Peninsula Grace Church - Soldotna, Alaska logo

About Us


Born and raised here at Peninsula Grace, Justin stepped into our lead pastor role in January of 2016. He's been on staff since winter 2012 as our lead preacher, and has served on staff in other roles in years past. His experience and education in Biblical and Intercultural Studies, counseling, and teaching, gives Justin a unique ability to present God's Word with clarity and passion, and a heart for His people.

When he's not in the office, he can be found playing NBA Jam or enjoying his increasing number of nieces and nephews.

Janel has been attending Peninsula Grace since she was born. Through the years, Janel has been involved in ministry at the church with youth and children. With a background in counseling and 8 years of working in that field with elementary-aged kids, Janel is very excited for her role as the Children's Ministries Coordinator and to see children grow to serve Christ.

When not at work, Janel enjoys spending time with her husband and sweet baby girl fishing, kayaking, snowshoeing, and crafting.

Robbie Smithwick - Assistant Director of Youth Ministries

We are excited to have Robbie back on staff in an expanded position. Previously a youth intern, Robbie (with his beautiful bride Cara) will be shouldering more responsibility in leading and loving our youth.

More information to come!

We are excited to transition Carmen Franchino from her role "solely" as Youth Director to Program Director. Carmen will continue to direct the youth, but with Robbie Smithwick as assistant director, it will free her up to help direct other areas like worship, family ministries (facilitating parenting classes, women's discipleship) and finances/office administration. We believe Carmen's experience in non-profit business management, church ministry and heart for serving Jesus and others will allow us to take necessary steps forward in presenting everyone complete in Christ!

Born and raised in Indiana, Ryann is a transplant to Alaska. She graduated from Grace College with a degree in youth ministry and Bible. She has been attending Peninsula Grace since 2015, and is involved in one of our grace groups. Ryann also serves as a missionary at Solid Rock Bible Camp, where she works with building up the high school summer staff and keeping the waterfront safe.

Outside of the office, Ryann enjoys knitting, coffee, and chilling at home with her cat.

Lisa joined the Peninsula Grace staff in July 2012. Lisa likes to help people make things happen (and make pretty things in the process) and loves being a part of the Peninsula Grace team. She is also involved in the worship team and can be seen some Sunday mornings singing with one of our worship teams.

When not at work, Lisa and her husband delight in chasing after their crazy-haired boy and sassy wee girl.

Jeannie has been with Peninsula Grace previously (1994-2007) as Administrative Assistant and Accounting Clerk as of Summer 2011. Her diverse accounting experience has proven very useful as we seek to steward the financial gifts of this local Body.

Outside of work, Jeannie enjoys outdoor activities and spending time with her four children and her gaggle of grandchildren.

Jessie Whitaker - Custodial

Jessie has been a part of Peninsula Grace since she was one year old. In August 2017, she and her husband saw the need for church custodians, and decided that was a way they could further serve the church.

When she's not looking like a ghostbuster in her vaccuum cleaner, Jessie's days are filled with her three sweet babies.

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