TO MAKE GOSPEL-CENTERED DISCIPLES, IN COMMUNITY, ON MISSION, TO THE GLORY OF GOD
Life is hard. No matter what stage of life you are in, we are surrounded by pressure. The pressure to succeed in our careers, excel in school, raise a family, maintain a healthy marriage, or navigate the dating scene as a single person, to name a few. On top of that, we live in a fractured and uncertain world. The political climate is tumultuous and divisive, and the world is changing quickly.
It often feels like we are ships in a stormy sea, tossed about by the waves of life. What will anchor us amidst the storm?
Most people see Christianity as a system of moral principles or merely a ticket to heaven. But the Bible describes it as much more. In Hebrews 6:19, Jesus is described as the “sure and steadfast anchor for the soul.” When we come to meet Jesus truly, we are not only forgiven, but we are given a new identity that frees us from our insecurities, that can root us deeply in the storms of life — an anchor for the soul.
Our dream is to not to merely gather a crowd of people on a Sunday morning. Our dream is to plant a church where college students, young adults, and young families who are unconnected to any church can come to discover this sure and steadfast anchor for their souls.
In 2011, Pastor Ben was hired to be the English Pastor of First Evangelical Church of Diamond Bar (FECDB), which is a typical Chinese immigrant church. FECDB had three congregations which spoke three different languages: Cantonese, Mandarin and English. Like most Chinese churches, the English congregation started as the young children of the Chinese immigrants, and over the years these children became college students and young adults. Since 2011, God has been faithful in growing our congregation to become a healthy and stable group of college students and young adults, mostly in their 20s.
In the summer of 2016, as Pastor Ben and the leadership of our congregation reflected upon the last five years, we were grateful for the many ways God had grown our congregation. However, we dreamed of how we could better reach out to our surrounding community, especially those who were totally unconnected to any church. We strongly felt that the best way to truly reach those outside the church was to plant an independent English-speaking church. However, we still desired to mentor and minister to the English-speaking youth and children with Chinese-speaking parents. We dreamed of an independent English church plant that could continue to partner with the Chinese church, but also have the flexibility to reach out to our generation and culture. Amazingly, both the Senior Pastor and our church’s board of directors unanimously and enthusiastically supported our vision and pledged to support us. In another sign of God’s blessing, Walnut Elementary School across the street had a multipurpose room that was available for rent on Sunday mornings. We launched on September 10, 2017, and since then we have outgrown Walnut Elementary School and we now meet at Vejar Elementary School.
our core values.
The Gospel — the good news of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ — is not just for the beginning of the Christian life, but is something we must return to and center ourselves on every day, and in everything we do as a church.
The way the gospel shapes and grows us is in community. Church is not merely a building, or event, but it is a new kind of family — imperfect people changed by the Gospel, supporting one another and inviting others to join in.
We are called to be on God’s mission to bring the Gospel to those around us. We will strive to see ourselves as missionaries by loving our neighbors and carefully listening to our culture’s questions in order to communicate the hope of the Gospel effectively and faithfully.
We all have a theology – beliefs about God and spirituality – but are these beliefs true? We believe the Bible is God’s trustworthy word about Himself and thus we will strive to study it deeply, to let it guide and challenge us, so that we will love God more deeply with our minds, in order that we might know and love God with our whole beings.
Justice and Mercy
The Gospel says that we are all spiritually poor but that God in his mercy forgave and redeemed us though we did not deserve it; thus this must give us a radically new heart towards those who are materially poor. We will strive to make a long-term commitment to justice and mercy and to be generous with our resources.
Work as Vocation
We believe that God created work to be a vocation — a calling. As people changed by the Gospel, we will strive to see our work and our gifts as a calling from God to shape and create good and beautiful things for God’s glory.
BEN PUN | Lead Pastor
Pastor Ben is originally from the Chicago area, but has lived in Houston, Boston and Raleigh, NC. Pastor Ben has a B.S. in Biology from Wheaton College (IL) and a M.Div. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (MA). Pastor Ben has been serving as the English Pastor at First Evangelical Church of Diamond Bar since 2011, which sent him out to plant Anchor in 2017. Before moving to California, he was an Assistant Pastor, a Youth Minister and also an 8th grade Science Teacher. He is married to Rachel, and has three children: Haley (8), Austin (4), and Abigail (1), and enjoys following his hometown Chicago sports teams, especially the Bears.
IVAN WONG | WORSHIP LEADER
Ivan spent most of his childhood in the city of Walnut, CA. He found interest in music at a young age and was involved in many different music groups. Ivan attended the University of California Irvine where he got his B.A. in Criminology, Law and Society. Due to some life events, he switched career paths and ended up getting a corporate job in Los Angeles. However, he felt God's call to ministry and is pursuing his Masters in Theology and Ministry (MATM) degree with an emphasis in Worship and Music Ministry at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, CA. When Ivan isn't doing something music related, you can find him enthusiastically cheering for the Lakers.
We also partner with our sending church First Evangelical Church of Diamond Bar (FECDB) and are part of the First Evangelical Church Association (FECA) network. You can find out more information about the two groups below.