A piece of our history was a monthly evening called Pie for Pastors' which has grown into what is now known as RenewU Ministries.
How we arrived at RenewU Ministries
RenewU Ministries was founded by Jim & Cheryl Sackett in the year 2000 when it became apparent to them that pastors were in need of encouragement and they had the gift of encouragement and hospitality. Current RenewU Vice President, Marty Giese and his wife Marcia, were the first participants in the ministry. After seeing how refreshed they were from the trip, Jim & Cheryl set out to renew other pastors and their wives, which led to the formation of "Pie for Pastors". Pie for Pastors was a gathering of mixed denominational pastors/wives for pie and fellowship on a monthly basis. The idea was to create a setting for fellowship among others who might understand the daily trials you face as a pastor. At the same time RenewU continued to have more demand for the service then just Jim & Cheryl could provide as the ministry continued to grow over the next 15 years. While attending a super week on campus at Dallas Theological Seminary it became apparent to Jim & Cheryl that they needed to pursue their passion for encouraging pastors. They decided to build a pastoral retreat center on their remote property on the Chatanika River, 35 miles northwest of Fairbanks, Alaska. On August 5th, 2015 Jim & Cheryl had a conversation with a successful business man that felt the need to get behind this ministry and asked Jim to speak to his upcoming men's retreat of 50 men. Jim went and presented the ministry and both he and the men were greatly encouraged by this event. Shortly after that, Jim received a phone call from a friend and Christian business owner in Fairbanks that changed the ministry forever. Jim was offered a full time salary to pursue the RenewU ministry by the Christian owned company. This served as the catalyst to taking RenewU to the next level. Jim resigned from his position as Executive Pastor at Faithbridge Church and launched into pursuing their pastor encouraging ministry full time. RenewU continues to gain a lot of traction with the decision to build a lodge at the pastor retreat center for renewing pastors and their wives.
Alaska is the prime place for adventure
We have yet to meet a person who hasn't wanted to visit Alaska, making it the prime place for our ministry. The Sacketts have connections all over the United States, but majority of their time has been between Alaska and Minnesota. While it was convenient that they already owned property in AK, it was also decided to officially launch RenewU in the interior of Alaska because of the unique opportunities it provides and the obvious desire of pastors to visit.