Philip was born and raised in Texas. At seven years old, he confessed Jesus as his savior and believed that Jesus could save him from his sin. Like many children raised in Christian homes, Philip was very involved in church activities through his elementary, middle, and high school years. Although his knowledge and understanding of the ways and stories of God grew, it wasn’t until college that his faith came alive
After a personal encounter with Jesus in his freshman year of college, God began to draw Philip into a life lived wholly for Jesus’ name. Opportunities to lead small groups turned into large scale speaking and leadership. As God continued to grow Philip, he also required Philip to lay down more of his own goals and hopes for the better plans of Jesus.
Philip and his wife Andi spent a few years teaching children, high school students, and college students in Texas before God led them to Kentucky in order to pursue further training in church leadership.
Four years later, God moved Philip and Andi to Anchorage to lead True North Church. As Lead Pastor of True North, Philip is responsible to share leadership and oversight with the other Elders, and to instruct and give vision to the church by teaching and preaching the Scriptures. Philip believes that True North has arrived at a critical point in its life as God beckons us to go further and deeper as a local church. Jesus promised to build His church until His return and Philip’s greatest joy is getting to be a part of that at True North.
Ian is a life long Alaskan who was born and raised in Wasilla. Although he grew up in church, Ian became serious about his relationship with Jesus in 2010 when he was 22 years old, and followed in obedience by being baptized alongside his soon to be wife Aja. Ian and Aja have been part of True North Church since the church first began meeting in 2010. They have since grown to lead a Life Group in their home and serve in church leadership.
Ian’s relationship with the Lord is best described by Jesus’ words in Mathew 9:12 "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.' For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners." Ian is passionate about living out the gospel with other sinners in community.
Currently Ian and Aja have 3 children: Alton, Ivy and Sloane. Ian works as a Financial Advisor with Edward Jones, and when he is not working you can often find him hiking, biking, hunting, and enjoying other outdoor activities.
Dave and his wife Gwen are originally from Colorado. They moved to Alaska in the summer of 2016 and became covenant members of True North Church shortly thereafter.
Although Dave has been confident in his salvation through Christ since his youth, he is grateful and humbled by the work God has done in his adult life to move him toward spiritual maturity. He celebrates the ongoing sanctification we are promised through the Spirit, and looks forward to the continued growth God has in store for him and his family as well as for True North Church.
Dave and Gwen lead a Life Group in Eagle River. God has blessed them with three young children, Lucy, Finney, and Mosely. Their family is incredibly grateful for the community and church family that God has provided here in Alaska. Dave is thankful to be a part of the Elder team at True North, coming along side other leaders to provide oversight of key decisions for the church and to shepherd the flock to which we have been entrusted.
Originally from south Louisiana, Scott and his wife Dana have called Alaska home since 2013. Their family has been a part of True North Church since 2018.
Scott surrendered his life to Christ at thirteen after a Sunday School teacher invited him to his office to share the gospel. He surrendered to full-time ministry while in college and has worked in vocational ministry since 1992. After graduating from seminary in 2003, he has primarily served in collegiate and university ministries. He lives by 1 Thessalonians 2:8, “We cared so much for you that we were pleased to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives because you had become dear to us.”
Because of their passion for discipling and mentoring college students, Scott and his family serve as North American Mission Board missionaries at The University of Alaska, Anchorage. Through Mosaic Campus Ministry, they desire to help students know Christ, connect them to like-minded believers and a local church, develop them as disciples and leaders, all while teaching them how to live a missional life.
Scott and Dana enjoy leading a Life Group in Eagle River. They have two teenage children, Andrew and Ruthie, both of whom enjoy serving the church. The Belmore’s are thankful to be a part of the leadership and community of True North Church and are excited to see what God has in store for this body of believers.
Elders' Vision for 2019
Tyler is a life-long Alaskan. He received his call to long term ministry just out of high school, and even though he had no idea what it would look like, he made the commitment to stay faithful to that call with every life decision thereafter. Born and raised in Ketchikan, Tyler moved to Anchorage after networking at the University of Alaska Anchorage campus with other believers. That core group of college students would eventually become True North Church.
After serving on a smaller scale in the church as a worship musician, Tyler transitioned to a full-time position with the church as a worship leader.
At True North we believe that worship is the prime directive of Christ's church, and that music is a very effective way to be able to participate in collective, communal, expressive worship as a body. Tyler strives to lead worship with Ephesians 5 in mind - through psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, in a way that is exalting to Christ, unifying to the body of the church, and with excellence as befits an excellent God.
Tyler walks through life with his wife Kaitlyn as they raise their daughter Emma and son Ronald.
Director of Operations
Cody was born and raised in Arkansas. He made a “decision” for Christ when he was 9, but didn’t truly understand what it meant to have a relationship with Christ until his senior year. Between the beginning and end of Cody's last year of high school, he felt a call to ministry and went on a 4 month mission trip where God began to cultivate a love for students, discipleship, teaching, and pastoral ministry.
While serving as a Youth Pastor in Arkansas, God began to lay out a path for Cody and his wife Laurel to move tp Alaska. After asking God for a very clear and direct sign, God made it clear that Anchorage was where the O'Neals were called. Trusting God through their move to Alaska has been one of the hardest decisions they have ever had to make, but Cody and Laurel have seen God move in and through their lives like never before. Cody and Laurel are blessed by the community of True North that lives life together openly and honestly.
Cody’s passion is for the next generation and seeing them chase after God and change the world. His hopes are that the students of True North grow to have their own personal relationship with Christ and that we can help their parents be the main disciplers in the lives of their children. Cody’s prayer is that we as a church make disciples who go out and make more disciples.
Cody and Laurel love to travel, hike, bike, fish. Along with all things outdoors, they love to build community by cooking for people and hosting game nights. They love their city, their church, and are trusting in God to use them to reach the state of Alaska and the world.
Beth and her husband, David, are originally from the midwest, lived in Texas for several years and have enjoyed living in Alaska since 2017. Their four girls bring them great joy and provide endless opportunities for excitement in life.
Beth understood, at a young age, her need for Jesus and grew up in a home that valued church community and personal growth in a friendship with Jesus. As a young adult, Beth had the chance to grow in her relationship with Jesus, and make her faith her own, as she obeyed the call to participate in opportunities outside of her comfort zone. Student teaching abroad and teaching a classroom of her own, supporting David in medical school, residency, and service to the military and parenting her children have been some of the ways God has taught Beth to walk with Him, know Him and trust Him more.
As a teacher, mom, and member of the True North family, it is Beth’s very great privilege to serve the kids God has given us. She believes that children are a gift from God and play a vital part in the life of our church family. Her prayer is that True North kids would know, and grow in, the love of Jesus, and the unique identity given to them, as a valuable and important part of the body of Christ by learning the Word of God and developing relationships within the True North community.