection for our sake. That's good news.


So, as our new faith community grows, I serve as our worship DJ and lay-pastor as I pursue this ministry calling while working toward an MDiv degree. I work alongside a faithful growing team, collaborating within our vision to expand this new expression of church community - while doing our best to follow Jesus, as He leads us the way.

Austin Penner
UpperLVL Worship cross
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