Pamplin Media Group – Bible Way Community Church welcomes Pastor Willis
Patricia Willis stepped into her role as the church’s new pastor shortly after Frank Bell retired in September 2021
The Bible Way Community Church welcomes a new pastor, as Frank Bell left the ministry for 18 years last fall.
Patricia (Pat) Willis was introduced to her role as the church’s new pastor shortly after Bell stepped down in September 2021. Patricia’s husband Alan is right next to her in this new ministry and offers a tremendous vocal gift to the cult. . They have a son and two grandchildren.
Pat started out as a missionary pastor in Lewiston, Idaho. In 2004, God ordained her family to come to Prineville, and she pastored the Church of God of Prophecy as the last English-speaking pastor in the current congregation. During the same period, Frank Bell was pastor of the Bible Way Community Church until his retirement.
In the interim, Pat served as a minister arranging weddings, funerals and caring for his mother. She has a long family heritage in ministry, as her paternal grandfather built 37 Pentecostal churches in California from scratch, and she was impressed and encouraged by how he reached souls. Her husband also comes from a number of ministry family members.
In her past career she has organized men’s and women’s retreats and youth camps and has seen the distinct roles and ways the Lord works through people.
“I have no idea how he works, and we think we figured it out, and we didn’t figure it out,” she exclaimed. “We should never be surprised at the greatness of God.”
She added that as women we try to plan and figure things out, and we just need to step back and “let God do what God does.”
She shared a true story to demonstrate the need to depend on God and how we often operate under the idea that we are in control. She shared that she was driving one of their older cars that her husband had told her not to drive and warned that she had fewer good breaks, but remembered, “I drove it, because that I am a girl.”
She knew she shouldn’t drive it, but she did it anyway. Approaching a curve and a stop sign, she discovered she had no brakes. She was accompanied by her 12-year-old son. She saw a car coming to the intersection and was afraid to hit it.
“I threw my hands up and said, ‘Oh my God, you have to help me now,’ and I just let go of the steering wheel. My son was with me, and the next thing, I opened my eyes and I had my hand on the wheel and I was sitting on the other side of the road. My son said, “That was really cool, mom, can we do it again?”
She said they weren’t hurt, nothing was wrong, and she was glad God was in control and had taken control of the situation. She said it was a good picture of the importance of letting God take control of our lives and control the wheel.
“When you take care of it, you can really do damage,” she added. “And that’s how we do it – we cling so tightly to something that we won’t let go, that when we let go and let God, then we’ve done exactly what God wanted us to do. Let him lead. ”
She noted that as she got older, she became bolder.
“We really do, we get bolder, saying, ‘You better give your heart to the Lord, you don’t know what tomorrow has in store.’ We have to be bold in what we stand for.”
She described her experience of being behind the pulpit as a breath of fresh air, “because I can share what God has given me, and that’s a great thing. Every Sunday, and whenever I go back, I am sometimes in awe of what comes out of my mouth.”
She went on to say, “We’re lucky to have a beautiful building. We have great people, and I’m really lucky to be here.”
She added that their organization owns the building and they are reaching out to more and more people.
As Easter approached, Pat emphasized that Easter was about the resurrection of Jesus Christ, not his death.
“It’s not about the Easter egg or the bunny, it’s about his resurrection from the dead, and without him doing what he did, we wouldn’t make heaven – we wouldn’t be able to do it on our own, he did it for us.”
She added that she was worried many people were taking Easter as seriously as we all should.
“It’s a serious time,” Pat said. “I remember when I was a kid, remembering that the most important thing about Easter was getting new clothes and going to church, and a new Easter basket and all that. As I got older , I see that the importance of this is beyond us. If we actually knew how important it was, I think it would destroy us and we would be more serious about what this is about.”
She referenced “The Passion of the Christ”, which depicts the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and noted that their church will show it the week before Easter.
“It makes you open your eyes and thank God that he did this for us, and I don’t feel worthy of that sometimes,” she said of the film.
“I just love the Lord and I want to see souls saved to go to heaven, and I don’t want to see anyone lose. I don’t think this world was made for Hell; I think it was made for Heaven. That’s my desire, is to see people get to know Jesus,” Pat concluded of his ministry.
Bible Way Community Church
Pastor: Patricia Willis
Address: 524 NW McDonald Road, Prineville
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