Church celebrating 50 years of ministering at North Tahoe
October 14, 2014
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — On Sunday, Oct. 19, The Village Church will be recognizing and celebrating 50 years of ministering on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe during worship, with a luncheon following.
In the very early days of Incline Village in the mid-60s, a small group of people wanted to establish a church. On Jan. 1, 1964, the Rev. Chester Hamblin was commissioned by the Presbyterians to establish a church.
That church was formally charted on Oct. 18, 1964, as Incline Village Community Presbyterian Church — now known as The Village Church.
The first challenge of the newly formed church was the building of a Sanctuary in which to worship. Property was purchased, but funds were not available at that time to build a Sanctuary.
The congregation met in private homes, the Crystal Bay Club, The Chateau and the Golf Club locker rooms. The outdoor Chapel in the Pines was completed on the church property in July of 1964, and worship was held there in the summers.
In March 1965, the Sanctuary building project was approved, and a groundbreaking service was held on July 18, 1965.
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The first worship service was held in the Sanctuary on May 1, 1966. That was the first of three building projects completed over the years, which included a Fellowship Hall and Christian Education Wing.
Over the years, The Village Church has had eight pastors including the Rev. Dr. Richard "Dick" Randall and the Rev. Jeff Ogden, who are currently serving as co-pastors.
In the past 50 years the church has seen the growth of children, youth and adult programs. Worship attendance in the 1960s was less than 30 people and now is nearly 200 each Sunday.
The church's worship style is relational and less formal. In the summers, worship services are offered in the outdoor Chapel in the Pines.
The church has increased its outreach ministries locally as well as internationally. Locally, the congregation has ministered with Habitat for Humanity, supports a food closet for the needy in our community, has assisted seniors with household repairs and tasks and supports Good News Clubs.
Youth have ministered in Reno and San Francisco with the homeless. Dental mission teams have been to Dominican Republic and Belize. Construction teams have ministered in Croatia, Albania and Romania. A decade ago, The Village Church began a Christian Preschool program.
In 2013, after much prayer, study and meetings, The Village Church was dismissed from the Presbyterian Church (USA) and affiliated with ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians. The congregation voted for this change by over 98 percent.
OGDEN TO REPLACE RANDALL
The Rev. Jeffrey Ogden recently joined The Village Church as co-pastor.
Ogden and his wife and three daughters moved to Incline Village at the end of August so the girls could start school at the beginning of the school year. He officially began duties at The Village Church on Sept. 15.
Ogden is a Sacramento native who graduated with a BA in English from the University of California, Davis, and a Masters of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, in South Hamilton, Mass.
When asked about his background, Ogden revealed he loved Star Wars and Indiana Jones, and The Lord of the Rings remains his favorite book.
He also shared his struggle with the whole idea of faith and even tried to be an atheist for a couple of months during his freshman year, but Jesus was a captivating figure to him. He committed his life to him just before graduating from high school.
His passion these days is teaching people the Bible and helping them make a personal connection with Jesus. Ogden believes there is nothing better in this world or out of it.
Ogden will co-pastor with Randall until the middle of October. After that, Randall leaves for a sabbatical and retirement after 16 years as sole minister at The Village Church.
This article was submitted to the Bonanza by The Village Church. Services are on Sunday mornings at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Learn more by visiting inclinechurch.org or calling 775-831-0784.