Plenty of Sundays have passed at the Escalon Pentecostal Tabernacle on First Street since Pastor Wayne Warren preached his first sermon there.
In fact, he and his wife Carol, also a pastor, were recently recognized for their 30 years of service to the church, its congregation and the community.
The celebration was on Sunday, June 26.
“Escalon has been so good to us,” Pastor Warren said, noting that he and his wife were overwhelmed by the good wishes on celebration Sunday as well as buoyed by the support of the community for the last three decades.
“I was taught by a mentor that if God sends you, you go,” Warren added.
He said that while he has felt the time may have been right at different points over the past 30 year to leave the community, he realized that he and his wife hadn’t yet finished their work here.
“You don’t go until God tells you you’re finished,” Warren noted.
For many years, the Warrens made their home here in Escalon but moved to Modesto about eight years ago live in a family-owned home. Still, they are deeply tied to the community.
“It was so phenomenal, we had about 80 people, past and present, some gave testimony of what the ministry has done for their life,” Warren added of those attending the June 26 celebration. “It’s just so exciting to see what God has done in the lives of many people. Sometimes in 30 years, you forget, then you look at these lives that are so solid with God because of the word.”
Wife Carol co-pastors at Escalon Pentecostal, with Pastor Wayne handling most of the services, Carol teaching and serving as a ladies’ minister.
“She is a multi-functional lady in the church,” Warren said.
The Tabernacle has Sunday morning and Sunday evening services, along with a Prayer Meeting on Tuesdays and a midweek service on Wednesdays.
Parents of four children, Warren said all three of their daughters met their husbands in Escalon and said all are “phenomenal” men that they feel blessed to have welcomed to their family. Their son lives out of state and they also have several grandchildren.
Pastor Warren also recalled that when they arrived in 1986, the area that now houses Boat Country was a produce store where you could get a hot dog for lunch for a quarter.
“I think Escalon is the greatest town in the world,” Warren added, noting that they will stay to minister until they are led elsewhere in God’s service. “Escalon has been a great place to raise my family and I appreciate the town of Escalon in my life.”