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Pastor leaves Carnation for a mission
When Pastor Steve Farnworth and his wife Kristie travel to their new church in Spokane, they will
have a building, a name for the church, a few dedicated staff, but not much else.
The couple will be leaving their post at Carnation Bible Church
to breathe life into the Living Water Community Church in Eastern
Washington. The church was once a healthy and successful church, but when
attendance dwindled to 20, the members decided to close the door and let
another pastor try to revitalize the body.
"We're excited," Steve Farnworth said. "This will be the fourth time
I've done this and my dad was also a church planter."
Farnworth started his ministry in Northern California 25 years ago.
He was just out of Bible college and had the opportunity to lead a
congregation that started with 20 people who met in a converted milking shed.
Within the next eight years, the body grew to more than 200 members.
Farnworth spent another couple of years at another church in California where
he helped that small congregation gain stability.
Then in 1986, he and two couples from the Lower Valley birthed
the Carnation Bible Church. The congregation met in several locations
around Carnation before it moved into its new home on Entwistle Street in 1991.
Church leaders are currently looking for an interim pastor to lead
the flock while they continue to search for a permanent addition which could
take as long as 16 months, Farnworth said.
"There are five things they are looking for in a pastor: he's a man
of prayer, shepherds the body, develops relationships within the
congregation and the community at large, and encourages the body in growth and
ministry by example," he said.
The Farnworths' last Sunday at Carnation Bible Church will be
on March 26 because by the following week, they will be in Spokane to
start their new life and new church.
The couple won't be alone in their quest, however. Kristie
Farnworth's daughter Erin Beyerlein and members Marisa Shoemaker and Wes Felts
have all pledged to follow the pastors to Eastern Washington to serve in
"It's amazing how God works. He's got people from [the old
church] staying and people here joining us," Kristie Farnworth said. "It's
And on March 26 when the last of the music is played and the final
utterances of his sermon given, Steve and Kristie Farnworth will
move ahead while never forgetting the many Valley residents who they have
come to love.
"I will miss the people," Kristie Farnworth said with a smile.
"We have some deep friendships here," Steve Farnworth added.
There will be a farewell reception for the Farnworths from 5 to 7
p.m. on Saturday, March 18, at Tolt Middle School.