Pastor Ron

Growing up in a devout Catholic home I believed in God as far back as I can remember. I had two praying grandmothers who shared their faith with me and they were examples of godliness. Even with that, I knew I was a sinner expecting to go to hell when I died because at a very early age, after we read the Ten Commandments, I realized I had already broken many of them. I couldn’t figure out why the God of love I heard so much of would make it too difficult for me to go to heaven if that’s what He wanted too. As I got older I figured I’d live life the way I wanted because it really didn’t make a difference in the long run. Skipping over the history of my wicked ways, I was 21 years of age when a friend gave me a book by Hal Lindsay called “The Late Great Planet Earth.” It wasn’t until the very end of the book where I read that each person must repent and invite Jesus Christ into their life as personal Savior and Lord to be saved and go to heaven. I had no idea. I prayed the sinners prayer and I’ve been walking with the Lord ever since. Perfectly? No! But, His grace is sufficient for me. I was the first defector from the Catholic Church in my family and happy to say many more have followed. God has been gracious to my family in bringing many to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Even since I was first saved, many people asked me why I wasn’t in seminary to become a “preacher”. I always figured I was never good enough and certainly not educated enough to qualify for that calling. Although I was pleased to serve as a teacher in the body for years, I was really not content until God called me into the pastorate. Several years ago, while taking correspondence courses through a local Bible College, my wife and I were conducting discipleship training in our home with a group of 20 adults from a church we had recently started to attend. The pastor had asked me to come and teach his congregation systematically through the Bible. While teaching over the next two years, I learned of serious doctrinal issues within that fellowship. As we prayed and addressed the doctrinal issues in an attempt to win these people to Christ, the church became polarized and it was apparent that someone had to go. Much to my surprise, when I announce that the Lord released me to go back to my home church, the 20 people from our home group insisted we form a new fellowship. Knowing I was in Bible school, they asked me to become their pastor. I resisted because I had not finished school and I never saw myself as a Sr. Pastor. I’d hoped that someday I could become an Assoc. Pastor over the teaching ministries of the church. That too seemed to be just a dream.

With this new development I met with the chancellor at the Bible school, as well as my home church Sr. Pastor and the Assoc. Pastor for prayer and counsel. They all unanimously advised me and encouraged me to answer the call of God. They told me they had been watching me for years and knew that God had a call on my life. When I hesitated, my advisor then told me, “A church is forming here and they’re calling you as their pastor. You must either accept what God is calling you to do or they will have to call someone else.”  I accepted because as one saintly lady who was praying for me put it, “God has been calling you into ministry for years; either respond now or He will remove this blessing from your life permanently.” With that I said, “Okay!” So in March of 2001, we began what is now known as Calvary Chapel Rockingham.

Over the years I marvel as I watch God touch lives and accomplish His will in and through our fellowship. People are being ushered into the kingdom, set free, healed and growing in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ by simply living and studying the Word of God, loving one another and keeping it simple. God’s hand is on our fellowship and it’s not because of me, it’s because He’s chosen to do a work through “us” as we give Him His rightful place in our hearts and ministry. He is so faithful.

“For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.”  2 Chronicles 16:9

Pastor Ron Clement