Moving to the Great State of Arizona?
I’m an Arizona native. YES it’s a dry heat… but so is your oven!
Seriously, 9 months out of the year, the Phoenix area is incredibly beautiful – and the other three months of the year you’re only 2 hours from the pine forests in Northern Arizona (try Prescott and Flagstaff) - and just 7 hours from San Diego and LA and Disneyland! Of course, thousands of people moving here already know all those positives right here in the Valley of the Sun – which is why I so often get asked my thoughts about living in Phoenix.
Here’s some information that I share a LOT with others and hope it encourages you if you’re considering moving to Arizona (And I hope it saves me and you sending me an email!). All recommendations here are only based churches that I’ve worked at, worked with, or attended. Or individuals that I know personally. There are MANY great churches and people here – these are just the ones I recommend here in 2013 - 2014.
Where are some great churches in Phoenix?
I actually live in Scottsdale, AZ. As the 8th (or 7th depending which survey you read) largest city in the country, let me highlight three church in three different parts of town that you SHOULD check out if you’re visiting or moving to Phoenix.
In West Phoenix
Christ Church of the Valley is a mega-mega-church but with LOTS of personal touch. I have extended family members who go there and their kids program is second to none. Community Church of Joy has long been a lighthouse of faith and fellowship as well in the West Valley.
In the East Valley (Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert area)
Grace Community Church is one of the closest churches to Arizona State. It’s also one of the top churches in the Valley – however in all fairness, I’m on their staff part-time! I get to work alongside Pastor Darrell DelHousaye (President of Phoenix Seminary who is the lead teacher) and Pastor Josh Sherrard the Lead pastor and a great staff. I work with Spiritual Formation, Men’s Ministry and Family Ministry! During the school year, we have every Wednesday night “Strong Family Suppers” which are fun events for young adults, couples, families and seniors. (Think Willie Wanka Chocolate night, Luau night, or “O Canada” night!). Visit our My Place @ Grace Center as well in the church foyer to see our spiritual formation “path” and find great tools for families. (We have our own version of the HomePointe Model!). Also, I facilitate (and sometimes teach) a Wednesday night Men’s CrossTrainers bible/accountability study after StrongFamily Suppers each Wednesday during the school year. If you end up in FAR East Valley, like Chandler or Gilbert, then Sun Valley Community Church is a sister church to grace that’s absolutely outstanding.
If you're further East in the East Valley, then Sun Valley Community Church is outstanding (It's in Gilbert).
Cindy and I attended Scottsdale Bible Church for 25 years and love the church and people. I was on staff there when I met Gary Smalley. Served on the Elder Board, and we led a young family class there for six years until just recently. They continue to have outstanding preaching (Pastor Jamie Rassmusen is outstanding) and family ministries based on Tim Kimmel’s Grace Based Parenting model.
Here’s the two we recommend – again, there are other great schools, and many Christian based charter schools are popping up all over the Valley. However, here are two great school, with a long history of training up young followers of Jesus (like our daughters at SCA).
Scottsdale Christian Academy and Grace Community Christian School
Again, there are many outstanding Christians who do therapy and Christian counselors in town. I only refer to three, BUT it's a huge city. There are probably 20 great Christian counselors I don't know about. So feel free to check with a local church in your area, or the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) or with Focus on the Family, both of whom have extensive lists of counselors. At this time, because I travel so much I am NOT able to do individual or marital counseling - but I'd send anyone to...
Dr. Bill Retts – An outstanding marriage counselor, grief counselor, and individual counselor
Dr. Greg Crow – Has extensive background in dealing with people with addictions and has written in this area. Also great with marriage or individual counseling.
Dr. John Michael – Used to work at StrongFamilies. John was also the counselor for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He is great with working with couples or individuals or teens.
Pathways – This is a clinic, but it’s run by a good friend, Jan RN, and they do a great job of working with troubled youth, in bringing faith and counseling excellence together.
Looking for a home in Phoenix or Scottsdale?
Finally, meet my older brother Joe Trent! Joe is a Realtor who helped both Cindy and me get a home and Cindy’s mom get a rental home as well. Joe’s specialty is finding homes for first time buyers, but he works with people in all parts of the Valley who are looking for homes all across the home-buying spectrum. Joe and his wife, Jan, love the Lord and he works super hard (He’s a Golden Retriever) to listen well and work his heart out to find a great home for people. Meaning he has my “oldest brother” stamp of approval if you’re house-hunting in the Valley! You can contact Joe at 602-349-2407 or his email address is JT8373@aol.com