From time to time we'll be highlighting members of our CPD family to get to know them better. The questions and answers below are from an interview with Pastor Bill Vaughn of the Oasis Community Church in Fallon, Nevada.
What drew you into full time ministry?
The question made me stop and think. My short answer would be people. I grew up in Rosamond, a very small community in Southern California. It’s located in the Mojave Desert near Edwards Air Force base. I’m going to skip my happy childhood days and fast forward to when I married my wife of 63 years, Nettie. We were age 16 and 17 and proof that God takes care of the young and the foolish – of which we were both! In my late twenties, I bought a grocery store that I worked at in my younger years. Together, Nettie and I, along with our three children, Phil, Heidi, and Connie attended the Wayside Chapel Community Church – a C&MA church where we all loved serving the people of our community.
As a store owner, I discovered the joy of how God can even use a grocery store as a community church for un-churched people. I learned in those days that God can use the most unlikely place and the most unlikely grocery store owner to accomplish His mission. Through those years, many people in our community didn’t have a pastor to go to in times of all kinds of needs and our market seemed to be the place that met their needs. What I didn’t realize was that by just being available to God and people, that God was preparing me for full-time ministry.
Some of my greatest ministry memories are when I was praying with these people in my office at the store and seeing lives change for eternity. A few years later I became a youth pastor in Alliance Church in Paradise, California. I served in Paradise for only seven years, and God surrounded me with some of the Godliest families that ministered, encouraged and help develop my ministry life. The Paradise Youth Group is still close to each other and to God. These were the greatest years of my life.
My home church in Rosamond wanted me to come back as their lead pastor. My son, Phil, was a youth pastor in Hawaii at the Kapahulu Bible Church. I called Phil and we returned to our home church together for thirteen years. These were the greatest thirteen years of my life.
January 1, 1991, I was elected as district superintendent of the South Pacific District. At the end of my three terms….no one was elected and I was appointed for one additional year. These 10 years were the greatest years of my life. The short answer to what drew me to full-time ministry: It was People.
What are you most passionate about in your ministry?
My greatest passion in ministry is believing God can do anything. My ministry has two simple guidelines that I do not stray from:
- I have learned to think God’s thoughts first. My natural thoughts would limit what God wants to accomplish.
- To see and to search for the potential in the hearts of people, all kinds of people, and not just focus on their problems but help them discover this in their own lives. As we see God growing them, He is also growing us – in our faith and trust in Him.
Tell us a little about the church you are in.
Our church is the Oasis Community Church located in Fallon, Nevada. That’s about 60 miles East of Reno. I came to Fallon on a special assignment to close the church. They had around 20 of the most loving people that I’ve ever met. They didn’t want to close the church and asked for another opportunity. We spent three months repairing the building. Please don’t tell anyone, but I made them promise not to invite anyone to church until it looked like we loved it.
It’s true; I can’t do anything right when it comes to closing a church. This assignment has been one of the best times in my life. Those, who were here when I came, were totally awesome and I have been encouraged in my faith as I have walked with them. We ended 2016, with an average attendance of 225…I believe we will be close to 300 as we end 2017. We just brought on a youth pastor and I’m excited to have someone on board to share the ministry with.
What are you dreaming about for the future?
That’s almost funny! I turned 80 last October and I’m still going full speed ahead and still love serving God and people. My dream for the future is that the road I’m traveling will still be jam-packed with great challenges and great opportunities to do exciting things that honor our Lord. That’s my long-range dream until my road leads me into my eternal home with a God that has poured out His blessing…on every part of my life. This has been the best part of my life.
We would love to be able to share your thoughts with our CPD family. If you write a blog, or do other forms of writing, we'd like to consider utilizing you as a guest blogger. Please contact us if you're interested!