Tuesday, Jul 09 2013 11:00 AM

Fernando Ortega in concert at Country Oaks Baptist

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Contemporary Christian artist Fernando Ortega will perform as part of Country Oaks Baptist Church’s 25-year anniversary celebration Sunday, July 28. Photo courtesy of Country Oaks Baptist Church

Tehachapi, you are invited to attend Country Oaks Baptist Church, which is throwing its party to celebrate turning 25 years old on Sunday, July 28. As part of the celebration, singer/songwriter Fernando Ortega will hold a concert at 6 p.m. in the Country Oaks worship center.

Fernando Ortega is a contemporary Christian artist noted for his interpretations of many traditional hymns and songs, such as "Give Me Jesus" and "Be Thou My Vision," and for writing clear, easily understood songs, such as "This Good Day." His sound embraces country, classical, Celtic, Latin American, world, modern folk and rustic hymnody.

It has been said: "Fernando Ortega takes time to listen to the people around him, to himself and to God. His music appeals to an astounding cross section of music fans. Among them are young kids, college students, professionals, young parents and grandmothers. His recordings are frequently found in the collections of both pop/rock lovers and classical purists."

"I'm glad that we've been able to do things that somehow speak to people," Ortega said. "I've been afforded the opportunity to follow my heart rather than chase the latest trend, and I'm very grateful for that. Every time I walk out on stage or have the opportunity to play for people, I am reminded all over again how much I really love what I do. I don't know that I could ever get tired of it."

General seating tickets for the show are available now for $8 at the church office, 20915 Schout Road from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Church history

In January of 1988, 23 families from First Baptist Church Tehachapi believed that God was calling them to establish a new church in Golden Hills. Pastor James Trammel resigned from First Baptist to lead the new church. The first services were held at the Golden Hills Golf Course Feb. 7, 1988. The restaurant was barely capable of handling 103 men, women and children in the first service; the children thought it was cool to sit at the restaurant bar while the pastor preached.

By May of 1988, the church had completed its Constitution and Bylaws and was accepted as a Southern Baptist Church in Kern County's association of Southern Baptist Churches. The church continued to grow and moved from the golf course to Mountain Bible Church, holding services late Sunday afternoons. Then it was on to the blue dance studio on Highway 202 for almost a year.

In 1990, the church leased facilities in the mini-mall on Brian Way. It was on Brian Way that our Sunday School program began, along with Caraway Street (led by Dennis and Peggy Vamosy). In the summer of 1990, Andy Walker accepted the call to serve as pastor at COBC. In 1991, the church undertook a "Together We Build" program with the support and help of the North American Mission Board. The church congregation pledged $334,000 dollars for which the North American Mission Board loaned us 85 percent to start construction on the Schout Road facilities.

The church remained on Brian Way for a few years while construction continued. It was amazing to see the men of COBC swinging hammers every weekend, and the women and children cleaning up the construction site. During the week, there were usually 10-15 men working on the construction site and on weekends that number would swell to 50 men led by Dave Austin and Bud Dees.

In the fall of 1992 the church relocated to Schout Road, its present location. At this point, the church had grown to about 150 regular attendees, it wasn't long before there were discussions about going to two services, and within three years we were holding two services in a sanctuary built to hold 287 people. A decision to build a second sanctuary that would seat about 700 was made and the second sanctuary was built, believing that it would be a very long time before we had to consider going to two services again, we were at 41 percent occupancy for a single service at this time.

We began holding two services in the present sanctuary in 2004 and the church continues to grow. So, in the 25 years we have labored as a church, we started with 103 men women and children and gone to more than 800 regular attendees. God has blessed us with a growing ministry and we continue to stand in awe of His plans.

Celebratory service

We will be having one church service at 9:15 a.m. that Sunday, July 28 (we usually have two services). Former pastors and founding members have been invited to attend and we will present a slideshow of our history that morning. A lunch will follow the service and we need RSVPs for that at 822-1379.


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