Our Story


Monterey Church began as a dream that God placed on Pastor Bryan and Elaine's heart in 1999.  In this dream, Bryan was a pastor wearing jeans (a departure from his current church experience), preaching in a school gymnasium—specifically on the coast of California.  However. at that time, he was an entrepreneur and owner of a running store in the heart of Atlanta, Georgia. A businessman and Economics graduate, Bryan never sought to become a Pastor. In fact, he very much looked up to the Elders at his church who were successful businessmen living for the Kingdom of God. In a moment at the altar, one of these elders, Arvel Burrell, prophesied over him: Bryan would be a pastor, specifically a preacher. To the dream and the call, his answer to God at the moment was, "Not now."

Meanwhile back at the running store, Bryan started a running club for the community as an avenue for outreach. The Buckhead Roadrunners Club grew to include hundreds of members and led to Bible studies at his home. Through this humble gathering, God showed Bryan the simplicity and power of people coming together in His presence and growing through the teaching of His Word—new followers beginning to follow Christ and new leaders beginning to lead. This was a foreshadowing of what was to come.  

At the running store, Bryan also met his future wife, Elaine, and they were married in June of 1999.  That same month just before tying the knot, on a trip to NYC, Bryan had a powerful encounter in which God, again, made clear His purposes and calling. It was through God's grace, pursuit, and faithfulness that his initial response of "Not now" turned into "Yes!" (so much more to the story). Bryan and Elaine answered the call; he returned to school to become a pastor and church planter.


Bryan sensed the call to return to school to become a pastor and church planter.  After graduation from seminary, remembering his dream in 1999, he began to pray over and research communities on the coast of California. When he landed on "Monterey," he knew that was it.

In September of 2005, Pastor Bryan and Elaine came to the Monterey Peninsula to launch a new church in the community.  To Pastor Bryan's surprise, 'Monterey Church' would be the very first church of its name in the area. With God’s incredible help, the first worship service was launched in March of 2006, starting in a small hotel conference room and within three months, a school gymnasium with Pastor Bryan standing (in jeans) preaching .  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.  Today, Monterey Church continues to minister to the community from the very heart of downtown Monterey.


Pastor Bryan sensed it was time to expand the church that is "Monterey" under one name, mission, and vision and according to the same purpose. He and the church leaders felt specifically called to the Washington, DC area. In 2014, Monterey Church Virginia held its first worship service at the Virginia Oaks Golf Club in Gainesville, VA. Later, we secured a more permanent location at the former 'Ted's Tack Shack' in Warrenton. (The church building is still affectionately called, "The Shack" by our members today.)

Some have asked, "Why did you go to Virginia?" There have been many evident reasons to come to Virginia—through prayer, through research, because of our Monterey members' connections to the military/government here, and specifically through the powerful moment of driving down 29 and sensing the significance of the place. In time, God has shown the larger "why" through His Word in Isaiah 54, which teaches us the expansiveness of His vision--to go to the right (Virginia) and left (California). These are our tent stakes and the calling for this Church is everywhere in between, a commissioning to go to all places, all states, all nations, in every sphere of influence—with great faith—wherever the Holy Spirit leads.


In September 2019, Monterey Church purchased 17 acres on Auburn Road off Vint Hill, less than five minutes from "The Shack." This peaceful property, with views of mountains and a pond, intersects three neighboring communities of Warrenton, Gainesville, and Nokesville, Virginia.

In this season, we have witnessed God faithfully provide for, in perfect timing, the beautiful land for this church.  As we prepare for construction of the building (the physical structure), God has moved mightily to refine and strengthen the Spiritual/relational structure (our community of believers) that will house the physical church building.

To learn more about this Biblical structure, watch Pastor Bryan's sermons, "The Monterey Way: The Mountain and the Tree". To learn about our new property, watch "A Call to Build."


God has shown us that Monterey Church is a church ordained by Him alone. Our very existence could not be possible apart from Him. Our purpose is for His glory: To establish the authority of God in the hearts and minds of his people. 

God has made clear the significance of the name "Monterey" even preserving its use for us today.  Monterey means "mountain of the King", from monte (“mountain”) + rei (“king”).  In this season, God is showing us what it means to be under his covering and blessing, his leadership, and authority—flowing from the top of the "mountain of Christ the King" all the way through to the Priesthood of All Believers. In this Biblical structure, a church rooted in God's Word and filled with His Spirit is a thriving "Tree" empowered to "Go" and be missionaries and ministers of God's Word in every sphere of influence he calls us to. Everywhere we “Go”, it is for the glory of God by establishing his authority, lovingly by the Holy Spirit, one heart and mind at a time.


Join us every Sunday as we gather to worship together a 10AM.