This morning I want to acknowledge two of the many people that have blessed me and Sharon and FGGAM over the years. Pastor Leonard and Diana Navarre of Valley View Christian Church in Edgewood, NM. Leonard and his wife Diana are celebrating in our Lord, 49 years of ministry this past August! PTL! We are celebrating now because I just found out!! LOL! I say Leonard and Diana, because it takes a team, not one. Time flies when your having fun, It was in 2007 when we met, thanks to Pastor Don Kimbro, another FGGAM Adviser. Leonard had just returned from a mission trip to India.
Pastor Leonard has been a mentor of mine, he helped me at KKIM radio, sacrificing his time to drive in all the way from Edgewood to go on our afternoon news program, New Mexico News and Views. A key adviser to us at FGGAM when we started 3 1/2 years ago and to this day he helps guide me. He has been with me as I make tough decisions, when Sharon and I are going through a tough time and when I just need to talk.
What makes Leonard such a strong, Godly testimony to us all? It is because it is not about Leonard. He always models God to us all. I have seen first hand how Leonard and his wife Diana have sacrificed much for others. You see it takes a team. They are a solid team. I see first hand in everything Leonard does, he puts God first, then Diana and family, and then the Church, the Body of Christ. This may be the most important thing Leonard has modeled for me.
My most favorite quote from Leonard is this, “You know what we get to do today Dewey? We get to serve the Lord!”
I think of that quote everyday, it is at the top of my heart, mind and soul as I go forth in my life, keeping me in check, in everything I do I ask myself, am I serving the Lord in all I do?
I do not know anybody that does it any better than Pastor Leonard and Diana Navarre.
They both also model for us what a Godly marriage is all about.
God joined a man and a woman together so that together they would mirror His image. God called this union marriage. Their oneness reflects the character and unity of God. Matthew 19: 4-6 and John 17:22-23.
Their oneness is a living picture of this intimate relationship between Jesus Christ and His followers. Ephesians 5:22-33
So many thoughts go through my mind when I think of how and what Leonard and Diana have shown me and thousands of others about the ways of God. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is from Mark 10:45 and it kind’a sums up Leonard and Diana’s life. For even the Son of Man came not to have service rendered to Him, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.
It would be a much better world if we all would serve others first. I know these two have sacrificed much to serve. They have not aimed to build their own empire, their own legacy, a building to be named after them, no, they have invested all they have in us, the Body of Christ. They have poured their cup of God’s goodness onto us.
Leonard has been to India many times on mission trips, I pray that someday I go with him. I have learned much about the people of God by listening to Leonard share about India.
Let me share with you Leonard’s philosophy on ministry and the road that God has taken him and Diana on………….
Leonard married Diana Jean Dunaway, August 2, 1969
Philosophy of Ministry: I believe in the priesthood of all believers, in that, the church of Jesus Christ is a body. We are all different in parts and functions with different abilities and gifts yet we all are able to contribute to the edification of the entire body. I believe in Ephesians 4:11-12, where the leadership is to equip, train, and supply the saints unto the work of service which builds up (causes to grow) the body of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Preaching full time: Since, September, 1967
Ordained: January 17, 1971, Lake Charles, LA
2007 – Present Associate Pastor, Valley View Christian Church, Edgewood, NM. Men’s Ministry, Involvement, Ministry System: Men’s Ministry has grown from 8 to 95; over 600 average attendance who are actively involved in 55 ministries; church set record attendance April 2015 of 1104.
2005 – 2007 Senior Minister, Crossbridge Christian Church, Houston, TX. Led in relocating Spring Branch Christian Church, 12 miles NW into a more progressive and growing area of Houston. Assisted in selling of old property and buying present location. Attendance has jumped 30% with the relocation. Mother’s Day Out program established.
2000 – 2005 Senior Minister, Spring Branch Christian Church, Houston, TX Set direction and gave vision for the future to this medium size congregation with 2 full-time and 3 part-time staff members. Help them chart a course for growth by establishing purpose driven objectives in a multi-cultural neighborhood through leadership courses and church growth seminars. Church added 205 new members since 2000. Help establish the “Next Step” program for membership, instruction and involvement. Charting the course for relocation to enhance greater growth and involvement.
1990 – 2000 Senior Minister, University Christian Church, Norman, Oklahoma Church grew from 90 to an average of 275 in worship attendance and had 2 full-time and 4 part-time staff members. A Mother’s Day Out Program was established. Active involvement in the community through the University of Oklahoma, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Community Advisory Committee for the Public Schools
1985 – 1990 Senior Minister, First Christian Church, Stilwell, Oklahoma This small town church grew from 150 to 255 in worship with 2 full-time staff members and 2 part-time staff members. A new multi-purpose building was built. Active in community through Kiwanis Club (Director – 4 years), Mayor’s Council for Economic Development, and President of the School Board (2 years).
1976 – 1985 Senior Minister, Calvary Christian Church, Baton Rouge, Louisiana Church grew from 70 to 180 in worship attendance. Established a Christian School and Day Care Facility with 9 staff members. Church hired its first full time Youth Minister.
1973 – 1976 Associate Minister, Parker Heights Christian Church, Odessa, TX Youth group grew from 20 to almost 100. Established and maintained a bus ministry with 5 buses bringing in over 120 children to the Children’s Ministry.
Previous to 1973: other ministries in Hobbs, NM and Carlsbad, NM, and while in college ministries: Dallas, TX and Longview, TX (first ministry in 1967)
We are blessed to have Leonard and Diana has role models, a foundation of God that we can all look at to help us in our daily walk with Jesus Christ.
Leonard and Diana are a true map of Godly success!
Thank you Pastor Leonard and Diana for showing us the love of God. We love you and yours so very much!
So I close with this…..How are you and the Lord getting along?