North Park University - Chicago North Park University - Chicago

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Radiant Church, a new church plant in Seattle led by Michael Thomas, launched in September 2014 after several years of planning and partnership with the ECC. Today, the congregation continues to grow in numbers and in its commitment to Jesus, diversity, community, and being a light in the city.

“Our church is growing because we have intentionally tried to emulate the kind of community that I experienced at North Park,” Thomas says. “My wife, children, and I experienced an authentic, diverse community where people loved, cared, and supported one another. We could see an embodiment of being our neighbor’s keeper and loving thy neighbor as oneself.” Thomas is proud of a young church that already represents seven ethnicities and a wide range of socioeconomic conditions.

Thomas grew up Baptist, and through a series of events, including a former youth pastor planting an ECC church in Detroit, became connected to the Covenant. He completed a master of divinity at the Seminary in 2013 after earning a bachelor’s in church and ministry management at North Park University. While in Seminary, he also served as an athletics chaplain to undergraduates on campus.

“While I was a chaplain, I learned how to disciple and engage people about Jesus Christ in a way that they can relate and respond to,” Thomas says. “You can’t just use church jargon and tradition and make assumptions with people who didn’t grow up in the church. Having that experience and coming to Seattle, it feels like the same kind of ministering I did on campus.”

“The beautiful thing about North Park is that they answer the why we do what we do,” Thomas says. “It’s not just about learning Hebrew and Greek, or understanding how to interpret God’s word. We learn these things so that we can reach others with the same gospel message that we have been reached with.”