Pastor John Warneke and his wife Ashley recently moved from Salt Lake City to lead the congregation of the Bible Believers Baptist Church in Montpelier.
They have been married for six years and have three children: Isaiah John (5), Judah Baptist (3), and Olivia Lael (9 months). The two little boys are cute as buttons and are very precocious. They are talkative and aren’t afraid of speaking their minds, which is adorable. Their little sister, Olivia, is so precious. It’s a family made with love between them and God.
According to Pastor Warneke, they are here to reach the people and to teach who Christ is from what the Bible says; not from what religion says, not from what man says, but from what the Bible says. They want to show the people Christ’s love.
John and Ashley met at church about 13 years ago. At first, they didn’t really hit it off. He had always wanted to be in the ministry, but she wasn’t ready for that when they first met. When he told her he wanted to work with people, she didn’t like it. She wanted a career. She had been working as an assistant manager at a credit union and loved her job. According to her, God hadn’t really worked on her yet. But she felt empty that she wasn’t doing anything for God. However, He changed her heart about eight years ago. She was still going to her dad’s church then. He is a pastor in Salt Lake just like John’s father is. She had started teaching Sunday School for early adult girls, and she realized that she wanted to serve God. She had nothing against working, she just wanted more. It opened her up to say that okay, if John wanted to serve, then she would too. Then he came to church about six years ago and they started talking again and they knew that they were meant for each other. That was the week before Christmas. They got married that February and started having kids right away. According to Ashley, they are done having kids now.
John has been a pastor now for about a year and a half. When he was a teenager in a youth camp at 14 years old there was a speaker there that touched him. He knew he wanted to be a full-time preacher or a missionary. He went to five years of Bible College and spent a lot of time with his dad who is a pastor in Salt Lake City. But even before he became a pastor, he still worked with people. Even in the work force, he talked about Christ. As a teenager when other teens were rebelling, he loved people and talked to people about Christ. Wherever he went he talked about God.
While he was in Bible College, he went on three missions. The first was to Fiji in 1998 for a month. He says this mission was good. The people there were really open to Christ because back in the mid 1800’s the Methodists brought the bible and Christ to them. So, they were still open to Christ; they wanted to know more. They wanted to hear about Him and hear bible stories about Him. Then in 2000, John went to Fiji again for nine days and worked with a couple of families he went to Bible College with. They were natives of Fiji. When he first got there, he spoke to the teens. Two of the teenagers came and wanted to accept Christ and who He was. They were “added to the Church.” Then in 2004, John and his dad went to Cambodia for a month. They taught the Bible in the villages and worked with a couple of people they knew as well. In some of the villages, when they found out there was someone teaching the Bible, they would gather in the yards. There would be as many as 200 people gathering.
Also, while he was in college, John did a bus ministry where they would go around picking up kids for church and while they were on the bus, they would give the kids Bible verses to memorize.
Pastor Warneke says he gets along with everyone; all races and all people. According to him, when God puts in someone’s heart to be a minister or a bishop, for them to teach and preach and give a message, nothing can separate them from that. Like it says in Romans 8:35-39, nothing can separate you from the love of Christ. Nothing you can go through, …”neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Pastor John Warneke is a man who loves God. He is a man who knows he has been called of God to preach the word of the Bible and bring others to know Christ. He is a gentle man, a knowledgeable man, a humble man to teach his congregation at the Bible Believers Baptist Church. He and his wife, Ashley, and their little family are a great addition to our little community and we wish them well in their endeavors.