Lead Pastor, James Marchetti –
I was born and raised in Anchorage, AK and grew up in a family that loves and serves Jesus. In my teens I helped to start a church that was eagerly pursuing the teenagers who lived on the streets of my city because we were convinced that God loves and wants everyone (even those who society has lost hope in). I met Christina in high school and we fell in love. We were married when we were 19. She is one of God’s greatest gifts to me. Our church ended up merging with another church here in Anchorage in 2006 and we served there for 6 years.
Through this season of life, as we had 2 children and grew up together, we found ourselves walking through trials that caused us both to turn back to scripture and question some of the basic beliefs we had held about God, salvation, His plans, and how we were supposed to interact with Him. As we sought truth we became captivated by the doctrines of Grace and the goodness of God’s sovereignty in saving broken people like us. Through this my desire to spread the good news of Jesus grew and I came to a place where I was no longer able to stand by and watch the people of my city live in darkness. I knew that we had what they needed most and I had to find ways to get it to them.
I also became convinced of these things: 1. God’s mission in this world was to save sinners like me through relationship with broken people who had been save by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. 2. The church was not a meeting or a building but a people; a family of missionary servants who are learning how to be and make disciples in all of life. And 3. That if we were willing to live in real Gospel Community we would see every member of the church become effective as disciple making disciples of Jesus. 4. That the good news of Jesus has to change everything for us who believe and that as we experience Him we must be changed in a way that our lives begin to demand a gospel explanation from the people who live around us.
We started this church on those basic ideas and as we did Christina and I were compelled to begin doing foster care and adoption because we saw an incredible need in our city and one that I believes we were able to meet in a way that exemplifies more than any other tangible expression what God has done for me. I was not His child and God chose to pursue me in spite of my ignorance, hard heartedness, and lack of desire for Him. He not only “saved me” from myself and my sin but adopted me into His family; giving me an inheritance and hope for the greatest pleasure possible in this life and the one to come through the person and work of Jesus.
We now have 7 children… Yeah, we are crazy. And we are still walking with this Radiant church to try to figure out together what it looks like to be imitators of God in all of life and how to live like were made to. The chief end of God is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever and that is what I want to do.