Chris and Megan Hartshorn are at home in Southern California and in church planting. Anaheim Hills Presbyterian Church is their third church plant, though their first in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.
Their life together as husband and wife started while Chris was planting a church in East Harlem, New York City, for Calvary Chapel. From the hustle, secularism, and press of life in New York they moved to Lawrence, Kansas, to plant another church. There in the Bible Belt everyone claimed to be a Christian, and the pace of life felt like it was very slow. People were happy to sit on their porch and talk.
Such radical changes were part of life for Chris and Megan. Megan had served as a missionary in El Salvador. Chris had not grown up as a Christian. The reaction of people from his past, who find him through social media, is, “I can’t believe you’re a Christian.”
As Chris preached through the Bible at his first two church plants, the Holy Spirit brought about another change. His theology began to be oriented toward a Reformed understanding of the Bible. This led to another relocation.
Resigning his ministry position, Chris headed to Southern California with his family. Greater Los Angeles was where Chris and Megan had grown up. But they went farther south to Escondido for Chris to study at Westminster Seminary California. The Hartshorn family settled in at Harvest OPC in San Marcos. Pastor Mark Schroeder began to mentor Chris.
Being back in Southern California has been a great blessing for the four Hartshorn children. Their grandparents are nearby. Being back has also meant that Chris could meet face-to-face with some of the people who marveled that he had become a Christian. Soon Chris was leading an OP Bible study in Fullerton. By God’s grace, a core group for a new church gathered.
As Chris graduated from Westminster in May, he was called to be the organizing pastor of this mission work. The group had moved from Fullerton to the edge of Orange County and is reaching into Riverside County.
People are coming to church who knew Chris as an unbeliever. Some of them are coming to know the Savior. Two have professed faith in Christ and been baptized. Several more are preparing to profess their faith. The focus of Anaheim Hills’s ministry has been the Word, the sacraments, and prayer.
Some families are coming to worship from thirty miles away in Corona, where there is no Reformed church. A Bible study is beginning there. Chris’s conviction is that a local church should be local. People ought to be able to stay close to home for church. So his hope is to see another church started in Corona.
Another Bible study has been started in Pasadena, near Providence Christian College.
Anaheim Hills is a very expensive area, but the Lord has provided a good meeting facility at a very reasonable price. The mission work meets at the East Anaheim Community Center. Beside space for worship, there is room for Sunday school classes and a nursery.
Please pray that the Lord would continue the work he has begun of saving the lost and edifying his people. Pray, too, that he would raise up leaders for this new church.
Article by Richard Gerber