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Passion undergirds California church

VACAVILLE, Calif. (BP) – Ninety percent of the congregation at Trinity Baptist Church is involved in the church’s ministries and missions both within and outside the church, Pastor Greg Davidson says.

“We’re passionate about missions,” Davidson said of the church where 250 gather for Sunday morning worship and thousands more through livestream and radio throughout the week.

Greg Davidson

The passion for missions starts with giving 14 percent of undesignated offerings to missions through the Cooperative Program and 2 percent more to Redwood Empire Baptist Association, where Davidson has been moderator for five years

“We [Southern Baptists] have the greatest missionary force in the world,” Davidson said. “We have more church plants than any other group. We believe we can do more together – through the Cooperative Program – than we could ever do without each other.

“You can never outgive God. It’s amazing how He supernaturally supplies. We don’t give to get, but it’s a principle in scripture. If we didn’t give, He’d stop blessing.”

Record-setting giving even during COVID-19 and an ever-growing expansion of missions involvement appear to be aberrations, given California’s secular climate. The pastor says both are because of Trinity Vacaville’s unrelenting focus on teaching and preaching the Word of God.

“It’s hard, and it’s been the joy of my life,” Davidson said. “We work probably 20 times harder than [churches in] the East and get 20 times less results. It’s hard ground. It’s very hard ground here. It makes us stronger, more resilient and more determined than ever with our sister churches to see that spark of revival throughout California and beyond.

“It’s very hard to reach people here, but we’re baptizing, five weeks in a row now. And already this month we’ve added 25 people to the church. The Lord is at work.”

The Cooperative Program and the local Baptist association are just starting points for Trinity Vacaville’s focus, which in part includes Romania, Mexico, Alaska, two local homeless shelters, a food pantry, apartment ministry, Madison Migrant Center Ministry and several more.

“We want to be sure everybody in our community has food to eat,” said the pastor. He has led the local Rotary Club, where he’s president, to provide weekend meals for families with school-age children. “We don’t want anybody to be hungry.”

Passionate about missions. Passionate about providing food for those in need. Passionate about serving and sharing Christ as they do so. Passionate about learning more about God and what He wants from them.

“There’s an amazing DNA in our church,” Davidson said. “Almost everybody has the desire that they want to serve; they want a job.”

The church has “an incredible team of people, very organized. They scan the membership to make sure everybody is offered a place of service in the church,” the pastor continued. “For the most part, people just jump in. When a lot of people are serving, there are quite a few jobs we don’t have to hire people to do.”

Trinity Vacaville has “state-of-the-art buildings” because the congregation includes many skilled craftsmen who have made it possible for the church to be debt free, so more money can be allocated to missions, Davidson said.

“We never go in debt,” he said, “and when you give your money away, God always gives it back to you.”

In addition to being a fulltime pastor, associational moderator and Rotary Club president, Davidson is an ambassador for the California chapter of Alliance Defending Freedom, a post he’s held for 12 years.

“I go to Sacramento to speak to senators and legislators,” he said. Vacaville is 35 miles southwest of the state’s capital city. “I go as a friend. I’m not the angry pastor. I go in love.

“To their credit, many times we’ve been able to work together on issues that would violate churches’ rights. We’ve still got a lot to work on and have made a lot of progress. We’re very grateful for that.”

While he is a people person, the pastor said, teaching is his passion.

He teaches six times each Wednesday for different groups at the church.

“We accomplish multiple purposes,” Davidson said. “It builds community and raises up disciples. … We’re teaching Acts; I’m in chapter 11. They want me to exegete every verse out of the Greek; it’s a slow boat to China.”

Davidson also can be heard for 28-minute segments 12 times a week on 50,000 watts of Christian radio in northern California, alongside David Jeremiah, James Dobson and others.

Men and women at Trinity Vacaville have several opportunities each week for gender-specific Bible study, most taught by volunteers. This includes a 400-person Bible Study Fellowship group.

“You’re not going to survive in California on some milquetoast version of the Bible,” Davidson said. “Unless you’re building people’s lives in the Word, you’re not going to make it. It’s not an option out here. You’ve got to be in the Word.

“We stand by the Word, teach the Word teach the people to be empowered with the Holy Spirit. We are passionate about giving to Southern Baptist missions, passionate about ministering to people, passionate about sharing the Gospel. We’re surrounded by a very powerful – such a secular – godless culture, and in the worst of times, a pandemic in the state of California.

“Despite all that, we’re gaining ground and He’s blessing us. It makes no sense, humanly. There’s nothing extraordinary about us. We’re very humbled by that. Being in the conditions we’re in, there’s plenty of things to keep us humbled.”