“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
– Matthew 28:19-20
Monterey Church started as a dream in the heart of Bryan and Elaine James in 1999. Bryan sensed the call to return to school to become a pastor and church planter. Upon entering seminary, Bryan received a scholarship designated for those who would eventually venture out to one of the western states and start a new church. After graduation from seminary, the call became clearer and Bryan began to pray over and research the communities on the West Coast.
Bryan’s research showed him that Monterey County was nearly 90% un-churched, yet over 70% of the community answered that they believed in God and would like to have that faith informed. Bryan and Elaine saw this as a great opportunity and began to raise support and seek counsel to start a church in Monterey. In time, the details were worked out and it became evident that God was leading the James family (Bryan, his wife Elaine, and their two daughters, Rachel and Sarah) to take the leap. In September of 2005, Pastor Bryan and Elaine answered God’s call and came to the Monterey Peninsula to launch a new church in this community.
With God’s incredible help, the first worship service was launched in March of 2006. Since then, Monterey Church has met every week, added hundreds of members, and created dozens of dGroups (small groups) that meet all over the Monterey Peninsula. The James family has also grown, adding Julia and Sam!
As of Easter Sunday 2014, Monterey Church is now transforming hearts from the very heart of downtown Monterey, and this proved to be just the beginning of another huge move of God.
Around the same time, Pastor Bryan sensed another call, this time to expand the Body through church planting. He and the Church Leaders felt specifically called to the Washington, DC area. Although very far from Monterey, Northern Virginia did make sense as many Monterey Church members in California relocate near Washington, DC at some point in their military/government careers.
The James family, once again, stepped out in faith to plant Monterey Church in the Gainesville-Warrenton area of Northern Virginia. Monterey Church Virginia is currently meeting in a local high school facility with the vision of one day building its own facility on a property located nearby.
While Pastor Bryan James primarily leads and teaches in Virginia (with Campus Pastor Mike Wiese primarily teaching at the California campus), he shares his time between the two coasts preaching the messages God has put on his heart for the entire Monterey Church body. Many members, too, go to and from both of these campuses! The two Bodies enjoy joining efforts and partnering for the purposes of pursuing the Monterey mission of reaching the nations with the love of Christ.
In the 4th Century the early church father’s gathered together and agreed upon a general statement of not all, but many of the essential beliefs of Biblical faith. The Nicene Creed has been received and accepted across a broad range of churches for many hundreds of years. We find it a great and poetic statement of our essential beliefs, as well.
To find out more, click the button below to listen to Pastor Bryan’s sermon “What We Believe”.