Pono Lopez’s story upholds what he calls the “messianic-saving, border-breaking, and inexplicably eternal grace of Jesus.”
Lopez felt the call to the gospel ministry when he was 14 years old. Yet, while committed to working in full-time ministry, he wasn’t sure “if it was the role of the pastor that Christ saw fit for me,” he shared. He discovered that Christ calls people to make the gospel relevant by sharing their story. “I realized then that pastoral ministry was by far the most fitting platform to share the gospel—that’s all I want to do with my life,” Lopez said with a smile. “To share the gospel through presence.”
Lopez worked with youth ministry in his four years as Associate Pastor at Eagle Rock church prior to a recent move. On January 5, 2019, Lopez was ordained to the gospel ministry; it was also his first day as the new lead pastor at the Long Beach church.
Lopez’s ordination service was filled with praise and prayer, reflecting his passions about the gospel and about mentorship.
Velino A. Salazar, SCC president, said in his homily, “It is our prayer that today can be just a moment of reaffirmation of that call that you received at the Ohana group some years ago.”
John H. Cress, SCC executive secretary/ ministerial director, presented Lopez with his new ministerial credential. “We have seen that you are a trustworthy presenter of the gospel of Jesus Christ,” he confirmed.
Gerard Kiemeney, SCC L.A. Metro Region director, restated this message: “God has called you, Pono. I’m convinced of that. You and Caiti will make a huge impact in the ministry for Him for one simple reason: You accepted that God is your leader. That’s it.”
“My dad told me a long time ago to be good and do good in whatever you choose to do,” Lopez concluded. “This is what I choose. As a pastor, I choose to be good and do good.”