SECC Celebrates New Ordinations

Posted on May 10 2018

SECC Celebrates New Ordinations

Just as spring brings renewal to the earth,
it has also brought fresh new ministries to the Southeastern California Conference through ordinations of new pastors with hearts for God and service.

Hugo Guillén, pastor of Calexico church, was ordained on Sabbath, January 13.
For Guillén, ordination confirms the Lord’s calling upon his life, the trust his peers have placed in him, but also serves as a call to grow more in his walk with God. “I've felt like there's so much more I need to learn,” Guillén said. “It has been a humbling time, in a positive way, and I feel like our Lord is pulling me even closer to Him.” Guillén’s passion for ministry is rooted in his own spiritual experience and the work that God has down in his own life. “He lets me know that he wants to work in everyone’s life to give them a better life now, and an even better life tomorrow. I love to see people truly find a better life in Jesus Christ, that’s why sharing Him is my passion.”

Aren Rennacker, associate pastor at the Calimesa church, was ordained on Sabbath, February 24.

“I wish every person in fields of service could have the same experience of ordination,” he said about the joy of celebrating his ordination with the love and support of family and friends. For Rennacker, who was not raised an Adventist, the journey into ministry is a testament of what God can do in someone’s life. After graduating from Sacramento Adventist Academy, Rennacker majored in journalism at Pacific Union College to pursue his dream of becoming a sports writer. Even though he completed his degree in journalism, along his academic journey he knew he was being called to ministry. His passion for ministry stems from his heartfelt desire to share with others the Jesus he has come to know.

“Jesus continues to be revealed to me in new ways,” he said. “I’m encouraged that we are called to a relationship experience and that we don’t have to be experts. A journey with Jesus is about experiencing God in new ways.”

Anthony Penick was ordained on Sabbath, March 31. He was at Hope Community Company in the desert area but is now at Texas Health Huguley Hospital in Fort Worth, which is part of the Adventist Health System. Prior to ministry, Penick dreamed of going into psychology. But the doors down that path kept closing in a way that made him realize God had other plans for him. One day during his prayer time, he heard a very clear message: it was time to follow God’s leading into ministry.

“God chose me, and I chose God,” Penick said about his journey. “It’s been the best roller coaster I’ve ever been on.” He is thankful that all the gifts God has given him are being used to the fullest through his ministry. “At the heart of my passion for ministry is to see people live their best life with God and for them to know they have the assurance of salvation.”

Nathaniel Sevilla is the associate pastor at the Laguna Niguel church. He was ordained on Sabbath, April 7. For Sevilla, ordination carries with it meaningful spiritual and professional significance and is also a celebration of the call into ministry.

“It was one of the most humbling experiences to know that I was placed on this high calling,” Sevilla said. “There’s a holy trembling within a pastor during ordination to know that ‘no one takes this honor on himself, but he receives it when called by God’ (Hebrews 5:4, NIV).” Sevilla says his passion for ministry is simply to preach the Word of God with all his heart to nonbelievers, and to rejoice when people become a part of the kingdom of God. He often feels both weighed down and lifted up by the Spirit for nonbelievers to be brought to Jesus and to make disciples, not only in Laguna Niguel but wherever God calls him to serve, locally or far away.

“I know I do not need to cross the ocean to do this ministry. My church’s backyard is a mission field,” Sevilla said.

Enno Müller is the communication director for Southeastern California Conference. He was ordained on Friday evening, April 13, at Azure Hills church. Müller’s master’s degree is in theology. Although much of his professional life has not been in direct pastoral ministry, he has worked in young adult ministries.

“I am open to where God leads, and He has put me in this position,” he said about his current role in communications. Regardless of official titles or job descriptions, Müller has a passion for ministry in its many facets, and the greatest desire of his heart is to help people answer the big questions in life, such as why am I here?

“As a church we have a message of hope. We have something to look forward to,” he said. Müller expresses this hope as something much deeper and lasting than anything this world has to offer. He wants to share that hope with others. To him ministry comes down to one simple concept: “Ministry is a profession of helping others,” he said. “A call to ministry is a call to help people.”

By Cynthia Mendoza