WHO ARE WE?
We may be biased, but we think we have the very best team of people around leading our church family Sunday after Sunday. Friendship Church is consisted of our staff, along with our board and volunteers, who are all some of the most gifted, creative, and hard-working people around.
Since the fall of 1993, I have had the opportunity to serve as pastor of Friendship Church. During this time, God has done SO MUCH in my life personally and well as His work in all of us at Friendship. And, as a bi-vocational, lay minister, I never actually intended to pastor a church! Doesn’t God have a sense of humor? As for some of the details…I’m a home-town, Centralia guy that “went away” for college but afterward came back home. My wife, Jill, and I have been married since 1983 and are now in a wonderful season of life… GRANDPARENTING! Friendship Church has been (and still is) the greatest surprise of my life. If you are looking for a “safe place to connect,” I believe you’ll find Friendship to be a casual, Biblical church fellowship where you can grow and serve.
See you Sunday,
God has placed a clear and overwhelming desire in my heart for youth and it all started here at Friendship. I was born and raised here in Centralia and started attending Friendship once in high school. When I became a Christian in high school I didn’t know anything about God or the church or youth group. My faith was modeled after my youth leader and friends. I attended a Friday morning Bible Study at McDonalds called McBible before school. That was where I learned about who Jesus is.
Once I heard the gospel and knew Jesus had died for my sins, I began to seek him out and grow in my faith. I could’t learn enough about him fast enough. I loved how Jesus was changing my life and my worldview. So once I graduated high school, I knew what God wanted for my life. I was being called to ministry. I wanted to impact other kids’ lives the way mine was impacted. I wanted them to meet our Savior Jesus Christ. So I attended Central Christian College of the Bible for 4 years and graduated with my Bachelor of Science in Youth and Family Ministry.
After college, I served as a full time youth pastor at Hoover Christian Church in Platte City, MO. During this time I married my beautiful bride Paige Day. We lived and served there for 8 years until God was calling us back to our hometown. We moved back and began to serve and minister in our home church, Friendship. I moved into the role of part time Children’s Pastor where I served for 3 years. I also began a full time career as a carpenter with Kliethermes Homes and Remodeling. I learned how to impact people’s lives through carpentry while at the same time learning how to depend on God more and be patient in his timing.
At home, God truly blessed my family during these years with two beautifully ornery and rotten children Makenzi, and Malachi. At this point, God was calling Friendship in a new direction with a full-time youth pastor. With God placing this burning desire to serve kids in my heart, I eagerly wanted this opportunity. After several months of interviews, I was offered the job of NextGen Pastor and continue to pray for God’s guidance and blessing as we venture down this road that God has us on.
If you have any questions or would like to help us in any way, please feel free to contact me. God bless!
FCC staff since 2007, and Friendship Celebrate Recovery Pastor since 2009. By God’s Grace, I am a new creation. 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone and the new has come.”Anger, depression and chemical abuse were the coping skills that dominated much of my life. This is how I dealt with life’s pain, and led me on a path of increasing pain and self-destruction. By the age of 35, I was completely controlled by my drug of choice. I destroyed every relationship I had. I sacrificed everything I had in my life on a relentless pursuit to destroy myself. I was hopeless and alone. It seems that every choice I was making was leading me up to ending my life just as my mother and sister both had done. Thankfully, God had other plans for me. After a 25 year addiction to multiple drugs, and incarceration from the consequences of these choices, I was at my “rock bottom.” I’m thankful for this time in my life, for it was exactly where I needed to be to seek Him. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to help you, not hurt you. Plans to bring about a future you hope for.” This is where it started for me. A future was exactly what I desired. I knew I could not return to the life I had created, I was powerless to control myself from doing the wrong thing. Since a child, I believed in God, but I believed in existence only. I didn’t consider it from a personal perspective. How could our Creator love me and forgive me of all the horrible things I have done in my life? If He loved me and forgave me, why would He allow all these horrible things to happen to me in this life? These were the questions that kept me from seeking a personal relationship with Him. I realize now that, in essence, I was playing God. My decisions were made in the moment, and based on desire. In that cell, I realized that apart from Him, I could not make a healthy decision. I made the choice to seek Him with all my heart. Each new day He reveals His Grace to me as He changes my heart and leads me to positive change in my life. Jesus offers the same for us all. He offers us freedom from our hurts, habits and hang-ups. He offers us purpose and a future. Paul says it best, “Though I am still not all I should be, I am thankful I am not where I once was.” I am still a work in progress, and continuing to move forward. Thankfully, I do not have to make this journey alone. God gives us each other. He sends us to one another to provide encouragement when we are discouraged, to provide strength in our time of weakness, to provide love when we feel unlovable and to provide comfort when we are in pain. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 tells us, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But, pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” Friendship Christian Church offers many different ministries for us to connect, no matter where we are in our journey. These ministries encourage us and teach us how to find healing and open our hearts for Him to work in all aspects of our lives, as we walk this path of life together.
“Living and Growing in Christ Together”
My family and I have been members at Friendship Christian Church since 2016, we have been in the Centralia community for over 20 years! I am married to my amazing husband Tim Stevens and we have five awesome boys, Andrew Moore, Anthony Stevens, Kelby Stevens, Miles Stevens, and Tanner Cannady. Other than spending time with my family I like to read, watch movies, and spend time with friends. I volunteer for High School 3 Strands, Freedom Fighter Ministries, McBible for girls, and also have a small group of some pretty cool high school girls! My faith really grew and I have found an amazing relationship with Jesus since joining this church. I am excited to start this journey with the church as the Church Administrator as I feel I was called to be in this position.
I never intended to be a "religious" or a follower of anything until I had an encounter with the living God. I never intended to be a worship leader until God decided to use me in that way. Born and raised in Centralia, MO, I have lived here my whole life, (other than a short nine months in Michigan). There I attended worship school at a school called Radiant.
In Michigan, I further discovered my love for Jesus and my passion for worship. I never intended to be a part of such a great place with great people who love Jesus; but...God had different intentions.
Isaiah 55:8-9 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than you ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."