September 15, 2014 | by: 1 Comments|
Peter Jalilie has been the lead pastor of Calvary First Assembly of God for one year! We thank God for Pastor Peter and his beautiful wife Pam. His passion and deep commitment to God and His will has energized and rejuvenated our fellowship and we are excited about what God will continue to do through all of us.
We recently sat down with Pastor Peter to talk about his first year as pastor and his vision for the future.
Q: It's been one year since you were elected senior pastor of Calvary First Assembly of God. What were your first impressions of Calvary First and the people who attend?
Pastor Peter: I think what struck me most about Calvary First was how incredibly friendly the people of this fellowship really are. This church is full of exceptionally kind, gracious, good-hearted people who sincerely want to see others come to faith in Jesus Christ. Calvary First members are very generous in both their giving and their serving. They love God's Word and passionately want to hear it regularly.
Q: Have any of those first impressions changed?
Pastor Peter: The biggest change in first impressions actually involve just living here in Stockton. Before I came to this city, I heard a lot about Stockton's struggles with crime, house foreclosures and the city's bankruptcy. It was difficult to watch any valley news coverage and not hear about Stockton's challenges. But challenges are just opportunities with its work clothes on. Challenges open the door for creative Spirit-inspired solutions to touch and transform others with the exceptional message of Christ's love. Like any big American city, Stockton does have its issues, but it's a city filled with some very special people.
Q: What has this first year been like for you and your wife Pam?
Pastor Peter: This year has been a spectacular year in ministry for us. We now have one of the best church boards we have ever had and we have really enjoyed our special team-building trips with them. Our staff is full of Christ-hearted people who have been such a huge support in our purpose of elevating all generations with the love of Christ. We have focused our attention on building rapport with people, cultivating our prayer ministry and creating personalized mentoring to grow and develop other’s faith as we seek to win those outside of our great fellowship.
Q: What has it been like living and working in Stockton?
Pastor Peter: Stockton is a great place to live. We have really enjoyed the simple pleasures of a spacious and tremendously visible ministry campus that nearly everyone I meet knows about. Life is very exciting with our “Squares and Chairs” sanctuary renovation project. After more than 30 years of life-changing ministry to countless people, our facility is in need of retooling. This is a very exciting place and time to be Pastor as we also contemplate the many amazing opportunities to develop our sanctuary and our open property. There is nothing like a beautiful blank canvas that is crying out to be made into a masterpiece of effective ministry.
We also love our neighborhood. We have a full grocery store just down the street, local movie theaters and even a brand new Starbucks just one block away. We are blessed to live in a wonderful apartment complex that is full of shady redwoods and a beautiful landscape. One of our favorite places is Trader Joe's. It's just nice to have so many different options for enjoying the simple things of life.
Q: What do you feel have been your major accomplishments this past year?
Pastor Peter: I think our biggest accomplishment has been building on the foundation and the work of the pastors who have preceded us. What they have started in prayer and vision casting, we now have the opportunity to develop and see made into reality. Our 30-year anniversary celebration for our facility and fellowship being on Kelley Drive was huge. Seeing the former pastors and government officials coming together was a spectacle I will never forget.
We’ve accomplished a lot this past year. We are putting together a time capsule for our 100-year anniversary celebration as a church. We have ordered our new pew chairs for our sanctuary. The sanctuary renovation is going ahead at full speed. We’ve solidified our church board and our staff with some exceptionally gifted members. We’ve built up a resource fund to support ministry upgrades, outreaches and our Rev. Jeffery Etcheverry Ministry Scholarship. The scholarship enables us to financially support Calvary family members in their pursuit of greater ministry impact. Our prayer and fasting ministry is at an all-time high. We have prayed for many other churches in our city. We’ve had multiple 9-to-midnight prayer and praise nights. We’ve seen people giving their hearts to Christ. We’ve baptized many in water and have seen others baptized in the Holy Spirit. And we’ve secured equipment and other critical ministry tools. These accomplishments as well as solidifying our staff and leadership team have positioned us for great ministry impact.
Q: What is your vision for the future of Calvary First Assembly of God?
Pastor Peter: God's vision for Calvary First is a sacred work in progress. It is my passion to see Calvary First operating at an extremely high level of effectiveness and power. To do this we will need everyone participating as we grow together into who Christ has made us to be. Our prayer ministry is so crucial to this great work as we hope to see the manifestation of Christ's vivacious presence in our gatherings. It is our hope to provide life and lift to the hearts of others as we love God, love others, and serve our world by:
• Reaching higher up
• Reaching deeper in
• Reaching further out
At all levels, we will strongly emphasize new believer mentoring, personal discipleship and elevation to a place of spiritual maturity and power. We will also reignite and expand our home growth groups as a source of personal ministry and pastoral care.
We seek to increase our missions giving and we also hope to train and send more of our members on short-term missions trips to deeply impact others with the love of Christ. It is our hope to grow this fellowship to multiple services and ultimately plant another church in the greater Stockton community.
We will actively pursue opportunities to reach our community with a courageous spirit, a generous compassion and a highly contagious faith in Christ. Our greatest hunger is for the very presence of God!
I continue to pray and deeply seek the heart of Christ with our leadership team. Together we will seek the leading of the Holy Spirit to determine who He has designed us to be and how He has defined us to live out our purpose for Christ's glory.
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