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Lake Hills church gets new pastor

Gregory Harris joins Castaic congregation beginning Sunday

Posted: October 31, 2008 8:51 p.m.
Updated: January 2, 2009 5:00 a.m.

After years of waiting, Lake Hills Community Church in Castaic will welcome new Senior Pastor Gregory Harris on Sunday.

After years of waiting, Lake Hills Community Church in Castaic will welcome new Senior Pastor Gregory Harris on Sunday.

“We’re very, very excited,” said church member Diana Larios, 46, of Castaic. “He’s everything we’ve been praying for. He’s very humble, and he’s just such a family man and caring man and we just feel like we’ve finally got the shepherd we’ve been praying for.”

While Harris spoke to the congregation before as a visitor, Sunday’s message will be his first as an official Lake Hills pastor. He has more than 25 years of pastoral experience, but for the last two years, Harris taught at The Master’s Seminary as a professor of Bible exposition.

“I love teaching people the Bible, whether in a seminary setting or church setting,” Harris said.

Harris, of Canyon Country, earned a bachelor’s degree from Campbell University, a master’s degree from North Carolina Central University, a master of divinity and master of theology degrees from Talbot Theological Seminary and doctorate of Theology degree from Dallas Theological Seminary.

“You know, his being a Bible professor is something that is very important to us,” Larios said. “(He is) someone who will be able to teach us God’s Word because he’s just got a lot of wonderful experience.”   
Harris, along with wife and children, moved to Santa Clarita from North Carolina a few years ago. Harris said he’s been praying God would provide a position like the one he’s been given, but he did not see the offer coming.

For the last 14 months, the Lake Hills congregation received instruction from an interim pastor.

Church members were impressed when Harris spoke about the glory of God during summer service. The message was shaped after his book, “The Cup and the Glory,” and addressed God’s purpose for suffering.
“The whole church met with him and was able to ask him questions,” she said. “So we learned how he feels about his family and things that have gone on in his life. He just seems like a wonderful family man, and really nice father and something you think about when you think of a pastor.”

Harris’ daughter and son are students at The Master’s Seminary. His family resides in Canyon Country.
He is confident there has been a lot of prayer on behalf of Lake Hills members for a new senior pastor.
They are excited about the Word of God and I’m excited about it as well, he said.

Harris said it will take a year before he can see what direction the church is heading.

“I always come in and try to see where they are, and it takes a while to do that,” he said. His hope is the church would be well grounded in the Word, the knowledge of the Lord and functional in their faith by a year’s end.

Harris will teach a adult Sunday school at 9 a.m. with Lake Hills Sunday worship service starting at 10:15 a.m. Harris’ message is titled, “Whose church is it?”


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