Jim Marian isn’t in the business of judging people.
His mission — along with that of Calvary Community Church — is to share the love of Jesus Christ.
“If people are new to our church for the first time we want them to feel no one is judging them,” said Marian who was installed recently as the lead pastor at the church on Lathrop Road between Main Street and Union Road in north Manteca. “We welcome people to come as they are.”
It’s not simply talk. Besides a genuine passion for people and a love of God, Marian takes a low key approach opting to share the message instead of delivering a sermon. That approach is reflected in his casual dress and his engaging manner.
Marian along with former lead pastor Dave Angove are delivering the message Sunday, Oct. 6, as Calvary Community celebrates its 60th anniversary. The services at 9 and 10:30 a.m. will touch on Calvary Community’s history and celebrate its future.
Marian noted those that expect a lecture-style sermon when they attend a service will be sorely disappointed.
“I try to use humor as well as stories so I can connect with people and share God’s word,” Marian said.
And his goal to connect people with Jesus Christ and to do so in practical ways is reflected in his dedication to being a vessel of using God’s love to reach out and help others that meshes seamlessly with Calvary Community’s efforts of the past six decades.
“Calvary is a place for everyone to belong,” Marian emphasized, noting Calvary has rich tradition of outreach ministries.
Topping the robust list of outreach endeavors is the Living Well Ministries. Besides striving to help people grow spiritually into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ through prayer, relationship and Bible study the group also offers a weekly food pantry on Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Individuals or families can receive assistance in the form of a bag of groceries once a month.
Calvary partners with other churches and faith-based concerns to meet the needs of the greater Manteca community through organizations such as HOPE Family Shelter, Love INC (in the Name of Christ), the Haven of Peace women’s shelter, and the Right to Life Manteca Pregnancy Help Center.
Reaching out is ingrained in Calvary Community’s mission.
“The question you need to ask is if you (as a church) stopped existing tomorrow, would your community miss you?” Marian said.
Marian earned his Masters of Divinity at the Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena. He received his Bachelors of Arts in Church Growth, Biblical Studies, and Preaching at Pacific Christian College.
“I grew up in Southern California and love the Lord with all my heart,” Marian noted. “My desire is to help people find and follow Jesus. I sensed God’s call to the ministry in high school.”
Marian started out serving as a youth pastor before serving as lead pastor at three different churches.
“I love to share God’s Word with biblical insight and practical application,” Marian added. “I love sharing life with others in small groups and serving those in need.”
Over the years he has led nearly 50 short-term mission trips to the inner-cities of California and trips to Mexico and countries in Central and South America. The trips not just met the practical needs of others but also sharing the Good News about salvation in Jesus and seeing many become Christians.
Marian has published four books of theology. He has also written a number of worship songs.
Marian and wife Harriett, who is a pediatric oncology nurse, have four children.
His other passions include spending time at Yosemite, camping, biking, golf, playing guitar, reading, skiing and watching movies with his family.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email firstname.lastname@example.org