It was the fall of 2006, and I couldn't shake the reality that most of my peers had no interest in Jesus. I mean, they liked the idea of him - but the whole Lordship thing was a bit much. Add to that, most of the Christians I had met through our campus ministry were either awkward, shy, or didn't actually know Jesus. Having some speaking gifts - the organization eventually made me president - hoping I could turn the ministry around.
Thinking a church would be a good place to learn from - I gathered with a few of the awkward Christians in our ministry and attended a church near my dorm. Upon sitting through an hour-long sermon (which included a 30 minute rant about wine being grape juice), I began to think being a Christian meant you had to be awkward, shy, or actually not know Jesus.
In truth - I was at a loss. I was burdened to reach my generation with the gospel - the very gospel that had transformed my life. But I frustrated with the process - and was beginning to ask the Lord for direction on how to best reach those who didn't yet realize they needed Him.
Little did I know God was using my time at Illinois State to plant a seed, a seed that would take 16 years to germinate.
Fast forward to the fall of 2016 - I'm now married with two kids, working full-time as a worship and youth director, all while starting my Mdiv at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis. During that time I was wrestling with where the Lord would have me plant a church - when a friend encouraged me to look at Flagstaff as a potential location. His words caught hold - eventually leading me to plan a trip out West in an effort to explore the area further.
In May of 2019 - my good friends Cliff and Eric joined me for a trip to Arizona. Spending considerable time in Tempe, Flagstaff, and Scottsdale - along with a brief blitz up to the Grand Canyon (see picture), I left with equal parts excitement and fear. Excited, having seen with my own eyes the need for more churches in this ever growing area. But also fearful, knowing it would cost my family more than just money to make the move.
And those fears would not be unfounded.
The journey to raise support, envision a team, finish my Mdiv, all while adding two more kids to the mix would plunge me into the greatest trial of my life. Yet the Lord would remain gracious and near to me. Indeed - I could not imagine planting this church without that season, for in the depths of my misery He showed me the vastness of His love.
In January of 2022 - Melinda and I moved with our four kids into the East Valley. A total of 21 adults have since moved with us to help plant Flatiron Church.
Our partnership with Rock Point Church in Queen Creek has produced an unexpected closeness in both vision and resources. We are their newest daughter church - which means we share some internal resourcing all while keeping a separate eldership board and preaching team. Think college kid - we can raid the pantry but we have our own apartment!
Having Grand Opened in July 2023, when you come on a Sunday morning - you’ll see that we are still within the Planting Phase.
Planting Phase (the first 3-years of a church) is a time of deepening friendships, leadership development, and formation of key ministries. This is a great time to get connected, as most of our teams are looking for people to grow as disciples and mature into leaders.
Our team is made up of people like you - people who have committed to regularly gather, serve, give and pray for Flatiron Church. Be a part of the team as we take our next step in seeking Jesus.
Flatiron is the most visible peak in the East Valley. From the ground it reveals a sheer drop into a plateau that gradually winds its way down to the valley floor. From above it looks like an iron pressed into the mountain itself.
It’s where every eye goes.
But we see it as a reminder…a reminder that everything beautiful and magnificent in this world points to its Creator, to King Jesus!
And to that end – we seek to see everyone in the valley lift their eyes to Him.