Yakima Members Sacrifice to Plant New Church

November 01, 2002 | Ed Gienger

The Yakima, Wash., 35th Ave. Adventist Church in business session voted this summer to reduce its full-time pastoral positions from two pastors to one pastor, so a new church being planted in the city with its own full-time pastoral leader.

The Upper Columbia Conference had told Yakima members that no pastoral budget was available for an additional pastor in Yakima. So local members, by unanimous vote, spoke for the advancement of God’s kingdom by surrendering a full-time associate so that the Conference could employ a pastor to plant another church in Yakima. (Studies show that newly planted congregations do much better when assigned full-time pastors.)

Once the vote was taken, July 18, Providence moved rapidly to help the Conference find two well-qualified pastors. Geoffry Patterson came on Aug. 31 to pastor the new church plant; David Crockett arrived to pastor the local congregation, Sept. 7.

“It is my firm belief that we have several multi-staff churches in the North Pacific Union Conference territory that could surrender one pastoral position and use that budget to plant another church in the area or in another community,” says Ed Gienger, a pastor in retirement at the Yakima 35th Ave. Adventist Church. •