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Pastors Proclaim a New Day of Unity

Pastors Proclaim a New Day of Unity

Front row: Pastor Mary Carr; Pat Johnson; Pastor Patricia Arbaiza, Soul Harvest Christian Ministries, Ventura; Kimberly McCowan;, Pastor Lonnie McCowan, Miracle Center, Ventura; Pastor B.J. Williams, Calvary Missionary Baptist Church; Second row: Pastor Ken Johnson, Eternal Life Christian Center, Oxnard; Pastor Robert L. Cox, Bethel AME Church, Oxnard; Tammie Allen; Bishop Princeton Allen, Ephraim & Manasseh Worship Center, Oxnard; Pastor Torrence Nivens, Evangelistic Baptist Church, Port Hueneme; Rebecca Nivens; Pastor Larry Reichardt, South Coast Fellowship Church, Ventura; and Elder Lawrence Droughn, Camarillo First Church of God in Christ, Camarillo.

By Peggy Hunt

A group of pastors in Ventura County are involved in a new stage of history. Their joint endeavor is one of the most encouraging, stimulating, and unifying forces to hit the county. The group’s message was unity and could be heard loud and clear at a recent event held at Miracle Center of Ventura. The church is pastored by Rev. Lonnie McCowan who said, “We are not here today for a photo op. It’s time to unite and put aside differences. The stakes are too high to stay separated!”’

“Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.” –Romans 12:4-5 NLT

During the service a video was played and each pastor gave the following quotes on what unity means:

Pastor Ken Johnson, Eternal Life Christian Center, Oxnard
“The night before Jesus was crucified he commanded His disciples to remember His final act of saving grace to all believers. We must all remember the plan of redemption that calls us from alienation and rebellion to unity and right standing in His love. Greater than equality and individual rights is the call to oneness in Christ that all Christians should share through the victory of the cross and the power of the resurrection.”

Pastor Torrence Nivens, Evangelistic Baptist Church, Port Hueneme
“Unity has withstood acts of senseless violence. Unity has prevailed against hatred. Unity has overcome segregation and injustice, and unity has brought all cultures together through the most trying times. The Kingdom of God is not divided, but it is united, and we as the children of God can no longer embrace division. We must towards being united. This will build a better and brighter future not only for our churches, but for our community as well.”

Pastor Mary Carr, Soul Harvest Christian Ministries, Ventura
“Unity is having the walls between denominations and races transparent — one body of Christ, different congregations — to unite in defense of and bring justice to the weak, discouraged and downtrodden.”

Pastor Robert Cox, Bethel AME Church, Oxnard
“This is the Lenten Season, a time for reflection, a time for repentance, a time of asking for forgiveness, a time for examining what we are doing and why we are doing it. Are we doing what God wants or are we doing what we want? Let us as the household of faith come together in unity, for it is too late to stay divided!”

Bishop Princeton Allen, Ephraim & Manasseh Worship Center, Oxnard
“The time is always right to do what is right.’ — Martin Luther King. It’s time to unite!!!”

Pastor Michal McCurtis, Total Life Christ Center, Ventura
“God has entrusted us with His precious Holy Spirit which so richly dwells in us and His beloved Son who so selflessly laid down His life for us. In honor of God’s gifts to us, we the pastors of Ventura County, are pleased to lay down our egos and personal agendas to walk together in unity.”

Pastor Patricia Arbaiza, “Soul Harvest Christian Ministries, Ventura
“Pastors should come together, unite, lock arms and walk in the Spirit of agreement. In Genesis 11:1-9, the people decided to build a city and a tower going upward because they didn’t want to expand the city outward. These people were united by the strong bond of a common language, but they were unwilling to separate and replenish the earth as God commanded. God was amazed at the work the people accomplished when they were all speaking the same language.”

Pastor Lawrence A. Droughn, Camarillo First Church of God in Christ, Camarillo
“Paul, the greatest writer in the New Testament, tells the church of Corinthians that there is division in the church at the Lord’s Supper. Let us examine ourselves and come together as one. Let us not judge but love one another, as Christ loves us.”

Pastor Lonnie G. McCowan, Miracle Center, Ventura
“As a whole, we all need to look at one another and decide that we will stand on the essential doctrines of the faith and be united against the enemy. Those of us who are united by the blood of Christ are not enemies with one another. It may be difficult to see that we are on the same team but we are! There is neither Baptist nor Lutheran on the throne of God. All of us will be corrected when we stand before His throne. Therefore, we need to seek to work together to further the Kingdom of God right now!”

Pastor John L. Baylor, Olivet Baptist Church, Ventura
“We must have unity first because Christ commanded it. Secondly, the body of Christ is not divided. Thirdly, the people and the city need to hear and see God’s power and love being manifested by those whom He has called to represent Him.”

Guest speaker Bishop Allen’s theme was ‘Unity, The Road to Rebuilding’. He encouraged the audience to use the evening as a pivotal point in their lives. “This is a crucial moment and if you embrace these five points: 1. Repentance, 2. Reconstruction, 3. Reformation, 4. Revival, and 5. Renewal. It will make us all better fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, co-workers, field workers and clergy.”

The Community Communion Service (CCS) is a joint effort to unite pastors of many different churches. All pastors have been extended an invitation to be a part of coming together. For more information on CCS, call 805 644-7722.

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