We were just a bunch of kids when what eventually became known as Harvest Christian Fellowship began. We really had no idea what we were doing, but we loved the Lord and wanted to see what He would do. It was around 1972, and we were in the middle of the Jesus Movement, the last great American spiritual awakening. One of the epicenters of this movement was Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, California, with Pastor Chuck Smith.
Some people from All Saints Episcopal Church in Riverside wanted to see the Jesus Movement come to the Inland Empire, so they asked Calvary Chapel to send someone to preach. A number of pastors went and spoke there for a time. Meanwhile, I had been hanging around the office, sort of like an intern, and eventually someone said, “Greg, why don’t you do it?”
So I did it, and I kept at it. This little Bible study of young people began to grow, and pretty soon I could see that it was turning into a church. I hardly felt qualified to be the pastor of a church, so I looked for someone to take the role. No one would. So I accepted the fact that this was what the Lord had for me. We outgrew our location and moved over to a Baptist church, which is now our Sunday school building in Riverside. When we outgrew that building, we took the biggest step of faith ever, way outside our comfort zone: we built a building. Back then, the cost was $1 million. I remember people saying that it wouldn’t work; it wouldn’t succeed.
God will do His work in His way and in His timing. So don’t listen to your critics. Listen to the Lord and do what He leads you to do.