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Our Story

 

     David and I met at age 19 while attending a church in Chico, California in early 1974. We became good friends and married in late 1975. Both of us were called into ministry and began to prepare. David graduated from Capitol Bible Institute and I took coursework through Berean School of the Bible. We served as Sunday School teachers, college pastors, managers of a Christian coffee house outreach, and youth pastors, and then home missions pastors.  

     In 1987, when we could not find employment in ministry, we began to develop secular careers, David as a financial planner, and I as a school teacher. During those years, we raised three children who are now married and have given us ten adorable grandchildren.

     In 1987-88, something unexpected happened to us. I’d been asking God about the distance I felt between myself and God and how I did not feel He loved me. While admitting it had to be my fault, I was still faced with this reality that God seemed far away, even though I knew better theologically. I simply asked God to help me find my way back to that first love of knowing His love for me and being aware of His presence. When switching to a secular career, I found myself unable to do my normal spiritual disciplines, and to my surprise, this is when my joy with God was restored. This was because I could no longer base my relationship with God on my own efforts and had to totally rely on His grace and my faith in Him. It was a wonderful yet troubling discovery for I was forced to realize I had taken some wrong turns in my Christian beliefs. (For my detailed testimony, see “Twice Fallen from Grace”.)

     About a year later, David experienced a similar awakening. Feeling himself to be a failure for not having been successful in ministry, he wanted to give up, and yet, not on Jesus, but just on “being a Christian”. Through the ministry of a Christian radio program and the book Classic Christianity: Life’s Too Short to Miss the Real Thing by Bob George, he began to hear once again the message of the good news of God’s love for him, apart from works and the joy of his salvation returned. (For a more detailed account of David’s testimony, see “Reorientation”.)

     At this time, we both let our ordinations lapse because we could not find employment as ministers. Life went on. We continued to raise our children while developing our careers and relearning just about everything we thought we knew about our relationship with God. It was as if God was delicately doing surgery and removing false teaching from our lives. Every time a false belief was removed, joy was restored in that area.

     In 2007 the pastor of the church we were attending asked us to start a Bible school in the church, which we did. To our surprise, as we began to teach the truths God had shared with us over the years, many of the students had a similar awakening, a return to understanding how deeply they were loved and a renewed enthusiasm toward serving Him. 

     In 2009, the Lord spoke to Cathy asking, “Are you willing to preach the gospel to the saved?” She instantly understood what He meant and said, “Yes.” David was in agreement with this calling on our lives. We resigned our positions with our church and sought the Lord as to what to do next.

     For the last eleven years, we have been teaching believers about God’s amazing grace in a series called “Studies in Grace and Faith”. Those who listen also have come to realize God’s love for them and are returning to the joy of their salvation. The teachings and study notes for these teachings are available free on this website.

     We encourage you to gather with friends and family and view them. We pray that you will be blessed.

Grace and peace to you!

Cathy and David Hildebrand

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