Alex’s Baptism – August 27, 2013

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Alex is an incredibly talented UCSB graduate student, pursuing a Master’s in Mathematics. He graduated high school at 15, graduated Stanford at 19, worked at Yahoo for a couple of years before deciding to go back to school, as well as teaching undergraduate math classes. Alex came from a Scientology background with almost no knowledge of Jesus, and in just under three months came to faith in Jesus, and completely opened up his heart to the fellowship and has become one of the most thoughtful brothers!

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    Linda, a freshman city college student, was met at the bus stop by our sister Jody who was on her way to our Karaoke Night at the sisters household. After recently moving to Santa barbara from Virginia, Linda responded well to the new friend and joined us for karaoke. She soon after began studying the bible and was indignant about the fact that she never knew that she was not a disciple. She eagerly went after studying the bible and joining the kingdom events, even zealously joined our fundraising events! Excitedly she was baptized into Christ on October 15!

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    Our newest sister in Christ is campus student Beatriz! Beatriz was baptized on Wednesday September 30th at the Flury’s apartment pool! Beatriz was so eager to become a disciple that she did three night studies in a row until 2am with Corinna, Jody and Dori. It was very encouraging to have another sister added into the amazing kingdom of God! Our hearts were full with love and happiness when Beatriz became a disciple!

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    Jody a young SBCC campus student, was met by brother and sister Dale and Karyn. They invited her out to our International Day service on campus, she came and soon began studying the bible. Being a young women living in the small college neighborhood of Isla Vista she quickly became enticed and involved in the raging party life and stopped studying the bible. She soon realized a month later that she did not want to be apart of that life anymore. Jody came back to church and finished studying the bible then was baptized on day after Easter.

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    Elizabeth McDonnell- While all of the women have incredible testimonies, the story of Laura Lewis becoming a disciple really warms my heart because it shows the unity between churches in our movement! Laura was reached out to by Ashley Dunn of the LA Church while she was having coffee all alone. But because of her imminent graduation from FIDM, as well as a weekly commute between LA and Santa Barbara (90 miles each way), she was only able to visit Ashley’s Bible Talk once. After graduation, she moved permanently up to Santa Barbara. That’s when Ashley made sure that I had Laura’s contact info so that she could be reached out to up here! Sure enough, after one meeting with Laura, I just knew that she was going to make an awesome disciple! Then after three months of wrestling with demons from the past, Laura repented and was baptized into Christ on Easter Day! And she has been an incredible addition to our Single’s Ministry!

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    “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” – Jeremiah 29:11-12

    It’s amazing to see how God’s plans for our lives is completely more rewarding than the idealistic “American Dream”. Dominic, a newly Santa Barbara City College student, was the ideal person living that dream. He, being a young man, already had a successful career as a car salesman. He lived a life idealizing money, women, and drugs; however, he noticed that money did not solve his problems. After moving to Santa Barbara to go to school, his lifestyle led him to having some health problems. At this low moment of his life he sought after God along with his girlfriend, at the time, Nikki. Both of them were then invited to bible talk by our brother Dale and sister Karyn. Dominic Studied the bible with the brothers and then was baptized on February 8, 2015!

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    After much prayer and perseverance, Michelle, a young professional and native of Santa Barbara, was baptized this Sunday! She was met back in the winter at work by our sister Dara, who invited her to park church service. She enjoyed service and then immediately set up to study the bible. Sadly, she only did a couple bible studies but then lost her motivation to continue coming to church. However, God was working on her heart. She proclaims that after experiencing some pretty dark moments in her life that next month, she came to realize that she just needed God to bring her out of the dark. She then recontacted Dara and asked if she could come back to church. She finished studying the bible with the sisters for the next few weeks. Then, to God’s glory got baptized on February 1, 2015!

  • Elizabeth McDonell: Greetings from Santa Barbara! This whole year has been just fantastic, but the last few weeks have been exceptional! To start, we went on our first church-wide retreat titled, We Are Family.


    The fun-loving Santa Barbara Disciples
    at their Fall Retreat!

    Then to close out the retreat – which was held by a nearby lake – at Sunday service we had our first restoration, Guillermo Beltran, and a baptism of a UCSB student, Kashira! Kashira has been a zealous rights activist, but now sees that the most worthy cause is to save souls for eternity!


    Kashira (VINE t-shirt) rejoices in her new salvation!

    Then, amidst the torrential downpour of rain and 60 mph winds, we baptized another woman, this time a SBCC culinary student, named Alynna on Thursday! It was a bit scary but God protected us! She’s an awesome addition and already is studying the Bible with two of her friends here in Santa Barbara!

    Alynna – baptized in the midst of a storm –
    finds peace in Christ!

    And as one disciple put it, with the ending of the spiritual drought in the Women’s Ministry came the ending of the physical drought here in Santa Barbara! Please continue to pray for us and we love you with the love of the Lord!

  • Richie had been studying the Bible for a couple weeks, but had hit some roadblocks in really wanting to give up everything for God. But after my husband preached about our ultimate goal, “little” Richie came up to him and told him that he wanted to fully commit to Jesus and wanted to get baptized as soon as possible! So on Monday they met up and “Richie” McDonnell multiplied himself and baptized “Richie” Huerta in the ocean! He is an incredible addition to our growing SBCC Campus Ministry!

  • Two souls were added to our church with the baptisms of Robert and Nallely, thus putting us “over the top” in our prayer goal for doubling the original 11 disciples on the mission team! They have been studying the Bible and coming around since the church was planted in January. However, because they were living together unmarried, they never were baptized because God calls for absolutely purity in the lives of His disciples!

    After much prayer, Bible study and refreshing repentance, they gained the faith to uphold God’s standard and decided to live separately (despite having three children together), thus, making Jesus Lord of their lives when they were baptized into Christ! Incredibly, Nallely is the sister of Memo and Carlos who were baptized previously in the church, and all reached out to by Stephanie, the 11 year-old pre-teen in our congregation! Now, Robert & Nallely are planning to get married very soon and build their family upon the foundation of Christ!

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  • Richie McDonnell: Greetings from beautiful Santa Barbara! Excitingly, today we were able to celebrate our Sixth Month Anniversary as a church planting! These past two weeks have been incredible as we have had three baptisms! One woman – Emily – from UC Santa Barbara, and two men from SBCC – Josh and Brian! Josh in an incredible “catch” as he is from the island of Roatán (off the coast of Honduras), is on the SBCC Soccer Team, and is a natural preacher! Though he once was a false doctrine Pentecostal preacher, he is now excited to preach the truth! Today, we also had Brian’s baptism, which is the answer to a radical prayer! Brian and his best friend started studying the Bible back in January. They loved the fellowship; they fell in love with the Bible; but after really counting the cost, they both decided that they couldn’t commit to being a sold-out disciple, and that school and sin were more of a priority for them. The stopped studying the Bible, and stopped coming to church. Then this past Thursday morning, I prayed, “God, please let someone who’s already studied the Bible all the way through, and who knows what it means to follow Jesus, contact me and get baptized this Sunday.” That very night Brian went against better judgment and decided to try a new drug out with some friends. He described going on a “drug trip” where he was in Hell; he felt like he was burning in Hell, and heard people around him screaming! This helped him come to his senses and realize he couldn’t wait any longer! And that next afternoon he contacted me to get together and talk about getting baptized immediately! So finally, and with a truly repentant heart, Brian was baptized in the Pacific Ocean and couldn’t be happier! I am encouraged by Jesus’ words, “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” (Matthew 21:22) God truly answers prayer!

  • This weekend, we had the baptism of Guillermo “Memo” Beltran! Another addition to our awesome Single/Marrieds Bible Talk! He’s the second brother to be baptized of our sweet pre-teen, Stephanie! She started coming around a few months ago, and then decided to “join” our church and leave the Mormon faith, of which she had just been baptized into. She’s currently going through the “Character Studies” while still being super evangelistic at only 11 years old! Her other sibling, her sister Nallely as well as Nallely’s fiance Robert, are both close to the waters of baptism! Never underestimate the impact of loving the neighborhood kids!


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  • Elizabeth McDonnell: Greetings from beautiful Santa Barbara! What a faith building few weeks it has been as God answered our prayer for a woman to be baptized here in Santa Barbara! Esmerelda was baptized into Christ on May 18th! Though she lives in Ventura County (some 40 miles away), she commutes each day up to Santa Barbara to go to the highly acclaimed Santa Barbara City College! After years of being beat up by the world, the love of the Kingdom blew her away; in fact, she was so impacted that she now plans on moving into the sisters’ household in June! She is a very sweet, kind and a genuine woman and is a great addition to the church here!


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