Artisan Church | Pastor Sam & Renee Grosso
Pastor Sam and Renee’s inspiring journey led them to establish Artisan Church, a vibrant faith community in the heart of Blaine, Minnesota.
Sam’s journey began when he stumbled upon a youth group at River Valley Church in 2004. A simple desire to skateboard became a profound encounter with God. He found a sense of belonging in that youth group and experienced his “true salvation moment.”
During an altar time at camp, he heard the voice of God, “You’re going to be a part of these for the rest of your life.” This vague yet powerful call eventually led him to youth ministry. Sam started serving as an intern and later as a youth pastor. It was during this time he met Renee. Only girls had signed up for youth camp the summer of his first year on staff, and he needed a female counselor. A brand-new youth leader at the Apple Valley campus, Renee, was assigned as a counselor for the girls.
Sam and Renee served at River Valley Church for seven years before they felt a stirring to do something more. They moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where they took on an executive-level role in a church for three years, gaining valuable experience and insights.
However, their hearts remained in Minnesota. They had a strong sense they were meant to lead a church but didn’t know the exact details. During a season of buying and remodeling a home, Sam recalled another defining moment. “I heard God asking if I would sell my house for Him. I knew we needed to do this, so we moved back to Minnesota in July 2020.”
Upon returning, they began establishing Artisan Church by gathering a launch team and developing its vision. Finding the right venue was another challenge but in a conversation with Supt. Mark Dean, the opportunity of taking on an open church in Blaine presented itself. The existing board and congregation were amazing and captured Sam and Renee’s vision. In April 2021, Artisan officially launched.
Artisan Church strongly emphasizes the core values of hospitality, community, generosity, improvement, and outreach. A unique way to connect at Artisan is called Socials. Or, as Sam calls it, their “secret sauce.” These gatherings bring people together, build connections, and create a sense of belonging.
Sam encourages other pastors not to rely solely on tools and tricks for growth but to invest in building a culture of genuine care and love. “Being real, honest, and approachable is key to connecting with people and fostering a thriving church community.”