”I knew that God had called me to ministry when, after much searching and asking,” Pastor Ellis Flores said, “I heard God’s voice through the words of Ecclesiastes 11:1: ‘Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days’ (KJV).”

At the age of 19, Flores accepted Jesus as his personal Savior. Soon after, he contemplated how he could share the gospel with others. While reading Ecclesiastes one day, Flores was at first not sure what God was asking him to do. But through the guidance of the Holy Spirt, His message became clear: “Preach the Word.”

This pivotal moment in Flores’s  life happened in late 2002 as he grappled with choosing between pursuing a career in education or answering the divine call to ministry. Though he sought advice from elders, church leaders, and pastors whom he trusted, Flores knew he needed to hear from God Himself. The following year, by God’s direction, he enrolled in the religious studies program at La Sierra University. God’s call on Flores’s life was affirmed 20 years later at his ordination service last December.

During the ceremony, after receiving his new credential and certificate signifying his newly ordained status, Flores thanked the various influences throughout his journey: his family, spiritual mentors, and members from the previous congregations where he served. His wife, Patty, and sons, Ellis and Ethan, also gave special music during the program.

For years, Ecclesiastes 11 has remained influential in Ellis’ ministry. “Ministry can be really challenging and at times you can get discouraged if you don’t see that outcomes that we humans expect,” Flores shared. “The words of Ecclesiastes 11 are always a reminder that my only duty is to be faithful to the message and the preaching. God takes care of the rest.”