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Worship experience is an adventure
Growth marks fledgling church's year
SERVICES: 10 a.m. Sundays.
WHERE: Cafeteria at Riverbend Elementary School, 301 Stewart Rd. Yuba City.
When Pastor Greg Mansur first walked through Riverbend Elementary School in Yuba City in fall 2009, he felt “there needs to be a church here,” he said last week.
But the timing wasn’t right.
“It was the right place at the wrong time,” he said.
Now almost four years later, the nondenominational Adventure Church of Yuba City has celebrated its first anniversary, meeting for a service every Sunday morning in the school’s cafeteria and having a children’s program, youth group, five home groups and plans to start a missions outreach program.
Church members plan to travel to Mexico in June with the North Valley Calvary Chapel mission.
“We prayed about planting this church in fall 2009 ... and started looking for a ministry opportunity,” Mansur, 41, said.
But the opportunity appeared in upstate New York and the family – Mansur with wife Tracy and children Joshua, Kala and Gracy – moved east in 2010, with the full intention of staying there.
Though the ministry was successful, the family wanted to return here, Mansur said.
“New York gave us the courage and boldness to know that we could do it,” he said. “That with God’s help and strength we could do what he called us to do.”
The family returned to the Yuba-Sutter area in 2011 and started the idea of Adventure Church, with “preview” services held in November and December that year at the elementary school.
Adventure Church, established on Jan. 15, 2012, is associated with Adventure Christian Church in Roseville and the Evangelical Free Church of America.
“There’s enough family and community to allow people to have a church so close. We have a commitment to stay in south Yuba City,” Mansur said.
Youngsters helped the church celebrate its first anniversary Jan. 13 by releasing colorful balloons with stamped self-addressed postcards to be returned when found.
Earlene and Joe Shepherd found the card and balloon sent by Kylee Quick, 6, of Yuba City near their barns in Bridgeport, Texas, 1,700 miles away.
The youth group activity “is a testament to God’s love and faith,” said Earlene Shepherd in an email. “This activity connected a couple in their 60s on a small farm in Texas, to a youth group and a church in California,” she continued. It also connected people on Facebook as well as students in the classroom of the Shepherds’ daughter, a second-grade teacher.
“All church youth groups are vital to the service of a community and the spiritual growth of its members and their families,” Earlene Shepherd said.
More than 300 people already call Adventure Church their “home church,” Mansur said. “We were hopeful to have 100 people by the first year,” he said. “We had 100 in the first month.”
Church member Christine Quick, living in north Yuba City, heard about the new church from friends and decided to attend.
“We showed up one day and felt that’s where we belonged,” she said. “I feel he (Mansur) is a great, godly man. ...He really speaks the word of God into your heart.”
The church would like to find a ministry center, Mansur said, a place to have a 24/7 presence in the community. But, “We’re not in a big hurry. First we invest in people, ministry and friends.”
He added that the church is an “adventure of faith and we truly believe that God has blessed the steps of faith we have taken.”
Pastor Greg Mansur, 41, and his family, originally from Illinois, moved to Yuba City in 2003 after he decided to change from being a solo lead pastor in Illinois to working in a staff position.
He applied for positions at Grace Baptist Church in Yuba City and at Cherrydale, Va., in April 2003.
After receiving three calls in one day from the Yuba City job, he visited the Yuba-Sutter area in May that year and moved here in June 2003.
When Mansur began praying about planting a church in 2009, a ministry opportunity came up at a small church in upstate New York.
Church “planting” is starting a church from scratch “to bring glory to God and encouragement to a local community,” Mansur explained.
He and his family – wife Tracy and children Joshua, Kala and Gracy – moved to New York in 2010, with the full intention of staying there, he said.
But though the ministry at the church was successful, it grew from about 60 to 65 congregants to 200 during the family’s stay of almost 18 months, Mansur said, “It just wasn’t home.
“We now know it was our training ground” for the church they returned to plant in south Yuba City.
After deciding to return to California in 2011, Mansur said he first considered Natomas as the site to “plant” a church.
“We came back not knowing what we were going to do,” he said.
But Greg found a job with Walmart in Yuba City and Tracy found a job with Twin Rivers Charter School within a month of moving here.
“It’s crazy how everything worked out,” Greg Mansur said. “This is home. We love the Yuba-Sutter community.”
He worked at Walmart and later at the charter school while starting Adventure Church. In January, he became a full-time salaried pastor at the church.
“It’s nice to focus all my energies on the church that God has called us to lead,” Mansur said.
Mansur, with a degree in pastoral studies, began ministering in 1995 at the age of 23 as a solo lead pastor in a church in Illinois.
He has since ministered in Yuba City for eight years – as a children’s pastor at Grace Baptist and Cornerstone churches.
Planting the church “has been an adventure,” Mansur said. “Living for the Lord is an adventure. Life is an adventure.”
Contact Leticia Gutierrez at email@example.com or 749-4722.