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Oak Hill Bible Church celebrates second year

Young religious establishment gives credit to a ‘service on God’s faithfulness’ for its successful m

Posted: January 2, 2009 7:28 p.m.
Updated: January 3, 2009 4:55 a.m.

The Oak Hill Bible Church worship team on Christmas Eve. Worship leader Roy Loper is in the foreground. The church will celebrate its two-year anniversary on Sunday.

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Oak Hill Bible Church sprouted out of a few supporters meeting in a living room, and on Sunday, members will celebrate the church's two-year anniversary of the small-but-growing church with cake, a picture and a service on God's faithfulness.

"We've come a long way and we have a long way to go," said Gordon Wade of Castaic, who was devoted to Oak Hill since day one of its humble beginnings.

The non-denominational Christian church began as a Sunday night bible study launched by Pastor Jeff Noe and his wife, Tanya, in 2006.

Noe completed seminary at Talbot School of Theology in May of 2006 and after sending out resumes and attending interviews with churches all over the country, he was led to stay in Castaic, he said.

"We believe Castaic is an under-churched community," he said. "So we began a Sunday night Bible Study in our home, invited friends and decided to watch and see what God would do with it."

From there, member attendance quickly grew and forced bible studies out of the living room and into the Castaic Regional Sports Complex. With the support of church families, the Oak Hill Bible Church launched in January 2007, Noe said.

Eventually, the Sloan Canyon Church allowed Oak Hill to share their facilities after Federal Emergency Management Agency had to take over the complex to process wildfire insurance claims, Noe said.

"It's very exciting and very humbling at the same time," Noe said. "God gets all the credit - we've simply tried to be faithful to his calling. Two years later, I can look back and see how God has graciously carried us through the difficulties of planting a church. It's all been worth it."

The executive director of the church, Mark Giganti of Stevenson Ranch, said the biggest challenge for the young church is getting the word out.

"I say that because we're a small church ... and we don't have tens of thousands of dollars for advertising campaigns and that stuff," Giganti said. "The area that I'd like to see us improve upon is reaching out to those people that are reaching out."

Giganti said that as a biblically based church, without a lot of "fluff and stuff," that Oak Hill might not be everybody's "cup of tea."

"But for those looking for good clean Bible teaching, we want to be there for them," he said.
Gordon Wade's involvement in the church strengthened his faith.

"I've been encouraged to actually read the Bible for myself and not rely on what others tell me is in the Bible," Wade said. "Knowing what's in the Bible now, I've been able to shape my whole life as best I could and live my life now as God has asked me to live my life, which is a lot different than someone telling you what to do."

Wade believes he gets the best of both worlds at Oak Hill fellowship with God's Word and a community that treats him like family.

"There's a lot of involvement in mens' and womens' ministries and just a lot of participation," he said. "People are really interested in each other and diving in and learning the Bible."

As part of the leadership team, Wade and others are putting together a strategy for 2009. Among other goals, the church plans to increase youth group activities and youth mission trips, Wade said.

Currently, the church has a membership of about 50 families, but Noe said of ultimate importance, is that the church continues to grow in its faith.

"Honestly, we want to stay the course and let God determine the results," he said. "We're asking God to grow us at a healthy pace. But more importantly, we want to see more people grow into strong disciples of Jesus Christ."

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