Elder Comments & Testimonies

Birger Benson, continued

          Comments Regarding our Church

My heart’s desire is to focus on preparing God’s people for works of service so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining the whole measure of  the fullness of Christ. As we mature as a congregation, we will be known as ones who speak the truth in love.

          Testimony

I came to know Christ as an early age. No one exactly walked me through the sinner’s prayer, jumped
for joy and announced my conversion, or time stamped the night that I lay in
bed and recognized the need for Christ in my life. I was afforded a wonderful
opportunity to attend my first nine years of class room study in a parochial
school where I grew in knowledge. However, it was while in college with Dean
Hatfield’s encouraging works of service, he and the Spirit brought the
Scriptures alive on the assurance of salvation.

As a farmer I get to daily and seasonally experience Romans 1:20 “For since the creation of the
world God’s invisible qualities –his eternal power and divine nature—have been
clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without
excuse.” I cannot breathe life into a single kernel of seed or a newborn calf.
My spiritual and physical purpose on earth is to plant, water, and feed. To God alone be the glory.

 

Tim Dunagan, continued

Comments Regarding our Church

I consider it a privilege to serve. Having been a member of GIEFC for many years, I appreciate the foundation laid by many faithful believers in the past and look forward to God’s faithfulness to us in the exciting future.

Testimony

My folks, Dee and Roselan Dunagan started attending the church when I was an infant. I am blessed to have godly parents as role models and they have played a huge role in my life modeling a Christian lifestyle, lived out in quiet humble obedience.

I asked Christ into my life at a young age, due in large part to Maxine Whitesell and an organization known as “Good News Clubs”. Maxine was a neighbor and friend of my mom who loved the Lord and followed him despite a husband who was somewhat ambivalent to Christianity.

Growing up my parents worked to instill godly values in our lives and attempted to place us in environments that exposed us to God’s saving grace and our need for a savior. I’m humbled that God has chosen a sinner such as me and strive to follow his Holy Spirit’s leading in my life.

 

William  Feely, continued

Comments Regarding our Church

I have attended GIEFC for 10 years. I have enjoyed being encouraged & challenged by the strong Biblical teaching at GIEFC. I am excited to be a part of GIEFC, growing deeper in my faith in Christ Jesus. Glorifying , Loving People, & Serving the World is our mission in life.

Testimony

Growing up in the Lutheran denomination, I had knowledge of God and His Word, but I never truly had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I experienced freedom in college; making my own choices, and yet I felt there was something missing. I felt very alone one evening as I sat in my room, I knew there had to be more to life. I’m not sure what prompted me to bring my Bible to college; I never went to church throughout my freshman year and my Bible was more of a paperweight. However, God is sovereign – His Word was always within my reach.

I prayed that night, confessing my sins to Jesus Christ and begged His forgiveness, understanding what He had accomplished on the cross was payment for my sins. I understood God had drawn me to Him. I understood Jesus Christ as my Savior. That night, I began a journey, learning to submit to Him as Lord of my life.

A challenge I accepted that night is described in 2 Peter 3:18, “…but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”

 

Kelly Larsen, continued

Comments Regarding our Church

My desire is to help cultivate a love of Scripture, dedication to prayer, and the pursuit of our biblical mission. I long to see what God can do in this community with a church sold out to an impassioned pursuit of Christ.

Testimony

I was raised in a Christian home where the Bible was held up as the authority for life. We attended a strong church where the Gospel was preached with passion. After hearing the message of Christ’s payment for my sin, I made a profession of faith as an elementary child. I developed my faith under good teaching and attended Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon following college. A year after graduation with my M. Div. degree, we began a unique church planting ministry. God used the “failure” of this ministry to humble me and to redirect my ministry path.

In 2000 we became involved with a church plant in Colorado where I served as an elder/lay pastor for 8 1/2 years, helping establish the foundation of the church. We were blessed to see the church grow. We moved here and began attending GIEFC in May, 2008.

 

Pat Liebsack, continued

Comments Regarding our Church

It has been exciting to watch God at work in our church through the past 20 years and I’m looking forward to see where God takes us as a church through the coming years.

Testimony

I was raised in the church and was involved in many different church activities throughout my youth and even into my college years. But whereas I knew about God, I didn’t know or understand what it meant to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. In 1992, after going through a separation with my wife, I started going to the Evangelical Free Church. It was during the fall time of the year and the church had just started practices for the Singing Christmas Tree. In-between performances we would get together and eat dinner and talk. It was during my involvement with the Singing Christmas Tree that fall that I decided to give my life to Jesus Christ and to invite him into my life and I have been going to church here ever since.

 

Steve Morris, continued

Comments Regarding our Church

My desire for the church body is to continue to provide opportunities for people to find Jesus Christ as their Savior, to grow deeper in their spiritual walk, and to see our body have a greater impact on our community.

Testimony

I accepted Christ as my Savior in elementary school. I was like many people who did accept Christ early, in that it still took me several years into adulthood to really see my commitment take hold in my life. I would say that not until after my marriage did I really feel like I had allowed the Holy Spirit to have control of my life. I can with complete certainty acknowledge that God leads my life and I give thanks for His allowing me to be part of His family for eternity.

 

Lynn Rathjen, continued

Comments Regarding our Church

I feel that our church is providing an excellent array of ministries that serve our community. I believe we will reach out more to our community in the future with efforts to form relationships that will allow us to bring others to the saving knowledge of Christ. Our plans will be to join God in His work by keeping his Word front and center, by continuing with prayer and encouraging faithful home Bible study, and by living out our Christian lives in our community.

Testimony

I grew up in a church home and my three brothers and I attended a parochial grade school. I believed that God existed and that Jesus died for my sins, but that I was responsible to live a good Christian life so that I would be worthy of eternal life. I had one brief period in my life when I questioned the existence of God. I had just completed the study of the great religions of the world as part of a required senior class at my high school. Christianity was presented as a religion similar to the Buddhists, Islamic and Hindu religions. Questions about the universe quickly brought me back to believing that God existed, but it wasn’t until age 32 that I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior. I had joined the Evangelism team at my church and, in learning to present the Gospel, I realized that I had not received Christ as my Savior. I accepted Christ into my life and knew immediately that I had made a decision that brought me into the family of God with the assurance of eternal life.

I asked Donna Roth if I could join their Bible study group as I knew I needed to grow in my new found faith. With mentors in the class, including Roy and Wanda Hofrichter, I grew spiritually. I thank God for the wonderful Christians in that group. Later, my wife and I started attending GIEFC. We have attended GIEFC for approximately 13 years.

 

Gary Schulte, continued

Comments Regarding our Church

It’s important for those who call GI Free their church home to be connected in some significant manner with other believers whether it is an Adult Community, a Men’s Bible Study, a close knit serving team, or small community group meeting in a home. Secondly, believers serve as light in a dark world by serving neighbors, participating in community ministries, and intentionally caring for others while looking for opportunities to share about Christ. Lastly, it is critical that believers sense a personal responsibility for pursuing a deeper walk with Jesus. We, as a church, can only do so much to feed, prod, and encourage this process. Nothing makes me smile more than to see a new believer begin to grow through their own personal Bible time and in serving the community in Christ’s name.

Testimony

I grew up in a churched family that was very involved in a rural church located in the mesquite pastures deep in the heart of Texas. Although I knew a lot about God, I didn’t understand that I didn’t know God until my senior year in high school. It was at a church wide retreat that I came to trust in Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Although I came to Christ as a teen, I had the benefit of years of Bible training as a child.

My heart has always been soft for those who aren’t within easy reach of the Gospel. My years of ministry have been molded by a desire to reach out to those who are not yet believers, and to help them in their early stages of growth and understanding about walking with God.