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Tuesday 6:30 pm

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Wednesday 8:00 pm


12730 Elmpark Lane
Poway, CA 92064
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Fr. Gary began serving the Lord in 1973 following the "most incredible experience" of his life while living and traveling in central Asia. In his words. . .

After receiving a Bachelor's degree in business from Florida State University in 1968, I entered the Army and served as a journalist/photographer in Germany until my discharge in 1970. At this time of my life, like many my age, I began to question the meaning of life and what is the purpose of living. Drawn to see how others on this earth lived, I found himself reading about the far distant and remote lands of India, Africa and Asia. To myself I thought,

"Maybe they could tell me something."

On the day of my discharge in July of 1970 with my cameras in hand, a change of cloths in my rucksack, and two signs in my hand, one "MUNICH" and the other "INDIA", I stuck out my thumb on the ramp to Germany's Autobahn. After hitching rides through the rest of Europe, into Greece and over to Turkey, Iran, and finally into Afghanistan. I was sure I had reached the most remote and exotic place on earth. With vast empty deserts, rugged snowcapped mountains, 200 foot buddhas carved into cliffs, and Kuchi nomads traveling in camel caravans miles long, surely this untouched land of "Ghengis Khan" could speak something of the meaning and purpose of living. But it was silent. After two months, and still in Afghanistan, I became desperate for answers and on Dec 31 1970, a most incredible thing happened.
I was lying on my bed mat that night, it was New Year's Eve, and I had been suffering from hepatitis for some weeks and my skin was yellow with jaundice. As I laid there I became absolutely desperate for "The Answer", not the meaning of life, but was God really there? Did he really exist? Raised a Christian I was always told,

"Just believe, just believe". I was tired of "just believing".

I wanted to know for a fact that God was real and that He was really there. I was desperate and was not going to take silence as an answer. I felt as though I was taking God by the shirt collar and slamming Him up against the wall and yelling,

"Are you really there? If so, prove it to me and drop this ceiling on my head and take my life. . . I don't want to live any longer not knowing if you are real."

I waited for that ceiling to drop. But instead, at that moment a warmth began to travel like a blanket from my feet up to my chest. When it reached my chest area it felt as if a huge knot was being untied and my heart became totally at peace for the first time in my life. I opened my eyes and standing there before me was a white light, a figure whose face I could not make out clearly. I looked at him and he looked at me. So at peace was I that I simply fell asleep. Upon awakening in the morning I was completely healed (not realizing it at first) and went outside in streets of Kabul where it had snowed 12 inches and took photos for 8 hours - best photos I ever took! Something very profound had happened to me but I didn't know what. The ceiling did not fall on my head that night, but I did receive "the Answer" to my Question. Forty days later in a small Afghan town while standing in a field I received Jesus Christ as my Savior.

I was born again and knew that moment that God loved me and I would spend my eternity with Him forever. I also knew I would spend the rest of my life telling others that God IS real and that He loves you dearly.

Upon his return to the states, Gary served and was ordained by the Community of the Crucified One, a church in the Pittsburgh area. It was in 1987 that he was sent to Poway to begin a ministry. Beginning with prayer meetings in living rooms, the ministry grew into a home based church. The home fellowship continued to grow and thrive over the following years. A long time dream of this fellowship was realized in the summer of 2001 with the dedication of a new church home.

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