Walnut Creek, CA

Some background on Wayne Phillips

The desire to start this church is rooted in my desire to help people see Jesus clearly and step further into a life transforming, soul-filling relationship with him. When a person who is still living apart from Jesus meets a community of Christ-followers who loves them well, knows that Jesus is the source of life, and is experiencing God’s real presence through the Holy Spirit, this person will want to know more. This is how I, an agnostic who thought he knew all about Christianity, encountered the living God and said “yes” to him.

I was born in Las Vegas and then went to college at the University of Washington. During that time I was searching for answers to the big questions and was confident that Christianity didn’t have them. I looked into philosophy, explored other religions, and decided that we’re all on our own and just need to choose to live the best we can.

After college, I moved to the Bay Area, moved in with my sister, and met some Christians who were good, smart, and fun! They drew me out and invited me into their lives. At their church I met people who were connecting with God at a heart level and were confident that Jesus is alive and present their lives. This was different from my previous experiences of Christianity. Their love for life and each other made me curious about Jesus.

I investigated by reading the Gospel of John and Mere Christianity. John revealed a Jesus to me that was unlike the remote God I had learned about in Catholicism. This guy was intense, compelling, and super relational. C.S. Lewis helped me see Jesus apart from the unattractive face Christianity presented to me in the media and convinced me that faith is reasonable.

In church one Sunday the speaker said, “I think the Lord is calling someone here to himself. If that’s you, please stand up, we want to pray for you.” At that moment my heart started thumping, I felt life radiate through me, and I could not help but stand up. The living God made himself real and present to me, and my desire to know and follow Jesus was ignited. Ever since that day I have been eager to help others see him clearly and experience his presence also. Here’s a quick look at some of my experiences since then.

  • PR consultant in the technology industry, Bay Area (1992-2000)
  • Co-founded the Prodigal Project, a youth outreach and discipleship in SF (1993-1996)
  • Completed YWAM’s School of Biblical Studies, Montana (1996-7)
  • Teacher in India at YWAM’s Bible School, Bangalore (1998)
  • Back to Walnut Creek, met Becky, got married (1999-2000)
  • Teacher in India at YWAM’s Bible School, Bangalore (2000-2001)
  • Director of Spiritual Life at The Creek Church and Bible teacher and chaplain at CCCHS, Walnut Creek (2001-2003)
  • Seminary at The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology (formerly Mars Hill Graduate School) and Regent College Vancouver B.C. (2003-2004)
  • Director of Spiritual Life at The Creek Church (2004-2007)
  • Pastor of Transformation at Northshore, Seattle (2007-2011)
  • Western Seminary in Portland (2007-2011)
  • Assessed as church planters by the Evangelical Covenant Church (2010)
  • Lead Pastor and Teacher at Open Table Church, Walnut Creek (2011-present)
  • Education: M.A. Biblical Theology (Western Seminary), Master of Spiritual Nurture (The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology, Mars Hill Graduate School), School of Biblical Studies (YWAM, Montana), B.A. Business (University of Washington)

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