The Only Church in Town Bringing Hope for the future

Nestled along a winding creek in the valley and foothills of the Coastal Mountains sit two small towns–Paskenta and Flournoy, CA. Only about 500 people call this area home, but the locals like it that way.

For many ranchers, commuters, loggers and families looking to live quieter lives away from the hustle and bustle of city life, Paskenta and Flournoy fit the bill.

Others take refuge in the rural area, clinging to a forlorn hope that a change in location will produce a change in their heart issues.

Beneath the quiet escape found in Paskenta and Flournoy are the same problems, doubts, fears and crisis as any other rural community. Yet, at the core of each individual lies one urgent need.

People need Jesus.

There is only one country church in the Paskenta area, and sadly, there is no pastor. One elder faithfully filled the pulpit for the last five years, striving with a few others to keep the church open. Yet, without a full-time pastor, attendance fell to only 10-15 people.

This was the state of Paskenta Flournoy Bible Church.

“We were in survival mode, just trying to keep the church going,” recounted one church member. “There was no way we could afford to have a full-time pastor.”

Members of Paskenta Flournoy Bible Church waited over five years for a pastor.

Despite declining numbers, little potential for growth and no pastor to lead them, the few people left knew that the community needed the church to stay open.

“There are plenty of churches in the city, but we needed a church here in the community. We felt the Lord wanted witnesses to Him here.”

Having been a Village Missions church in the 1960s and 1970s, a few individuals recalled the leadership Village Missions provided and reached out to the ministry for help.

Joe & Jenny Murrell

District Representatives Joe and Jenny Murrell presented Village Missions and explored whether the need was there. They found great need and a small group passionate to share Jesus.

The body of Paskenta Flournoy Bible Church wanted to reach their community with the Gospel.

Shortly after, the church was approved to receive Village Missionaries–their first full-time leadership in years!

But the story was not over. God had other, unexpected things in mind for the church.

Due to health reasons, Joe and Jenny had been considering changing from their District Representatives role to becoming Village Missionaries once again.

“As we began to pray and seek the Lord for where we might go, He put Paskenta on our hearts,” said Joe.

So, when Paskenta Flournoy Bible Church received the letter introducing their new Village Missionaries, they already recognized the names: Joe and Jenny Murrell.

As Joe & Jenny Murrell returned to being Village Missionaries, they felt a need to serve Paskenta Flournoy Bible Church.
“We are excited about the community and the people,” said Joe. “We like them and feel like we can fit here and be a significant part of the community in the years ahead.”

For the people of Paskenta and Flournoy, the arrival of Joe and Jenny provides hope for a bright future.

“Now we have someone living here who will interact with the community and be a presence, both in the church and community,” said one church member. “When someone has a need, there will be someone here to help and care who has training and understanding.”

The rural communities of Paskenta and Flournoy needed a pastor, and Village Missions was able to fill that need.

The story of Paskenta is just one of many happening around the United States and Canada. In the forgotten and neglected places of North America, churches are looking for hope. Rural churches need Village Missionaries to live and serve in their communities full-time, reaching them for Christ and discipling them to reach others for Him.

That’s where you come in.

When Village Missions assigns a couple like Joe and Jenny to a church, we are trusting God for the funds to provide their salary and other forms of support. They need to be able to live and minister in that community, but it may be a long time before the church can support them. That’s why communities like Paskenta and Flournoy need people like you who care. Such communities need people who are willing to invest in their spiritual lives.

Would you partner with us today and help bring hope to these waiting churches? Think of the men and women, boys and girls who will come to Christ through your generous giving!

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