About GVBC

Mission Statement

The mission of TheGVBC is to serve as ambassadors of our Savior & Lord Jesus Christ by making disciples of Jesus from all nations.  


Ministry of the Deacons


Congregational Family Care Units - Why?

Caring for those under your care who have joined by faith into fellowship is very important.  In order for the love of God to flow throughoughout our congregation, we utilize what we refer to Congregational Family Care Units.  For organizational purposes, each person and family is placed in a TRIBE.  It is there where we seek to help you navigate our faith community with the help and personal assistance of your Deacon.

Our Pastor is extremely personal, welcoming, and at times allows himself to get overtaxed in carrying out the work of the ministry.  From visionary to the God set lead teacher and preacher of our congregation, we know this carries much weight.  We agree with scriptural references that it is too much for one person to handle alone, thus seek to supoort as others 'lead with the leader'.  


Congregational Family Care Units - Who and What?

The Deacons Ministry and Pastoral Staff assist our Pastor in a more organized effort of caring for the congregation.  The goal is that the Word of God may increase, the number of disciples can multiply greatly, and our obedience to the faith manifest itself in an even more powerful way as recorded in Acts 6:1-7.  These Tribes meet frequently throughout the year for fellowship, evangelism and discipleship times throughout the church and community.  In addition, each Tribe is assigned Deacons and Colors to help make things fun amongst our fellowship of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ!

Below you will find the name of your Tribe, corresponding color, and Deacon(s) assigned to help assist in ministering to your needs.  The "LEAD" Deacon gives directives for those working under their direction.  If you need to contact your Deacon, please call 661-942-7322or e-mail at deaconsministry@thegvbc.org. 


Ministry Leader & Chair: Michael High



Last Name  A- D                                                                

Benjamin (Dark Blue)      

Timothy Love (Lead Deacon)

Vera High

LaQuita Birl


Last Name E - H

Reuben (Maroon)

Ellis Hines (Lead Deacon)

William Boarden (Emeritus)

Nathan Burleson (Emeritus)

Jesse Davis (Emeritus)

Nilka Cooks                         


Last Name I - N

Judah (Light Blue)                                   

Deacon Ogie Williams (Lead)                                                                                                       

Delois Jarvis

Ronald Brown 


Last Name O-Z

Zebulun (Gold)                                                                                                                                                                

Marlon Barnes (Lead)

Becky Williams

George Williams (Emeritus)


Core Values

The Core Values of TheGVBC are to be:

  1. INCLUSIVE of all nations (Matthew 28:19)
  2. INNOVATIVE in equipping the saints for the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:11-16)
  3. INTENTIONAL in both our Witness and Worship of the Savior as recorded throughout God's Word (Acts 2:38-47)
  4. INCONVENIENCED by all for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 9:19-23)

Vision Statement

The vision of TheGVBC is to develop a Holy Spirit filled and saturated body of believers in Jesus Christ who are constantly being transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, exhibiting that transformation through an authentic love for God, self, and others as empowered by the Holy Spirit and the grace of God.

Church History

The Beginning of Great Things

Zechariah 4:10 "For who has despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plumb line in the hand of Cribbage; these seven are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth."

In 1948 there were only 51 African-American people living in the valley and no place for them to worship.  It is out of the care and concern for this that Mother Lillian (Gus) Madden, Mr. & Mrs. Phil Mearse (their son), Mr. Norman Mearse, his Mother Laura McCall, and Mr. & Mrs. Seth Hayes (and their daughter) began meeting and having prayer service in different homes.  Unsatisfied with this arrangment they decided to build a church.  The church met in the home of Mr. & Mrs. Norman Mearse for the first two years; later, money was raised to purchase army barracks in Rosamond for about one hundred twenty-five dollars ($125).  Soon thereafter, Mother Madden purchased forty (40) acres of land and donated part of the land for the new church building.  The barracks had been torn down and rebuilt, met inspections, and thus was........"THE GROWING VALLEY BAPTIST CHURCH."

Historical Highlights & Leadership

In 1948 the church was officially organized on February 29, 1948 in the home of Mr. Phillip Mearse.  The organizers were as follows: Rev. & Mrs. Hayes Scott Self, Brother Phillip Mearse, Sr., Sister Exona Mearse, Brother Phillip Mearse Jr., Sister Lillie Ann Madden, Brother Norman Mearse, and Sister Laura McCarver.  A three member committee was selected to name the church and it was so: The Growing Valley Baptist Church.  The first officers were: Pastor - Rev. Hayes Scott Self, Deacon & Church Clerk-Brother Norman Mearse, Trustee- Brother Phillip Mearse, Sr., Sunday School Superintendent- Sister  Lillie Ann Madden, President of Usher Board- Sister Exona Mearse, Church Mother- Sister Laura McCarver.  The first new member of the new church would also become the first Treasurer- Sister B. Phillips.

Pastor Hayes S. Self Years: 1948-1949 (1 year)

The Lord was with Pastor Self who was instrumental in helping the church from its inception.  He owned a building in Rosamon where church services were held during the first year.  Five representatives came from the First Baptist Church in Lancaster to help organize: Dr. & Mrs. Dewhilst, Rev. & Mrs. Pierce, & Mrs. Alice Winston.  We are very grateful for there help during this most important time of our Church.  In March 1949, Pastor Hayes became ill resulting in his resignation from the work. We thank God for the first Pastor of our congregation.

Pastor Dave Demery Years: 1949-1956 (7 years)

The Lord led us to Pastor Demery who became our Pastor on June 6, 1949.  In the latter part of 1949 members purchased a one-acre (1) parcel of land at 3665 West Avenue F as the first official building site.  The cost was $125.  On January 20, 1950 the church held their first ground breaking and laid the foundation for the church building.  The latter part of April 1950, we moved into the new edifice.  Rev. J. W. Hayes preached the dedication sermon on May 14, 1950.  On September 24, 1950 the corenerstone was laid; by this time Growing Valley Baptist Church had increased to 58 members.

On March 28, 1956 Pastor Demery resigned as our Pastor.  From this date until the end of August 1956 we are grateful for Rev. Robert Anderson who served as Interim Pastor.  Thank you Pastor Demery  for serving as the second pastor & Rev. Anderson for your ministry to this great congregation.

Pastor W. M. Spencer Years: 1956-1959 (3 years)

The Lord gave us our next man to shepherd his flock in the person of Pastor Spencer.  He was called on June 24, 1956; praise be to God!  On the very first Sunday of Pastor Spencer's watch in September 1956, the church gave birth to her first son in the ministry, Minister R. L. Brooks.  Pastor Spencer faithfully served until being called to another pastorate in June of 1959.  While the history of Pastor Spencer's pastorate are not fully known, we are grateful for his service knowing that God honored His word to us as He would continue to give us pastors according to His heart (Jeremiah 3:15).  Thank you Pastor Spencer for your service as the third pastor of this congregation for the Lord.

Pastor Walter E. Forte Jr. Years: 1959-2009 (50 years)

In September of 1959 Minister W.E. Forte was called to be the fourth Pastor of TheGVBC.  The members shared in the ordination services of its newly called Pastor as he was officially charged for duty, which unbeknowest to all, would become the most prosperous of the journey yet.  Pastor Forte was installed on November 8, 1959.  He would become the longest tenured pastor in our history to date becoming responsible for allowing the Lord to use him in a mighty way in the Antelope Valley both for the church and in the community as a contractor/builder.  Both Pastor Forte and his wife, Louise, will be forever remembered for their labor of love for the Lord and His church.

In 1960, the Pastor and members saw the needs for an addition to the church.  As a result restrooms and a choir room were added.  Dedication was held in July 1960.  Also during that year, the Sunday School increased to eight classes at the Avenue F location.

In 1961 a baptismal pool and water cooler were installed in the church.  In addition, the pastoral parsonage was built and dedicated to provide a place for the pastor and his family to live.  This was a great accomplishment by the church for its pastor.  One that was and is biblical and honorable in the sight of God.

During the year of 1962, Sis. Forte saw a need for further training and spirtual development of our young people.  As a result she organized and became directress of our Young Peopel's Department.  In 1963-1964, the church progressed and gave birth to two ministers of the Gospel, Minister Currie and Minister Billyzone.  Also in those years Pastor Forte established the Laymen's Organization, which later would be referred to as 'The Brotherhood Ministry".

In the Spring of 1964, the Lord revealed and gave Pastor Forte a plan for our former church building (edifice #2) on the Avenue F site; soon after land was purchased.  There was a need for financing the new building, the membership roll was small and resources were scarce within the church body.  However, wherever the Lord has a plan for something, He always makes a way for it to be accomplished.  The Lord made that way through the person of Rev. Squire who told Pastor Forte of a "diversified financing plan" his church had used for their building program.  This method of securing fundss by the issuance and sale of notes was intituted on August 1, 1965 as Growing Valley offered  for sale $30,000 in building notes.  These notes ranged in denomination from $100 to $1,000.  Most of the notes were purchased by our own members; some by friends in the community.  The notes were loans made to the church, in which the church paid the money back to the lender-- plus 6 percent (6%) interest.  Every one of those loans were paid back on time, the last being paid off August 1980.  

In June 1965 the first spade of dirt was thrown in the ground breaking ceremony.   During this same time the church was incorporated.  After much hard work and faith in the Lord, we completed the building in November of 1966.  Our dedication service was held on December 4, 1966.  In 1968 we paved the parking lot and adding curbing to provide better access to the church.  In 1970 we improved landscaping and purchased an organ.  In 1971 we added a deeper well and installed a sprinkler system.  During 1974-1975 we remodeled the original church building by adding kitchen facilities for it to be able to serve as our first fellowship hall.  In 1976 we purchased a bus to provide better transportation for our members.  It was in that year where both Bro. Goree and Sis. Mead were called to preach the Gospel of  Jesus Christ.

In 1976, while he and his family were vacationing in Denver, Colorado, the Lord revealed to Pastor Forte the need for a new church in a more centralized location in order to better meet the spiritual needs of the people in Lancaster.   As a result, the final purchase of a site for our next location, 44818 20th Street West, was completed on March 5, 1979.  In that time period, Minister Horace McCoy and Minister Stewart were called to preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ, making to this date 7 ministers who had now been licensed to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Our 'Family Interaction Program' was started on each first Sunday night.

We moved into the decade of the 80's with complete faith in the Lord, knowing He was with us in our endeavor to build this new edifice for him.  On November 7, 1980 we supplied to the city of Lancaster Building Department for our first building permit.  On February 21, 1981 we held our ground breaking ceremony, and threw out our first spade in the dirt.  Many of our brothers and sisters in Christ from other churches, as well as civic leaders of the community were out to wish us well.  By June, we had the foundation in and our new Church Building Program was well on its way.  One piece of history we feel necessary to share is the great unity our church experienced during this building period.  During th year of 1982 many made sacrifices to see that this sanctury, which would later become the education building, was completed.  The men worked on the building and the women always prepared plenty of food to eat.  By February 1953, the building was completed.  The facility was dedicated in celebration from February 23 to February 27, 1983 with the theme "Except the Lord Builds the House, They Labor in Vain That Build It"- Psalm 127:1.

During 1984 we completed the installation of an elevator, gave money to support world mission to the Ethiopian famine victims, comepleted the work on the upstairs classrooms, and resumed having Vacation Bible School.  In 1985 Sis. Forte gave leadership to a new Young Adult Department and the Second Sunday in September was established as Young Adult Day.  Also in 1985, the library was re-opened.  And on July 1986 the entire church was happy to share in the retirement celebration of Pastor Forte from his many years of work in the building industry.  He would now shift his time to full-time ministry for the pastorate, which our church has continued to this day by supporting the work of the pastorate.

On October 10, 1987, another groundbreaking ceremony took place for our current worship center.  The last phase of the building program was started in January of 1988 and is the year we celebrated 40 years of ministry here at The Growing Valley BC.  The building was dedicated on Sunday January 2, 1988.

Pastor Forte continued to serve until his retirement in December of 2009.  During his tenure our congregation saw much done through his hands by the power of God both spiritually and physically.  We are indebted to his leadership, the support of his wife, and children who sacrificed much.  Pastor Forte was called home to be with the Lord in December 2012.  To God be the glory!

Pastor Jacob D. R. Johnson Years: 2010 - PRESENT

The Growing Valley BC family had never been without a Pastor for more than a few months.  She was now in unchartered territory.  After much prayer and searching, the Pastoral Search Committee believed it had found the man of God for this season to lead in the person of Elder Jacob D. R. Johnson.  At the time Elder Johnson was serving at The Galilee Baptist Church as an associate minister.  His first visit to the Antelope Valley came in August of 2010; after two votes and three months of praying, the then Board of Directors recommended to the Deacon's Ministry that Elder Johnson be relocated to serve as "Spiritual Leader" of TheGVBC.  As we look back during this period, indeed we see that this was a "Set Up" from God who works all things together for good to them that love God and are the called according to His purpose.  God had a purpose for this move, and in May 2011 Elder Johnson would be called to become the 5th Pastor of The Growing Valley BC.

Pastor Johnson began working feverishly as our leader with bravery and great grace as given by the Lord before he even officially became our Pastor.  The Lord's hand was definitely upon this young man and all could see it through his preaching, teaching, leadership, and undeniable passion for evangelism, mission, youth, and discipleship.  The installation of Pastor Johnson was held on July 31, 2011 with the installation sermon being preached by his 'father in the ministry', Dr. A. C. Bowie of Pastor Johnson's home church of East Mt. Zion BC of Cleveland, Ohio.  

Immediately upon Pastor Johnson's arrival, our church has seen growth in every aspect of her ministry life both at home and abroad.  Some include a pastor-led Bible study and Christian Education ministry, increase in worship attendance, mutiplicative church growth, enhancements to the worship center, finaincial stability and accountability, a consistent and comprehensive evangelistic outreach, the Disciples Corner Bookstore, development and rejuvination of several ministries, and this webpage just to name a few.  It is through Pastor Johnson the Lord has given us our motto: "Growing God's People, With the Power of God's Word".  Finally, it is through Pastor Johnson the Lord has given us Vision 2020, a program given for the purchase of new land purchase and development to further meet the needs of both the church and community, the development our very own 501(c)(3) called 3cG: The Community Contact Center For Growth, and much more!

In December 2013 the Lord impressed upon Pastor Johnon a holy ferver that has become contagious here in 'The Growth Experience'.  That year our ministry focus was clear, "Making Disciples: Each One, Win One" (Matthew 4:17-24; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 9:19-23).  This was also the year Pastor J shared the vision.  6 years later almost to the day, on January 18, 2019, we closed on 4 acres of property (multipurpose building containing our new chapl, community kitchen and hall) adjacent to our church at 1821 West Lancaster Boulevard (formerly Our Saviors Luththeran Church).

True to our name, we have not stopped growing because God continues to provide us with vision.  In January of 2020, Pastor Johnson shared with us the next portion of God's promises for us by way of VISION 2025: CONNECTING EVERY GENERATION TO CHRIST AND HIS CHURCH (ACTS 2:39).   And then it happened.  In March of 2020, an unprecedented pandemic swept through the world; today we know it as COVID-19.  Many congregations closed their doors, some permanently.  Our church alone suffered the loss of 12 members and over 30,000.  BUT GOD!  Under the leadership of our determined Pastor J, we continued steadfastly in worship and moved outdoors.  Our first worship service was on Resurrection Sunday April 12, 2020.  Pastor Johnson preached spirtually saturated word from John 11:11-27 entitled "BELIEVE ON ME".  The next week we would begin worshipping and praising the Lord on the east church parking lot for the next 7 full months!  During the pandemic, we fed over 3,000 families, clothed hundreds, and in the face of this tragic time, banded together as a a unified body to continue pressing toward the mark.  But wait, there's more! Nearly a year to the day the Lord revealed Vision 2025, through the hearts and work of the I.M.P.A.C.T. Women's Minsitry on January 30, 2021 the church's non-proft 3CG opened the IMPACT THRIFT STORE!  What's so marvelous about the thrift store is that it started just like our ministry here, from small beginnings!  This is fitting because just as the Lord used a woman to begin this ministry, God used the women of GV to birth this great store that serves our communty.

We celebrate our past, are walking by faith in the present, and have great anticipation for our future!  We are well on our way to this vision becoming a reality.  Campus life is thriving!  The community knows we are avialable and accessible!  And most of all, Christ Jesus is being lifted!  Come, experience the Growth Experience for yourself!We know the Lord has already written the history for this local body of believers because our steps are ordered.  We ask your continued prayers and support as the Lord continues to lead this august body of believers!

We are The Growing Valley Baptist Church of Lancaster, California Incorporated, where we are dedicated to 'Growing God's People, With the Power of God's Word'.

To God be the glory for ALL THAT HE HAS DONE, IS DOING, AND WILL DO!

Articles of Faith

Baptist Articles of Faith

I. The Scriptures.
We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired, and is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction; that it has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture of error for its matter; that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us, and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions shall be tried.

II. The True God.
We believe the Scriptures teach that there is one, and only one, living and true God, an infinite, intelligent Spirit, whose name is Jehovah, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth; inexpressibly glorious in holiness, and worthy of all possible honor confidence and love; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.

III. The Fall of Man.
We believe the Scriptures teach that Man was created in holiness, under the law of his Maker; but by voluntary transgressions fell from that holy and happy state; in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, not by constraint but choice; being by nature utterly void of that holiness required by the law of God, positively inclined to evil; and therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin, without defense or excuse.

IV. The Way of Salvation.
We believe that the Scriptures teach that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace; through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God; who by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon him our nature, yet without sin; honored the divine law by his personal obedience, and by his death made a full atonement for our sins; that having risen from the dead, he is now enthroned in heaven; and uniting in his wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfections, he is in every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and an all-sufficient Savior.

V. Justification.
We believe the Scriptures teach that the great Gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in him is justification; that justification includes the pardon of sin, and the promise of eternal life on principles of righteousness; that it is bestowed, not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer's blood; by virtue of which faith his perfect righteousness is freely imputed to us of God; that it brings us into a state of most blessed peace and favor with God, and secures every other blessing needful for time and eternity.

VI. The Freeness of Salvation.
We believe that the Scriptures teach that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the Gospel; that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by cordial, penitent and obedient faith; and that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth, but his own determined depravity and voluntary rejection of the Gospel; which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation.

VII. Regeneration.
We believe that the Scriptures teach that in order to be saved, sinners must be regenerated, or born again; that regeneration consists in giving a holy disposition to the mind that it is effected in a manner above our comprehension by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the Gospel; and that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith, and newness of life.

VIII. Repentance and Faith.
We believe the Scriptures teach that repentance and faith are sacred duties, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God; whereby being deeply convinced of our guilt, danger and helplessness and of the way of salvation by Christ, we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession, and supplication for mercy; at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as our prophet, priest and king, and relying on him alone as the only and all-sufficient Savior.

IX. God's Purpose of Grace.
We believe the Scriptures teach that election is the eternal purpose of God, according to which he graciously regenerates, sanctifies and saves sinners; that being perfectly consistent with the free agency of man, it comprehends all the means in connection with the end; that it is a most glorious display of God's sovereign goodness, being infinitely free, wise, holy and unchangeable; that it utterly excludes boasting and promotes humility, love, prayer, praise, trust in God, and active imitation of his free mercy; that it encourages the use of means in the highest degree; that it may be ascertained by its effects in all who truly believe the Gospel; that it is the foundation of Christian assurance; and that to ascertain it with regard to ourselves demands and deserves the utmost diligence.

X. Sanctification.
We believe the Scriptures teach that Sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, we are made partakers of his holiness; that it is a progressive work; that it is begun in regeneration; and that it is carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, the Sealer and Comforter, in the continual use of the appointed means especially the word of God, self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness, and prayer.

XI. Perseverance of the Saints.
We believe the Scriptures teach that such only are real believers as endure to the end; that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors; that a special Providence watches over their welfare; and they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

XII. The Law and Gospel.

We believe the Scriptures teach that the Law of God is the eternal and unchangeable rule of his moral government; that it is holy, just and good; and that the inability which the Scriptures ascribe to fallen men to fulfill its precepts, arise entirely from their love of sin; to deliver them from which, and to restore them through a Mediator to unfeigned obedience to the holy Law, is one great end of the Gospel, and of the Means of Grace connected with the establishment of the visible church.

XIII. A Gospel Church.
We believe the Scriptures teach that a visible church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the Gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by his laws; and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word; that its only scriptural officers are Bishops or Pastors, and Deacons whose Qualifications, claims and duties are defined in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus.

XIV. Baptism and the Lord's Supper.
We believe the Scriptures teach that Christian baptism is the immersion in water of a believer, into the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost; to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem, our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, with its effect, in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life; that it is prerequisite to the privileges of a church relation; and to the Lord's Supper, in which the members of the church, by the sacred use of bread and wine, are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ; preceded always by solemn self-examination.

XV. The Christian Sabbath.

We believe the Scriptures teach that the first day of the week is the Lord's Day, or Christian Sabbath, and is to be kept sacred to religious purposes, by abstaining from all secular labor and sinful recreations, by the devout observance of all the means of grace, both private and public, and by preparation for that rest that remaineth for the people of God.

XVI. Civil Government.
We believe the Scriptures teach that civil government is of divine appointment, for the interest and good order of human society; and that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed; except only in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the Prince of the Kings of the earth.

XVII. Righteous and Wicked.

We believe the Scriptures teach that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that such only as through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and sanctified by the Spirit of our God, are truly righteous in his esteem; while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in his sight wicked, and under the curse; and this distinction holds among men both in and after death.

XVIII. The World to Come.
We believe the Scriptures teach that the end of the world is approaching; that at the last day, Christ will descend from heaven, and raise the dead from the grave for final retribution; that a solemn separation will then take place; that the wicked will be adjudged to endless punishment, and the righteous to endless joy; and that this judgment will fix forever the final state of men in heaven or hell, on principles of righteousness.


Servant Leader Jacob D. R Johnson

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Our Servant Leader & Pastor/Teacher Jacob D. R. Johnson

Pastor J is a native of Cleveland, Ohio and the eldest son of Wendall and Carrie Reeves. His personal testimony centers around the words of the Apostle Paul found in Ephesians 3:8, "Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ". 

Pastor Johnson is a 1997 graduate of Cleveland Benedictine High School having won three OHSAA State Championships (Basketball & Track). In 2001 he earned a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Political Science from the College of Wooster and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Ministry Leadership.  He is the founder of Equipping You With the Word (EYWW) Ministries, author, golfer, domino, and spades player.  Pastor J accepted his call to preach in October of 2003 at the young age of 23. One year later, his call was affirmed as he was licensed to preached the Gospel by Dr. A. Charles Bowie at The East Mount Zion Baptist Church in Cleveland, Ohio. His initial sermon served as the message for the ordination of 6 Deacons who were commissioned to serve.  In 2009, the ministry of Pastor J was given an open door as he was ordained by Dr. J. Louis Felton at the Galilee Baptist Church in Kalamazoo, MI.  His favorite hymns are ‘Oh How I Love Jesus’ & ‘Christ Is All’.  He is a huge supporter of The College of Wooster where he holds two school records in Track & Field, The Ohio State University, Cleveland Browns, Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Columbus Blue Jackets.  That's right, he is a serious sports fan.  

Jacob D. R. Johnson is serving as the fifth Pastor of The Growing Valley Baptist Church of Lancaster, CA.  His watch began officially on July 31, 2011 where GVBC and the community celebrated "A Gift From God's Heart" (Jeremiah 3:15).  A loving, anointed, and appointed Pastor, Teacher, & Evangelist- "PJ" - as he is commonly called by the youth of GVBC seeks to serve this present age thru the message of the cross of Christ in a practical way.  From day one he has been a blessing to both the church and the Antelope Valley Community. Following a Moses of our time in the person of Pastor Walter E. Forte Jr, Pastor Johnson has truly become our Joshua leading with confidence, charisma, and character. Most importantly is the fact that Pastor Johnson is a bible teaching, bold preaching, Holy Spirit filled servant leader who is always seeking the more excellent way for his family, this ministry, and our community. 

In a short period of fifteen years (15), Pastor J has served in various capacities in both the marketplace and formal ministry. He believes this is what God used to prepare him for sacred service and leadership. In the marketplace he has coached high school and college football as well as basketball and track, being responsible for the development of young men and women.  Currently Pastor J serves as the President of the Antelope Valley Branch of the NAACP (elected March 2021) and Vice President at Large of the Moderator's Auxiliary of the National Baptist Convention USA, INC (appointed 2020).  Pastor J has also served as an adjunct professor at Kalamazoo Valley Community College, three (3) terms as Vice President of the local NAACP, Founder/Chair of the Board of Directors of 3CG: The Community Contact Center for Growth, and writer for the R.H. Boyd Publishing Company.  In ministry, God has opened doors at every level (local, state, national); this includes formerly serving as Vice President At Large of the Moderators’ Auxiliary of the National Baptist Convention USA, Incorporated.  He has served as 1stVice President and Far West Regional Vice President of the Moderator’s Auxiliary, President & Vice President of the Young Adult Convention, Scholarship Committee Member of Western Baptist State Convention, and Moderator of Tri-County District Association.


Pastor J immensely loves his family and friends. Without a doubt, Pastor J undeniably has a charge to keep, a God to glorify, and a discernable call to serve this present age. As he continues to forward into the kingdom press, he does so accepting all the prayers he can get from the saints, knowing full well he is exhibit one that people need the Lord.

Lead Church Administrator

Servant LeaderYvonne Helton

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We welcome Ashley to Team GVBC as our new Church Lead Administrator!!!!  


Administrative Assistant To The Pastor

Servant Leader Delois Jarvis



Steward of Body Life

Servant Leader Brenda L. Dyson Robinson

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My parents, Everett and Lillian Dyson were both inspirations to me of how love, perseverance, and faith in God can impact ones's life. I attended and graduated from the public schools in Richmond,VA. I received a B. A. in Elementary Ed. from Hampton Institute, now a University, in Hampton, VA; and an M.E.. from the University of LaVerne in LaVerne CA.  In my professional career, I taught grades 3-6 with the Richmond Public Schools (VA) and the Lancaster School District (CA). Also taught English at Antelope Valley JR. College, retiring in 2006.

My husband, Donald (Reginald) and I were married for 36 years. He had two children from a previous marriage, Darryl and Deidre, which made us an instant family. My biggest blessing was when the Lord made it possible for both my husband and I became members of the same church, The Growing Valley Baptist Church.

I also am a Charter Member of the Lancaster Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. since 1983 in which I have served in various leadership roles.

My favorite song: Hallelujah Chorus, Handel's Messiah

My favorite scriptures; "I can do all things through Christ which strengthen me" Philippians 4-13 and Psalms 23.

Steward of Worship & the Arts

Minister Dijon Devaul

  Send Email  •  (661)942-7322

We welcome Minister Dijon Duval as our Minister of Worship & the Arts.  

At the age of 22, yruly has his hand upon this gifted young man.  Also a preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Minister Duval has oversight over our band and all choirs.  He works in unision with our pastor in making sure the worship envorionment in The Growth Experience continues to glorify God, exalt Jesus, encourage the believer to express themselves through authentic praise and worship, and evangelize to those who enter for to worship.

We are grateful to have this young man serving with us.

Steward of Christian Education

Servant Leader Verdell McDonald

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Contact Sis. McDonald for more information at:

The Steward of Christian Education is responsible for seeing that the following vision is carried out with respect to Christian Education.  The Growing Valley Baptist Church believes the goal of Christian Education is to provide transformative instruction from the word of God for the following purposes:

1) Proper Understanding of God’s word 

(2 Tim 2:15Proverbs 4:7)

2) Personal Spiritual Growth through Relationship with Christ and others 

(Colossians 1:101 Peter 2:2Ephesians 4:11-16)

3) Power for living as witnesses for Christ in this age 

(Mt 28:18-20; Romans 8; Acts 1:8Romans 12:1-2)


Opportunities To Receive Transformative Instruction From God's Word


Join us every Wednesday for all ages- Children, Youth, & Adults!

 Prayer from 11:30am - Noon & Bible Study @Noon

Prayer from 6:30pm - 7:00pm and Bible Study @7pm


As of January 1, 2019

Sunday Life Application Discipleship Teaching Series:

9:30am - 10:30am

Purpose Driven Church by Rick Warren - Adults Classes

Purpose Driven Life Youth devotional - Youth Ministry Classes


Men & Women's Bible Study

Men - Tuesday's 7pm - 8pm

Women - 3rd Saturday's 9am - 10:30am

Purpose Driven Life


Word Up Wednesday's: 

The Presence of God



Steward of Evangelism & Missions

Elder David Tolliver

  Send Email  •  (661)942-7322

We welcome Elder Dr. David Tolliver as our Steward of Evangelism & Missions!  

Elder T has already been a blessing to TheGVBC family.  His main duties are to have oversight the evangelism and missions efforts of The Growing Valley Baptist Church.  They include but are not limited to the following:

  • 4th Sunday feeding
  • Instructor of our evangelism class
  • Thanksgiving Day dinner
  • Keeping the importance of sharing Jesus before the church
  • Preaching on 5th Sunday's (Evanglism & Mission Sunday in 2020)
  • and more........

Steward of Ministries

Coming Soon


As the Steward of Ministries who reports directly to our Senior Pastor, the SM respinsibiity is to meet regularly with the ministry leaders to achieve the following:

  1. Assist ministries in being innovative, inclusive, intentional, and inconvenienced as servants of the Lord
  2. Be sure ministries of @TheGVBC maintain relevance in their direct service to the Lord's church
  3. Assess their function as well as enhancements that may need to be made in order to better serve @TheGVBC
  4. Equip each ministry with the necessary training, tools, and team building exercises
  5. Evaluate the need for each ministry and/or the need for other ministries to be added
  6. Other duties as assigned by our Senior Pastor

OUR MISSION: The mission of the GVBC is to serve as ambassadors of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ by making disciples of Jesus from all nations. We believe we can successfully achieve this mandate through being:

  1. Inclusive of all nations (Matthew 28:19)
  2. Innovatiive in equipping the saints for the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:11-16)
  3. Intentional in both our Witness and Worship of the Savior as recorded throughout God’s Word (Acts 2:28-47)
  4. Inconvenienced by all for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 9:19-23)

OUR VISION: The vision of TheGVBC is to develop a Holy Spirit filled and saturated body of believers in Jesus Christ who are constantly being transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, exhibiting that transformation through an authentic love for God, self, and others as empowered by the Holy Spirit and the grace of God.


Associate Minister

Minister Dannie Jamerson


Servant Leader Deacon Marlon Barnes

Bro. Marlon Barnes has been a member of GVBC since 2012.  He and his wife Sheila have definitely made an impact among this body of believers.  Bro. Barnes is a very gifted believer, as he currently is playing the bass with our music ministry team.  He has played on cruise lines, taught lessons, and much, much more.  We are blessed to have such a Spirit filled and humble man providing a "bottom-line" sound on the strings! Brother Marlon Started playing Bass in the 6th grade in public school Orchestra in 1974 in Gary IN.


Servant Leader Cornelius Faison IV

My musical addiction started by being a voracious listener as a child. Gospel via my Grandmother (a Protestant Bishop). Jazz from my Dad's excellent record collection, vocal Pop from my Mother's radio selections and from my own devotion to Pop/R&B/Free Form Rock radio and forays into various ethnic neighborhoods in Brooklyn, NY (Puerto Rican, Italian, Jewish, Irish, Caribbean, etc).

One birthday I received a small transistor radio. I'd listen to it every available moment during the day. And every evening, instead of getting the required sleep for an adolescent, I'd have it on all night under my pillow. While in Junior High School, determined to become a participant as well as a listener. I convinced my Mother to get me a set of drums. I could play any Hendrix, Cream Doors, Rascals tune you could name and did so in a number of local bands. However it was the innovative Hendrix guitar sounds that made me switch from drums to guitar at 17.

My eye opening experience with the realities of the record industry came during my tenure with one of L.A.'s.'s all Black Rock groups in the 80's (pre Living Color). It was there that I actually saw how the sausage is made. Without going into detail, it was not a pretty picture. That experience made me "fall back on"  my technical background and go to work for an historic manufacturer of recording equipment.

About 5 years ago the lure of music creation led me, along with a long time friend and band mate to create the independent music label Tribal Records...

Mission statement: To produce and disseminate music by less known artist who are as good as or better than the stars. This company will be eclectic in terms of genres but will not indulge in music, which is purely commercial. We will produce music of high character and emphasis will be on music with strong statements either instrumentally or with lyrics. In other words: music as art, not cheap entertainment the masses.

The musician and technical life paths have allowed me to come in contact with past, present and possibly future icons of the music industry.




TBD (Open Until Filled)

Grounds Keeper

Open Until Filled

ob Posting: Part-Time Groundskeeper

Applications accepted through April 29, 2016 or until position is filled.

About @TheGVBC:

OUR MISSION: The mission of the GVBC is to serve as ambassadors of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ by making disciples of Jesus from all nations. We believe we can successfully achieve this mandate through being:

  1. Inclusive of all nations (Matthew 28:19)
  2. Innovatiive in equipping the saints for the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:11-16)
  3. Intentional in both our Witness and Worship of the Savior as recorded throughout God’s Word (Acts 2:28-47)
  4. Inconvenienced by all for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 9:19-23)

OUR VISION: The vision of TheGVBC is to develop a Holy Spirit filled and saturated body of believers in Jesus Christ who are constantly being transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, exhibiting that transformation through an authentic love for God, self, and others as empowered by the Holy Spirit and the grace of God.

SCOPE: The church groundskeeper helps support the overall mission and vision of the church. Specific scope is to maintain the upkeep of the exterior of the surrounding outside grounds of the church property.

SCHEDULE: 3-5 hours/week; schedule to be set through Supervisor-Vice Chair of the Trustee Ministry.

PAY: $10.50/hour; 20-25 hours/per month; extra hours upon pre-approval by Supervisor.

QUALIFICATIONS: High school diploma or equivalent preferred; physical strength and agility to perform extended manual tasks; must be able to lift and carry 75 pounds. Experience in grounds keeping or willing to be trained preferred.

Summary of Responsibilities:

  1. Maintenance of churchyard to required standards
  2. Grass cutting using church issued equipment
  3. Trimming the church yard
  4. To remove floral tributes
  5. Check, report and arrange for repairs to equipment and machinery as necessary
  6. Keep borders, thoroughfares, footpaths and car parking clear
  7. To keep refuse areas tidy and clear any litter in the church yard
  8. To assist with general maintenance duties around the church campus
  9. To undertake further training as required
  10. To carry out other duties as may be required by the appointed immediate supervisor

Knowledge and Skills:

  1. Able to undertake physical effort including lifting heavy items, using power tools and work in constrained positions
  2. Knowledge and understanding of health and safety risk with ability work accurately and using appropriate safety skills

Personal Qualities:

  1. Ability to follow instructions and procedures, while working with minimal supervision
  2. Ability to work on own initiative
  3. Reliable, team oriented
  4. Flexible approach to work and working hours which are weather and season dependent
  5. Accomplish work related task in a timely manner.

Hours of Service:

Please note the hours are seasonal and can change given the seasons. The role holder needs to be aware that the gardening and maintenance duties will vary depending on the time of year, the needs of the church at any particular time and weather conditions. Directions will therefore be given by the immediate Supervisor one month prior to work in order to oversee the work that needs to be done, as well as actual hours worked.


Please e-mail a resume and cover letter to trusteeministry@thegvbc.org. Paper copies will NOT be accepted.

  July 2021  
This Week's Events


Door Keepers Meeting
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Topic: Doorkeepers
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Every month on the Fourth Sat, until Dec 25, 2021, 11 occurrence(s)

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