CST MDiv Students Plant New Church
Most seminarians wait until they graduate before they attempt to found a new church, but not CST M.Div. students Fernando Jara, Nora Jacob, and Hun Choi. The three recently co-founded Rockhill Disciples of Christ (Rockhill DOC), and they already have a dedicated congregation of 35.
Rockhill DOC is a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural group whose nucleus began at Rockhill Farm, an unusual rehabilitation center outside Bakersfield, founded by Fernando Jara, that empowers former felons, gang members, and recovering addicts to transform their lives spiritually, ethically, and vocationally on an organic farm. Others in the greater Bakersfield community have supported this effort and are being drawn to the inclusive message of the Gospel being offered at Rockhill DOC.
The Pacific Southwest Region of DOC officially welcomed the new congregation into its fold on Sunday, Feb. 12. Co-Regional Ministers Susan Gonzales Dewey and Don Dewey joined Mill Creek Christian Church pastor Don Shelton in the special welcoming service.
The idea is that Mill Creek, an established Bakersfield congregation, will provide a stable, solid, and historically rooted base while the Rockhill congregation brings new energy and opportunities for ministry and outreach to the community. Another DOC church contributed communion ware, tablecloths, and other worship items to Rockhill DOC, as well as a $730 gift to help them get started.
The Feb. 12 service’s highlight was the installation of Fernando Jara as Rockhill DOC's senior pastor. Nora Jacob will handle pastoral care for the church, and Hun Choi music and worship.
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