Tuesday, February 20, 2007 began like any other day. I was up early and on my way to Revival Christian Fellowship, a church Brenda and I planted with our friends Dave & Pam in 1992, where I served as the Executive Pastor.
I can’t remember the details of my drive to the office that morning, but everything would be eclipsed by a news flash from God later that day, calling me to resign from Revival and later revealing His purpose to plant a church.
For those of you who missed the announcement on Sunday, let me just tell you that God has been doing some amazing things here at Reliance Church!
We’re thrilled to announce that Temecula Community Church has voted to join Reliance Church and to become a part of our church body! In so doing, they have entrusted themselves to me as their Senior Pastor and to our Reliance Board of Elders. Additionally, they have donated all of their assets to Reliance Church, including their nearly 4 acre church facility located on Santiago Road.
Temecula Community Church is the oldest church in Temecula. They trace their roots back to 1889 when the Pujol schoolhouse was built. In 1915, the school moved to 4th street in Old Town. There it was purchased by Frieda Knott and was converted to a church. Ultimately, that church became Temecula Community Church. Over the years, TCC grew and acquired land on Santiago Road. They moved the Pujol schoolhouse to their property in the 70’s and began to develop the site, placing several portable buildings, including a small sanctuary for adults as well as several rooms for children on the property. They even went so far as to design & obtain permits from the city to build a new sanctuary, but unfortunately, their plans to build ended there, as they endured a series of tragic events, culminating in the loss of several pastors; some to sin & scandal, and others to illness. Most recently, as many of you will remember, their young pastor, Brent Yim lost his fight with brain cancer.
In the wake of Brent’s death, his assisting pastor, Jim Diaz assumed the role of Senior Pastor of TCC. In the years that followed, the Lord has brought our two churches closer & closer together. When we needed mid-week space for our AWANA, MOPS, and Women’s ministries, they provided. When they needed help with paving their parking lot, or Pastors to teach in their school chapel, we provided.
A couple of months ago, our leadership began meeting with the Elders of TCC to discuss the idea of adopting their church into Reliance Church. The discussions were based on Luke 5:1-11 where Jesus got into Peter’s boat in order to teach the crowd that had assembled along the Lake of Gennesaret.
After Jesus had finished speaking, He directed Peter to launch out into the deep and to let down his nets for a catch. Reluctantly, Peter did so, and they caught so many fish that their nets were breaking. At this point, they signaled to their partners in another boat to come help them and they caught so many fish, that both boats were filled with so many fish that they began to sink!
As I shared these verses with the Elders of TCC, I told them that Jesus is in our Boat here at Reliance Church and that our nets are breaking. We are a church of 1,000 people and we have no more room for our growing mid-week ministries and we have no permanent home for our growing Sunday services. I concluded by saying that I believe the Lord has directed us to signal to them, our partners in the Gospel, to come join us and to help us bring in the catch.
After many weeks seeking the Lord’s will with much prayer, we came to the consensus that it was God’s will that our two churches become one.
Last week, the TCC Board voted unanimously to come under the leadership and authority of Reliance Church with me as their Senior Pastor; to give all TCC’s property to Reliance Church and to join our body of believers and dissolve their Board. A few days later, the Reliance Board of Directors made it official, voting unanimously to adopt & absorb TCC & to receive them into our body of believers.
Going forward, we are ordaining Pastor Jim Diaz and bringing him onto our paid pastoral staff. Pastor Jim will be primarily responsible for counseling and visitation. He will also be teaching a few of our growth groups and we are thrilled to welcome him as one of our pastors to help shepherd the flock. Additionally, two of his former Elders have been invited to serve as Elders here at Reliance and I will be introducing them all to the congregation in the weeks to come.
I am very excited about the integration of the TCC servants into our body here. Many of them are seasoned saints and I look forward to them using their gifts here at Reliance in the spirit of Titus 2 (where the older saints, teach the younger saints) Already, we are seeing many of their people merge into our body, as exampled by 13 women from TCC who have joined our women’s Bible studies this week alone! There are also several healthy ministries of TCC that will be continuing as new ministries of Reliance and I look forward to sharing more information with you about them soon.
In the weeks to come, we have much work to do and I ask for your prayers. We will be transitioning our offices over to the property on Santiago (What we’re now calling the -“Reliance Main Campus”) and we will be completely vacating our Vineyard offices by the end of the year.
Beginning in October, we will be adding a third Sunday morning service. The plan is to continue our 9am & 11am services at Linfield (for at least the next two years) and to add an 11:45am service at our new main campus starting October 5th. This 11:45am service will offer an alternative worship style & format for those who prefer a more traditional worship style. There will be no children’s or student ministries at the 11:45am service, as we cannot offer the same level of care at two campuses at this time.
Finally, it will come as no surprise (to those of you who know me, anyway) that we are moving full-steam-ahead on our building project. As things develop on that front, we will be providing you with regular updates as we progress toward building a more permanent sanctuary & classrooms on the Santiago site.
Serving Him Together,
Ever struggle to comprehend a verse in the Bible? Or wish you had a deeper grasp of who God is? Want to take your relationship with Christ to the next level? Reliance Church is offering a Christian Foundation class that responds to each of these topics, seeking to help you master the fundamentals of the Christian faith. Here’s what you need to know