What is Refuge Community Church?
Refuge Community Church was originally planted by Pastor Tom Ouweleen in response to God’s prompting to begin a church that would be a safe place to come worship and learn about living a Christian life. Refuge is a nondenominational Christian Church that teaches the Bible, loves families, values kids, and loves to worship God.
Pastor Tom Ouweleen – Lead Pastor
Refuge Community Church is led by our founding Pastor, Tom Ouweleen. He serves as the main teaching pastor and currently helps lead worship on Sundays along with our other talented worship leaders. Pastor Tom loves to play guitar and teach the Bible. He is married to Gretchen and has 3 children. Pastor Tom’s vision is to have a church where everyone is welcome and can easily learn how to live a Christian life without feeling judged, or outcast because of age, income, ethnicity, or social status.
Pastor Tom Frontera – Children’s Pastor – Kidz4Christ
Our kids ministry, Kidz4Christ is led by Pastor Tom. Pastor Tom is gifted at communicating the deep truths of the Bible to kids of all ages. Pastor Tom and his staff work hard to create a safe and fun atmosphere for kids to be able to come learn about God. He is married to Marlena has 2 daughters. Kidz4Christ meets every Sunday morning during the adult service. Kids get signed in to a secure children’s area and all volunteers are thoroughly background checked and trained so you can feel safe going to enjoy the adult service. Pastor Tom takes the safety of your children seriously and we guarantee they’ll love Kidz4Christ.
Pastor Chris Washburn – Youth Pastor – The G.A.N.G.
The G.A.N.G. stands for God’s Awesome Next Generation. It is Refuge’s youth/teen outreach. Kids love Pastor Chris because he’s not the typical stuffy pastor. From the moment they meet him and notice his nose piercing and 10 inch long goatee, they immediately feel comfortable and relatable. Pastor Chris is married to Kelly and has a high school aged son and one adult son. Pastor Chris loves teens and desires to create a place where kids feel comfortable inviting their friends to come learn about God.
Mark Walker – Elder
Mark serves as an Elder and member of the Board of Directors. Mark helps set the vision, mission, and priorities of the church. He assists the pastoral staff in providing direction and care for the church family. Mark is a family man and a true servant of Christ.
Ron Starr – Deacon
Ron serves as a deacon which means that he helps oversee the daily operations at Refuge. In addition to Ron, we have several other deacons and ministry leaders who serve at Refuge. Ron works to help coordinate building issues along with our Trustee Joe and an ever growing team of people who help keep Refuge running.
Marlena Frontera – Business Manager
Marlena is the one who helps our pastoral team keep things organized and running smoothly. In addition to working as the church bookkeeper, Marlena helps our pastors with administrative tasks and oversees most projects the church undertakes.
1. People matter to God and to us.
We don’t exist solely for ourselves. Refuge is about people.
2. Acceptance first, growth next.
We are all imperfect people, so we accept people as they are yet strive to help one another grow to become more like Jesus. Growth happens best in the context of spiritual, loving relationships.
We will be genuine and loving instead of merely playing church. We believe in “keeping it real”.
4. Full devotion to Christ.
Each of us is on a journey to go from simple belief to fully devoted followers of Jesus.
5. Every member is a minister.
We are all part of helping people become committed Christians and helping each other live life.
6. We’re all in partnership with God to reach all who don’t know Him.
We accomplish this through genuine relationships.
7. To help bring racial unity & acceptance in our community.
To be a place that reflects the diversity of God’s creation where all people can worship the colorless God together.
Without God and His blessing, we can do nothing!
9. Sacrificing self interest for God’s interest and for others.
It’s not about us.
10. To be a church for people who don’t like church.
We don’t do church for people who already attend a church. We do church for those who don’t.
11. Changing methods – Unchanging message. (“By All Means”)
We will have culturally relevant communication and church experience without compromising God’s timeless truth.
12. Excellence honors God.
We will give our best to God in all areas of life.
13. To serve the poor and homeless in our community
We cannot claim to obey the gospel without serving those in need. James 1:26-27
BELIEFS (Our theological statement)
1. The Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, are verbally inspired of God and are the revelation of God to man, the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct.
2 Timothy 3:15-17; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Peter 1:21
2. The Trinity. We believe that God is eternally existent in three separate persons, yet are inseparable: Father, Son and Holy Spirit (The Trinity).
3. Sin and Salvation. We believe that all people are by nature separated from God and responsible for their own sin, but that salvation, redemption, and forgiveness are freely offered to all by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. When a person repents of sin and accepts Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, trusting Him to save, that person is immediately born again and sealed by the Holy Spirit, all his/her sins are forgiven. The child of God then has a responsibility/ honor of following Christ and the fruits of his/her walk should be evident.
Genesis 2:17; Genesis 3:6; Romans 5:12-19; Luke 24:47; John 3:3; Romans 10:13-15; Ephesians 2:8; Titus 2:11; Titus 3:5-7; James 2:12-20; Galatians 5:22
4. The Great Commission. Jesus, before ascending to the Father gave us the task of going to the world and preaching the Gospel. We believe it is the job of individual Christians as well as the church as a whole, to preach the Gospel that all may come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. (Mark 16:15-18) Further, we believe an inseparable part of participating in The Great Commission is serving those in need. We cannot and must never favor preaching the Word to the exclusion of serving the poor and vice versa. James 1:26-27
5. The Ordinances of the Church.
Baptism in Water
The ordinance of baptism by immersion is commanded by the Scriptures. All who repent and believe on Christ as Savior and Lord are to be baptized. Thus they declare to the world that they have died with Christ and that they also have been raised with Him to walk in newness of life.
Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:16; Romans 6:4
The Lord’s Supper, consisting of the elements –bread and the fruit of the vine– is the symbol expressing our identification with the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We celebrate The Lord’s Supper every month on the First Sunday.
6. Spiritual Gifts. We believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit mentioned in the Scriptures, and that they are valid for today if they are exercised within the Scriptural guidelines. We as believers are to covet the best gifts, seeking to exercise them in love that the whole Body of Christ might be edified. We believe that love is more important than the most spectacular gifts, and without this love all exercise of spiritual gifts is worthless. Because of much abuse regarding the gifts of the Spirit and the subsequent over-emphasis on the gifts in place of the giver we do not give more emphasis than is appropriate according to the Biblical model.
1 Corinthians 12:29 – 14:1; 1 Corinthians 12:4 – 12
Tongues in Church?
We do not practice tongues aloud or tongues as prophecy in our church services. Although we acknowledge that tongues (as prayer) is an acceptable Biblical doctrine, we believe the following:
1. The public use of the gift of tongues (to break through language barriers) as it was practiced in the church during Biblical times has all but ceased due to the fact that almost no church in North America meets the Biblical model of the church in Acts 2.
2. We believe God still provides the gift of tongues to be used as a prayer language and that the appropriate use of this gift is in the privacy of prayer.
3. We believe that although tongues can be evidence of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, there are other evidences that are just as important and in some cases more convincing.
(1 Cor 12:30, 31; 13:1)
4. We reject the teaching that unless one has spoken in tongues, he/she can not have received the Holy Spirit. God distributes the gifts as He wills. (1 Cor 12:11)
Acts 2:4; 1 Corinthians 12:4-10; 1 Corinthians 12:28
7. Divine Healing.
Divine healing is an integral part of the gospel. We believe that God still heals according to His will and timing. We reject the “Faith” teaching that it is always God’s will to heal. We believe that God is sovereign and that we live in a fallen world and must therefore depend upon God’s sovereign will and perfect judgment.
Matthew 8:16,17; James 5:14-16
8. The Rapture of the Church.
We believe that the second coming of Christ with His saints to rule on the earth will be personal and visible. There is much debate in the Christian world about the timing of the Rapture. While we may at times teach a Mid-trib view, we recognize that there is also room for a Pre-trib interpretation and that it is ultimately irrelevant since God has promised to sustain us through all that we must face in this life.
1 Thessalonians 4:16,17; Romans 8:23; Titus 2:13; 1 Corinthians 15:51,52
We accept this teaching based of the available Biblical evidence. We don’t believe this should be a point of separation between believers. We reject any teaching that claims that we can know when the end time events will occur since the Bible is clear that “no man can know the day or the hour”.
10. The Final Judgment.
There will be a final judgment in which the wicked dead will be raised and judged according to their works. Whosoever is not found written in the Book of Life, together with the devil and his angels, the beast and the false prophet, will be consigned to the everlasting punishment in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.
Matthew 25:46; Mark 9:43-48; Revelation 19:20; Revelation 20:11-15; Revelation 21:8
In our services, we focus on a personal relationship with God through worship, prayer, and the teaching of the Word of God. We do not allow shouting in tongues or spontaneous prophesying aloud while a service is in progress because we do not believe that the Holy Spirit would interrupt Himself. We do, however believe in, and practice these gifts within scriptural guidelines. For more about the gifts, please check out Pastor Tom’s series at YouTube/scruffychurch.