The Sanctuary is proudly planting a church in Ojai with Pastor Zack Totten and and his wife Diane, the result a four-year process and journey for the Totten family.
Ojai is a small community located in the hills above Ventura with a population of 18,000 people. Historically, it is a farming community with large citrus and avocado orchards. It also has a strong artist community. Because of its proximity to Los Angeles and its quaint, beautiful location, it has developed into a weekend get-away with many fine hotels and spas.
The Foursquare church in Ojai was vibrant for decades going back to the 70’s. However, it significantly declined and was eventually closed about three years ago. For the last year and half, a small congregation, not associated with the Foursquare denomination, has rented the facilities on Sundays.
One of the issues facing church-planters is income. Will financial support come from churches and people who believe in the vision or will it come from getting a job in the community? Though the Pastor Zack has tremendous support, he has chosen to seek employment. Prior to becoming a pastor, he was a licensed electrician and has begun to work several days a month for an electrical contractor in Ojai and it is likely to turn into full-time work.
Pastor Zack has started to attend monthly meetings of the Ojai Valley Ministerial Association (OVMA) and has greatly enjoyed getting to know several pastors in the area.
Currently, the Tottens are building a team of people who feel called to partner with them as they enter into a new city as missionaries with the purpose of sharing God’s love and truth. There is much to be done. Please pray for them.
- That each person on the Church Plant team would sense God’s presence and leading.
- That each person on the team would live in humble confidence and that fear would not seize their thoughts.
- That the team would find good jobs, homes and friendships in Ojai.
- That God would be preparing people (Christians and pre-Christians) to join their congregation.
- That this church plant, which is just a tender seedling at this point, would grow strong and fruitful.