Italy, Church Planter
Andrea Artioli serves as a church planter in Mantova, Italy. He works alongside Giacomo Lerici in the local church and in the ministry of Coram Deo. The vision of Coram Deo is to educate pastors and lay people through the distribution of biblical literature and the sponsoring of Bible conferences throughout Italy. Andrea and his wife Emanuela have three children.
I was not raised in a Christian family. My parents were divorced when I was eight years old. A few years later, my mother met an Evangelical Christian, and they began to study the Bible together. Soon afterwards, she became a Christian and began to attend the only Evangelical church in our town. She took me with her.
I was eleven years old and attending a youth camp when the Lord opened my eyes. The Gospel message was very simple, but I really felt a deep sense of my sin and the need for forgiveness in my life. Since that time, I have tried to follow Christ fully.
During my teenage years, the Lord used Operation Mobilization’s summer campaigns in Italy to help me grow in Christ and to cultivate a passion for the lost and the Great Commission. For five years, I was deeply involved in many evangelistic campaigns throughout Italy.
When I was seventeen years old, it was already clear for me that the Lord was calling me to serve Him in the ministry. Although I did not know how or where I would minister, I knew that I had to be prepared. Therefore, I applied to the London Theological Seminary and attended from 1990 to 1992.
In 1993, I was married to my wife Emanuela. Immediately after our honeymoon, we entered into the ministry by faith. We did not know how we would support ourselves or how we would obtain the funds to translate and publish solid Christian literature for the Italian church. However, the Lord was faithful, and we were able to found the Passaggio Publishing House. It was the first ministry in Italy to publish classic Reformed literature. Over a period of fifteen years, we published fifty new titles in Italian.
In 2007, in association with several churches and pastors from the United States and the United Kingdom, we established the Coram Deo ministry. Our primary purpose is to plant churches in Italy and to publish sound Christian literature. In September of the same year, we also founded Sola Grazia Church (Grace Alone). I am currently pastoring this new church plant and am chairman of Coram Deo.
My parents were saved when I was five years old, and therefore, I was raised in a Christian family. Every week, we attended a Brethren Church that was twenty miles from the village where we lived. I really enjoyed the church, especially the Sunday school. During the summertime, my parents also allowed me to go to Bible camps. They really helped me to better understand the Gospel and my sin.
I did not have a particular time of rebellion towards God or my family, but during my teenage years, I began to question what I had been taught. In spite of this, I continued going to church and sought to find the answers to my questions through reading the Bible. I cannot remember the specific day, but over a period of time, God began to convict me of my sin and of my need of the Savior. I was often plagued by the fear of not going to heaven, and I frequently asked God to forgive me of my sins, especially before going to sleep. I really wanted to be saved and be sure that I was God’s child. For this reason, I kept asking for His mercy and for Him to welcome me into His kingdom.
When I was fourteen years old, the peace of God settled in my mind and heart. I also began to show the fruit of salvation: I had an increasing desire to read God’s Word, and I enjoyed fellowshipping with other Christian friends. I also grew in my prayer life and learned to trust in God for everything that was happening in my young life.