Pastor leaves Carnation for a mission

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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

various ministries.

"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

incredibly wonderful."

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.

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