By Fran Soto
River Valley Times
August 3, 2016

Wilton Bible Church (WBC) has a new pastor. Pastor John Schmidt accepted the call as senior pastor in early June. Schmidt, a graduate of Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina and a
native Californian, and his wife, Brooke, are parents to three young daughters. In just two months, they are already enjoying the rural country lifestyle Wilton offers and looking forward to
meeting and greeting the Wilton community.

As a young father, Schmidt is particularly encouraged by the many young families that worship along side a good mix of people of all ages and ethnicities that make up the WBC.

“I think it is healthy when a church has a good mix,” Schmidt said. “ I feel at home at WBC. The church has a home atmosphere.”

Photo by Fran Soto

Photo by Fran Soto

When first considering WBC, Schmidt heard that the church and its school, Wilton Christian School (WCS), were one of the best-kept secrets in Wilton. Schmidt wants to change that. Most of all Schmidt is looking at ways to welcome the community to Sunday services and the range of studies and events the church offers. Although he does not anticipate big changes, he is looking at
a few minor changes to attract new members.

“We are looking at a new logo, banners and signage,” he said. “But WBC will be the same, standing on the Word of God.”

Schmidt is very open about his Christian walk and how he accepted his calling to be a pastor. He describes his childhood as a humble upbringing from a split home and describes himself as a regular person that struggles as those he leads.

“That’s what a pastor is. We are living and walking as other Christians are,” Schmidt said. “I’m just a regular person following the Lord as they are.”

WBC has been a fixture in Wilton since the 1940s. The WCS was established in 1972, is accredited and serves students from preschool through high school. The church offers a Sunday morning worship service at 10 a.m. and an evening prayer service at 6 p.m. and a time of singing and praises at 6:30 p.m.

“The morning service is more general, the evening is more targeted,” Schmidt said. “The songs and praises are about what the Lord is doing in their lives.”

Prior to the morning service at 9 a.m. Sunday school classes for all ages are offered. Sunday school classrooms are just one of the small changes Schmidt is making by rearranging the classrooms so parents are close to their children and can get them quickly for the morning service.

During the morning service Schmidt is looking at bringing in a few technological changes such as projecting Bible verses overhead to help everyone follow the sermon more closely.

During the week, WBC offers a men’s Bible study, a woman’s Bible study, an adult Bible study and during the school year a kid’s program. Although there is a college/young adult group, Schmidt sees that as an area that is still developing.

Just this past July the church invited the community to a 4th of July celebration, which included a potluck dinner and fireworks. The church’s Vacation Bible School with a theme of “Ocean Commotion” saw a great turnout from the community. Schmidt sees reaching out to the community to make all feel welcome as one of his priorities.

“We want people to feel welcome, and I think we can do a slightly better job,” Schmidt said. “We are going to try to communicate better so people feel more comfortable.”

In an effort to welcome the community to visit WBC, Schmidt has already put together a packet of information with a guest card to let the church know how they can be of help to the visitor. The packet contains a sheet that clearly states that WBC accepts the Bible as the absolute authority in matters of faith and practice. The WBC is a New Testament, fundamental, separated, evangelistic,
disciple-making group of Bible-believing Christians, striving to maintain a balanced, Spirit-filled life. Information about the school ministry and Sunday services and studies is also included.

“I am honored to be a part of the Wilton community and honored to be pastor of WBC,” Schmidt said. “I would love for you to visit and to have the opportunity of meeting more of the community.”

Many thanks to The River Valley Times and Herburger Publications, Inc. for allowing the Wilton Community Center to reprint articles about Wilton events. To subscribe for home delivery, please call (916) 685-5533.

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