PASTOR IMPACT STORIES


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Click to watch Bishop & Senior Pastor Ed Smith 

Region: Los Angeles

Activated to: Mobilize his congregation. Pastor Smith is the Bishop of the Zoe International Denomination.

His words: “My experiences with Church United have been spiritual, godly and hands on...This group is about disrupting pastors’ thinking and their way of doing things. I’m happy I've been disrupted. I've been challenged to help encourage people in our church to run for public office, get involved in the legislative process and let their voice be heard.”

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Click to watch Systematic Theologian, Professor, & Pastor Dr. Sarah Sumner, Founder Right on Mission

Region: California

Her words: "I appreciate how Church United stands up boldly for the gospel and takes hits for it. Some of the preaching at the Awakening Tour was more biblical, fortifying and nourishing than anything I've heard in a long time. It's a gift from God to be able to be trained by legal experts in preparation for more cultural shifts in America that raise challenges for churches.” 

 

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Click to watch Teaching Pastor Adam Mesa 

Region: San Bernardino

Activated to: Speak out on biblical issues facing culture including religious liberty, abortion, the sexualizing of public school curriculum and various LGBT issues. Pastor Adam leads an extended network of pastors representing over 40,000 people.

His words: “As a pastor, I can say one of our biggest insecurities is loneliness, and so we often think, 'I can’t talk about this, or I can’t speak on this — or maybe I can’t think this way because I [assume] I’m the only one who thinks this way.' With Church United, pastors can build networks with a system that helps in our bravery and understanding we are not going to be alone.”

 

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Click to watch Senior Pastor Javier Buelna                                   

Region: Los Angeles

Activated to: Network with more than 200 Spanish-speaking California pastors and run for Los Angeles City Council in 2020.

His words: “It eliminated the great divide that most Hispanic pastors operate in, which is between the secular and the sacred. Our mindset and our culture is that politics is none of our business. What goes on in the community is the politician’s problem to solve. We, the church, only focus on the sacred, but Church United changed all that ... It’s causing a mobilization in our inner city, and now we are more than 200 pastors who are willing to listen up, become educated and trained to be an influence in our society."

 

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Click to watch Pastor Refugio Sanchez & Other Influential California Spanish-Speaking Church United Senior Pastors

Region: Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Central Valley

Activated to: Share the vision of Church United to his congregation and — as a United Methodist Spanish-speaking denomination leader — at national and international conferences. 

His words: “To talk about Church United is to talk about a door that was hidden for a long time, but now we have the possibility to see and do something about it. Church United has changed my perspective to see politics versus church, and teaches me to be involved and not separated.”

 

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Click to watch Senior Pastor & City Councilman Scott Thomson

Region: Butte 

Activated to: Serve as Oroville Vice Mayor, network with more than 20 other community pastors, and defeat any plans to turn Oroville into a mecca for recreational marijuana. 

His words: “To see the love, unity and common vision among the pastors in Church United has been such a joy. Ministries come in town and they are like, 'What’s happening here is unprecedented when you have 25-plus pastors that gather together and just love each other and have a common vision.'”

 

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Cick to watch Senior Pastor Disciple Monty Sharp

Region: Riverside

Activated to: Continue to mentor and disciple a network of senior pastors in Southwest Riverside, helping pastors understand they are the gatekeepers to their cities.

His words: “I’ve been in ministry for 35 years, and I’ve never seen anything that is affecting the Kingdom in a more powerful fashion. I praise Jesus that he raised Church United to inspire pastors to speak boldly in the pulpit again. Pastors feel good about it. There is nothing worse than walking in fear — nothing worse — and for them [pastors] to be set free to walk in the love and the power and authority of God again, to speak with that prophetic voice, and to see people’s lives being changed, it’s awesome.”

 

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Click Pastor Daniel Osegueda     

Region: San Diego

Activated to: Begin a Spanish-speaking pastor network in San Diego County and involve parents in comprehensive sex education curriculum.

His words: “Church United activates us as pastors, thus activating the churches and the communities around us. They provide us with enough information to be effective and influential in our circles of influence.”

 

Senior Pastor Hugo

Click to watch Senior Pastor Jim Franklin                                          

Region: Fresno

Activated to: Speak truth through a syndicated radio ministry and lead a network of Central Valley California pastors. 

His words: “When you affect the pastor, you affect the congregation, which then affects the community. There’s probably no better investment in investing in changing a pastor, and believe me: pastors need to be changed. So many do not want to engage. They say, ‘I just want to preach Jesus. Let the world take care of it.’ That’s what happened. We’ve let the world take care of it, and that’s why we’re in the mess that we’re in today.”

 

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Click to watch Teaching & Youth Pastor James Proxmire

Region: Riverside 

Activated to: Mobilize youth and network with other pastors.

His words: “Church United changes the way I preach, the way I pray for our government, and the way I view the whole, big bad monster of the government. It changes the way we speak from the pulpit and the way we view these things. I work a lot with students, primarily, so I’m affecting the next generation. Church United is influencing me, which then influences them.” 

 

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Click to watch Senior Pastor Paul Pimentel

Region: Alameda

Activated to: Run for public office and engage his congregation. 

His words: “I believe I can be successful because of Church United's training. I know what the Bible says: ‘My people perish because they lack knowledge.’ I want to be a part of God’s Kingdom by helping our churches help our communities."

 

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Click to watch Pastor Ian Stevenson & 3 Other Orange County Senior Pastors in Sacramento

Region: Orange County

Activated to: Lead Trellis, a citywide ministry that networks area churches with the city and other agencies.

His words: “It’s been a powerful time — even just the discussions we’ve had together offline — talking about how we could pull our civic leaders together and encourage them, pray for them and be more involved with them.”

 

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Click to watch Senior Pastor Jeremy Mercer                                               

Region: Riverside

Activated to: Run for Corona City Council

His words: "Pastor, if you know someone — whatever part of the scale they are on in being engaged — do whatever you have to do. Use whatever leverage you have. Do whatever to pull [them in], play whatever card, or call in the favors. Encourage them to come to a Church United event because I can't see how someone can attend one of these events and not walk away affected, changed, and inspired.”

 

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Click to watch Church United Prayer Warrior Wilma Berry

Region: Los Angeles

Her words: "Church United teaches that we have to pray for the whole system. Every level needs prayer. We pray about a lot of things, but we don't specifically pray for the government. I feel like I need to do that more now."

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Click to watch Senior Pastor Hugo Campos

Region: San Diego

Activated to: Serve as President of the Hispanic Alliance and work to network San Diego churches, especially Spanish-language congregations.

His words: “Church United has impacted me personally in that it brought me from being somewhat indifferent to saying we have to do something... to actually doing something! Now I see my grandchildren and their futures and I think, 'Well, somebody has to do something. It might as well be me.'”

 

Senior Pastor Hugo

Click to watch Teaching Pastor David Hwang

Region: Alameda / Tawain

Activated to: Work to promote biblical values here in California and in Asia, where he was part of a team that successfully blocked same-sex marriage in Taiwan, until a court overturned the measure. Despite the setback, Pastor David remains active in pro-family causes and spoke on the steps of California’s Capitol regarding AB 2943 (Revelation 12:11).

His words: “God wants us to stand firm. We will be persecuted, for sure, but if we are afraid of being persecuted by telling the truth, then we are really not representing Jesus here on earth. Even John the Baptist did not shy away from speaking truth at the expense of being killed. Not too many people dare to say the truth now. I think we have compromised too long.”

 

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Click to watch Church United Speaker & Immigration Attorney Esther Valdes-Clayton speaking in Spanish

Region: San Diego

Her words: "Church United helps you understand what the Lord's will is for you, your nation, your community, your church and our state."

 

Senior Pastor Hugo

Click to watch Bishop & Senior Pastor Art Hodges

Region: San Diego

Activated to: Lobby against the state legislature’s attempts to muzzle free speech by religious leaders and organize weekly prayer vigils outside City Hall. Bishop Art recruits believers to run for public office and leads his denomination of 130 churches and over 300 ministries.

His words: “I've been absent because I feel like we elect leaders to do the job and I’m trusting them to do that job but now, with what’s happening, I realize I was giving too much carte blanche trust in our elected leadership. Repentance means I’m not just sorry for what I have done or what I haven't done, but it means I’m going to change my ways. So get used to seeing me, get used to hearing my voice, and get used to the fact that I’m going to become an activist.”

 

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Click to watch Senior Pastor David Miller

Region: Sonoma

Activated to: Mobilize Cultural Impact Teams in Petaluma and equip congregation. Pastor David leads the Petaluma pastor network.

His words: “People in my congregation and the city, who are responsible Christians, are not out there to get angry and upset. They really care about the nation, so they’ll invest over the long-term. One of the things state Sen. Morrell emphasizes is it’s one thing to win a legislative battle, and we can do that periodically. But it’s another thing to see the whole climate of culture change — and that’s a huge and long-term, lifetime undertaking.”

 

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Click to watch Senior Pastor Eli Loera

Region: Central Valley

Activated to: Monitor marijuana dispensaries and their impact on the community, promote equal educational opportunities for all students, and remain involved with the mayor’s cabinet and the Pastors United political action group. Pastor Eli leads 225 pastor clusters (groups of pastors in the Central Valley), primarily Spanish-speaking.
 
His words: “Church United has taught me that I have an obligation to be a moral voice for the community I minister in — and that I should speak politically and be involved in politics, no matter who I might offend."

 

Senior Pastor Hugo

Click to watch Pastor Bishop/Apostle & Senior Pastor Ron Hill

Region: Los Angeles

Activated to: Meet weekly for prayer with like-minded pastors. Pastor Ron is a highly respected African-American voice to the black community.

His words: “Sometimes we can preach the Bible, but we don’t show the connection in what's going on in the Word of God and what's actually going on in our culture. So we need the Holy Spirit to assist us and enable us to bridge that gap to bring a relevant Word to our congregation so that they can see the Bible is up-to-date and that they can use it in their day-to-day lives.”

 

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Click to watch Senior Pastor Tim Thompson         

Region: Riverside

Activated to: Restore parental rights in schools and repeal current sexually explicit “health” curriculum. Pastor Tim is involved with Protecting Our Kids, a ministry of Church United.

His words: “We see the urgency for unity. Churches have to work together. Quite frankly, the reason California is in the state it’s in is because of the disunity that has been going on. We recognized the unity we have in the Spirit is what’s going to change things. It’s been very evident that God is using Church United to bring the pastors together.”

 

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Click to watch Pastor Gheorghe Rosca

Region: Orange County

Activated to: Protect parental rights and religious freedoms, especially as it pertains to sex-ed curriculum. Also involved with Protecting Our Kids.

His words: “Church United has given me this fire that is unquenchable, which began during what I call my ‘road to repentance from complacency.’ I look at what my dad had to go through as a Christian in Romania. If he can do that in that kind of environment, why can I not do this — even if it means working full-time while being a husband, a father, and a pastor?”

 

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Click to watch Pastor Marc Little    

Region: Los Angeles

Activated to: Mobilize churches and engage with elected officials. He’s also a respected voice to the African American community.

His words: “There is a place for you and it’s been ordained by God. You have to move into the darkness. You are called to be salt and light. How can you shine in the darkness if you keep yourself under the table or in the pulpit? You’ve got to go out and shine light into darkness.”

 

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Click to watch Senior Pastor Cliff Samson

Region: Orange County

Activated to: Mobilize his congregation and endorse godly candidates from the pulpit. 

His words: “As a church, we have actually grown since we became involved with Church United. It’s actually waking people up off the pew and back into life. It's about shining Jesus' light through our lives and adding the flavor of His salt onto the tongues of other people.”

 

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Click to watch Senior Pastor Bob Branch                                         

Region: Riverside

Activated to: Start a Cultural Impact Team and host voter registration drives and election forums with other churches in Temecula.

His words: “At the Church United Awakening Tour I saw people who love Jesus and love our country. Congressmen. Senators. Governors. Pastors. Leaders. Black. White. Asian. All different colors. It was beautiful. I sat there numerous times just with tears streaming down my face, thinking, ‘Lord, what is this I’m seeing?’ I don’t understand this, but I like it. Church United helped me realize I was conceding the public square to the enemy and to the tide of culture, and that’s unacceptable. It's simply not okay anymore.”

 

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Click to watch Senior Pastor Carlos Juan Arevalo in Spanish                          

Region: Los Angeles

Activated to: Network with more than 200 Spanish-speaking California pastors called Koinonia.

His words: "Church United helps me understand my position in this world and in the Kingdom of God. I'm learning how I can raise my voice in my community, state, and our nation. Thank you for sharing such a great ministry with the Koinonia pastoral alliance."

 

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Click to watch Youth Pastor Luis Garcia

Region: Orange County

Activated to: Network with other pastors, lead youth on cultural issues and continue to share his story about being an abortion survivor.

His words: “Church United teaches that leaders of the church need to have the vision to speak up as they should. It’s important to inform the church of what the world is going through, through the lens of biblical authority."