In Search For a Place to Worship
GSCC’s humble beginnings started in 2005 when a group of believers met and decided to form a church that would build its beliefs on worship, fellowship, and discipleship. Soon thereafter they began to meet at the living room of the Fernando residence on Ruby drive in San Jose. The first service was attended by about 30 people. Sunday worship was held at the living room while the kids had their Sunday school in the backyard. Members have high hopes that the church will flourish amidst the many trials and challenges of conceiving a fully functional church. One of them is selecting a pastor that will lead the flock of believers. Another is finding a place to meet regularly.
The group continued to meet at the Fernando residence and by the second week, they have chosen to call the church Good Shepherd Community Church (GSCC). Without a permanent place of worship GSCC attendees began volunteering and offering their homes to conduct worship. Third and fourth week services were held at the Cantos residence in Milpitas.
North Valley Christian Fellowship (NVCF) opened its doors and allowed GSCC to hold their services at the gathering hall and on October 2, 2005 GSCC held its first service at NVCF.
A Pastor With a Vision
The search for a pastor began the moment GSCC was formed. The question of who is called to lead GSCC as its pastor was on everybody’s prayer list. People began to seek God’s guidance on who is called to lead the believers at GSCC who shares the same vision of worship, fellowship, and discipleship.
While in search for a pastor, the leadership group reached out to its members who were seasoned bible study leaders and begun asking them to take turns in delivering the Sunday messages. Without hesitation and seeking to fulfill a need, Virgil Fernando, Virgil Caruz, and Efren Bendanillo began to take turns preaching on Sundays. In some occasion, guest speakers and evangelist were invited to preach. Soon thereafter, Dani Castillo was also included in the preaching rotation.
After a year of searching, GSCC has found a person whom they felt God has called to lead His flocks. In 2006, the members of GSCC offered Virgil Fernando the position of Senior Pastor. Much to the delight of its members, Pastor Virgil (known to many as Oyette) accepted God’s calling and began serving full time ministry. Pastor Oyette is currently pursuing a Masters of Divinity degree from Western Seminary.
Birth of Ministries
With a place of worship already secured, the church began forming ministries and its leaders. One of the first ministries formed is the Adult Choir Ministry. Headed by Eric Faustino and Teri Luna, the choir began practicing and had its first Christmas concert in 2005. The choir followed up its performance with an extravagant Easter performance in 2006. Up until 2008, the GSCC choir was performing major concerts twice a year. In 2008, the children’s ministry headed by Pam Serano presented a Christmas concert. For two nights the children danced, sing, and acted in front of a packed NVCF main hall. The performance was capped by encore presentation at Eastridge Shopping Mall in front of hundreds of people.
Other ministries also began to form and one of them was the Evening Watch. Hinging on Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians “to pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17), the Evening Watch ministry was formed in November of 2005. Designed to encourage believers to pray corporately, they began meeting on Fridays and started praying and interceding for people’s needs. Evening Watch ministry also encourages believers to give “praise report” and give glory to God’s amazing grace.
January of 2006 started with the forming of Scripture Hour, a bible based Sunday school ministry that allows believers to hear teachings on wide variety of topics. With its mission statement to encourage and develop a believers desire to study God’s word, topics that were discussed includes book of Romans, Acts of the Apostles, and other topics that were designed to enhance a believers experience in studying God’s Word.
Small group ministries were also added in 2006. Different groups meet during the week to study 40 Days of Purpose, Developing Faith that Works – A study on the book of James, and Doing Life Together were completed within the year. Today the Small Group ministry is still going strong. With groups meeting in Fremont, Milpitas, San Jose, and Morgan Hill area each member is plugged in to a small group.
New ministries continue to take shape and one of them is the Deacon ministry. Responsible for assisting the Pastor in visitation and follow up of members, they are known as the “tender loving care group”.
Another ministry that was formed is the Youth Group. Headed by Jun Jun and Patsy Fernando, the youth group began hosting Café Night wherein youth groups from different churches and denominations can express their talents through music.
2009 saw the addition of the Multimedia ministry, J-YA (Young Adult Ministry), Sports Ministry, and M.E.M.O (Young Couple’s Ministry). Several children ministries have also sprung up including S.T.A.R.T (Shine through Arts) and the Children’s Band which is known as 18 Thoughts.
S.T.A.R.T is ministry for kid’s to enjoy and enhance their artistic talent through singing, dancing, and acting. The Children’s Band is a complete band with keyboard, guitar, drums and lead singers and ages ranging from six to 13 years old.
As GSCC continues to grow, its mission statement still remains the same – “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:19-20.