Serving the community since 1970

Westside pastor's message of salvation

Johnny Martinez has been a pastor with Westside Family Fellowship for 17 years. Over this time, he has touched many lives through the word of Christ.

He said the church's mission is to proclaim Christ, which is salvation to the human soul.

"We want to project love. That is why we do the programs that we do."

The church provides a vital role in helping to feed the community. Every fourth Thursday, there is a farmers market for people that not only come from Wasco, but from as far as Delano and Bakersfield.

They give away fresh produce, canned goods and bread. The next farmers market will take place on Aug. 29 from 8 to 10 a.m.

Every fourth Tuesday of the month, there is a senior program for ages 60 and above where they receive a 35-pound box of grocery essentials. The next one will be on Aug. 22 from 9 to 10 a.m.

His goal as a pastor is to teach according to the doctrines of the Bible.

"Being a pastor is more than preaching. It's about leading, instructing, doing the work of God and being an example. The goal is to tell people about the love of God. Not only with the congregation but in the community spreading the word of God and the good news of God's salvation."

He wants to spread the gospel, which he said is that God loves us.

"His love is out of this world. That's what I want people to hear."

Church services are held on Sundays at 10 a.m. with a Bible study on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. Both are presented in English and Spanish.

Services are lively and interactive with music, prayer and fellowship. Over 200 attend.

"The main purpose is to come together to worship God and learn his word."

There are also women's, men's and youth fellowships.

Pastor Martinez said the best part of being a pastor is seeing people grow and families restored.

"I like to assist them and help them in any way, whether spiritual, physical or emotional. I'm there to fill the gap and encourage them."

He said his role in the church is a calling.

"When you begin to walk with God, he will put the desires in your heart. God will equip and instruct you."

Pastor Martinez intimately knows the power of the teachings of God and believes that prayer is the path to communicating with him.

"I have been addiction-free for 44 years. The reason I was freed from that was because of Christ. The bible says that Jesus Christ came to set us free from sin."

"Whatever was destroying me, like alcohol and drugs, when Christ came into my life, that is what helped me into liberty and freedom. Those addictions no longer bound me."

He believes there is no substitute for prayer.

"A family that prays together stays together."


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