Back to main magazine page now!!
By David & Terrie Azzarello
Where to Begin?
California’s spiritual claim to fame is that it
is one of the most liberal states in America!
California has 12 of the top 25 churchless cities
in America. The top three are all in California!
San Francisco (population 850,000), Oakland
(population 450,000), and San José (population
1,000,000+) are tied with 61 percent of their
population not attending church of any kind.
When deciding where to plant a church in
California—where to begin—anywhere would
be fine, right? Through much prayer, God
led us to Ventura (population 108,000+) and
Oxnard (population 210,000+).
15,000 invitation cards. We began by holding
a God and Country Rally Weekend two weeks
before our Grand Opening service. The idea
was to approach a largely unchurched city with
a patriotic event to prepare folks for the new
church launch. God blessed with over 130 in
attendance for a Saturday night service that
included a barbecue meal and a Bible message.
On Sunday we had 60 in attendance and saw
five souls trust Christ! On February 12, our
launch included the five new converts and 55
others, including three missionaries God sent
our way to begin His new work with a missions
emphasis! Time to Launch
Fulfilling the Great Commission
We finished 21 months of deputation in
November 2016 and settled into our townhome
and began door knocking immediately. We soon
discovered that this city is full of people who
are content without church. This is not to say
that all did not attend church, but many were
comfortable in their traditional religion and
with their good works. Through perseverance
we began to see people coming to Christ, and
by the end of January, we had handed out
20 In keeping with our low budget, we began
to disciple our new converts at a nearby
Starbucks. This eventually grew to 20, leading
us to continue the weekly Bible Study at
our home with a potluck meal. For our first
baptism service we baptized seven in a kiddie
pool! Our second baptism service was held
at a private beach and we baptized five in the
Pacific Ocean. We continue to see folks saved