This year, the Gardena Genesis Community Church (GGCC) participated in the City of Gardena’s harvest festival for the fifth year in a row. Each year, the church has contributed in a different way, from offering medical services to free goodie bags and giveaways. This year was the first time that GGCC was in charge of running sound and emceeing for the entire event. This included providing a band for live music.

At this year’s harvest festival, one man approached Pastor Iki Taimi with compliments about the music and was shocked to find out that GGCC’s worship band was sacrificing their morning service at church to assist at the event and bless attendees. “I have never, ever heard of a church that would sacrifice their highest hour of worship, anywhere, for a bunch of strangers!” Taimi recalls him saying. As he was walking away, the man added, “You guys are the real deal!”

When it comes to this type of sacrificial love, actions speak louder than words. This is why GGCC has invested so heavily in these relationships. “We have become Gardena City’s go-to church for events,” Taimi said. “We are invited to a majority of major events in the city just because they see value in our presence, and oftentimes, we will be a big part of the process. The city doesn’t realize it, but the Adventist church is pastoring them through a good portion of the year.”

GGCC Associate Pastor Derrick Cruz has been instrumental in his role as a community liaison, nurturing these relationships and connecting the church with the community. “His leadership has been such a big force for our church community,” Tiami notes.

Community ministry is important because it’s our purpose: We are here to take His message to the world!