1 Year anniversary and a New Start

It has been just over a year now since we left Southern California and have moved to Verdi NV. We moved into our rental 4/13/20.

I officially took over the leadership responsibilities of Calvary Chapel Truckee on 4/1/20. God has done so much and has shown Himself strong every step of the way.

Taking over the church during the pandemic was something new. Not being able to meet people in the church for the first 4-5 months was a challenge. We were forced to record and post all our teachings because we were unable to meet.

The Lord, however, opened a door for us to start meeting in the park. It was wonderful. Tina and I were able to start meeting and fellowshipping, with some social distancing, people in the church. We quickly fell in love with the body. Calvary Chapel Truckee had been through some hard times prior to us coming up and the splitting up of the body due to the pandemic wasn’t helping. Meeting in the park was a breath of fresh air and the church began to grow.

In October, because the wether begins getting cold, the park closed their facilities and we made the decision to start meeting indoors. We met in person, not in protest of the government not allowing churches to meet, not as a political statement, but we met out of obedience and the need to provide church for people. God brought people to fellowship with us who were longing to gather corporately and worship our Savior. Soon our little space was filled.

We have been able to have a variety of missionaries come and share. We’ve had a Christmas tea for the ladies and a Valentine’s dinner for couples. We have a weekly prayer meetings and 4-5 Bible studies during the week. It’s been a great season of encouragement and growth.

Our church has been meeting upstairs at the Rock, in Truckee. Then we found out that meeting upstairs was a code violation, so we started to look for another place to meet. Truckee is a very expensive town to live in. Because of the pandemic, many people in the San Fransisco area who were working from home began to flee the city and move to Truckee. If you’re working from home, why not live in a much less congested area and an area that is much more beautiful? As a result, there has been a real estate boom. Space is at a premium.

Our hopes were that we would be able to find another meeting space before our landlord gave us notice to vacate. Well, on March 1st, I received an email with a 30 day notice. At the time we had not been able to locate another location to meet. They were either too expensive or didn’t have enough parking or large enough restroom facilities for us to meet as a church. What are we going to do? We are going to pray and trust the Lord.

Long story short, the Lord arranged a “chance meeting,” AKA a divine appointment, with one of the largest commercial property owners in Truckee. In casual conversation, we told him we were looking for a place to meet and he said he had a space for us. He showed us a larger space than the space we had at the Rock, for just a little bit more a month. We signed a lease and will take procession of the space May 15th. There is some construction that still needs to be done before we can occupy the space, but it looks like May 15 we can start moving in.

In the meantime, we’re back meeting in the park. Please pray for good weather and God’s continued blessing.

I am happy to report that our work in the 10/40 window has continued. We were able to continue teaching at one of our colleges through much of the lockdown. We just started another semester at that college and are working to get the others going soon, Lord willing.

I was thinking this morning how the enemy is using this pandemic to halt the spread of evangelism. Praise the Lord that our God is greater than any pandemic or schemes of the enemy.

I was invited to go to Bahrain and see the work the Lord is doing there. I’ve also been invited to go to Cambodia. My heart is burning to be part of works abroad while being a base at home. My prayer is that Calvary Chapel Truckee would be stirred for missions in an even greater way and that the Lord would allow me to take people and pastors abroad and give them a vision for world missions.

On a personal note, Tina and I were able to go to Washington in March for Noah’s 3rd birthday. Our family, Tina and I, Ashley, Elijah, Noah and Flo, along with Bryan and Austin and healthy. The Lord has been so very good to us. Noah and Flo are growing like weeds and they are such a source of joy in our hearts. We thank the Lord daily for our family.

That’s it for now, we thank you for your continued prayers and would love to have you visit if you’re in the area.

God bless,

Gary and Tina

Posted in Uncategorized by with comments disabled.

Calvary Chapel Truckee

As you know, we moved to Northern California to take the senior (only) pastor position at Calvary Chapel Truckee.

We actually moved to Verdi Nevada. as close as you can get to Truckee and not be in California. It’s about a 20 minute drive along the Truckee river, on I 80, to get to the church.

So I wanted to give you a quick update and share some really exciting news with you.

You may have heard me say this before, but it is true, this is the first time I have taken over the leadership position of a church during a world wide pandemic. So that means there have been a lot of challenges, things I have never faced before. But we’re meeting the challenges head on and getting through them one by one.


He is able to do, and has been doing, exceedingly, abundantly beyond all we could think or ask for.

When we took over the church, April 1 officially, I was unable to meet anyone in the church for over 3 months due to the pandemic.

After much prayer, about 3 months ago, the Parks and Recreation Department agreed to allow us to meet in one of the parks. We started out with maybe 40 people, yet by the end of September we were averaging roughly 70 people on a Sunday.

The Parks and Rec Department warned us that the last weekend of September the they would be closing the restroom facilities to prepare for the winter. That means there would be no restrooms for us to use. So we had to make a decision.

Again, after very much prayer, we decided to start meeting in our little facility. I had talked to other pastors who had been meeting in person, listened to what Jack Hibbs and John MacAurther were doing, and announced that we would move indoors. We didn’t want to do anything irresponsible or foolish, but felt strongly we needed to provide church and fellowship for our body.

Out little facility, at The Rock, allows for 30-35 people to be fairly socially distant with another 20 people spread out a little more in an over flow room. With roughly 50 people, who feel comfortable to meet together on Sunday, we still have 50 people tuning in watching our livestream on YouTube.

Finally, and this is really exciting to me, we have just launched our new website, http://www.cctruckee.com. We launched the site to get it out there, while at the same time we are continuing to add content. I hope you’ll take a look at it and let us know what you think.

So things are moving along. We’re very blessed to be part of this body and are looking forward, with great anticipation, to see what God is going to do.

BTW — Tina will be leaving for Washington soon as Ashley, our daughter, is due to deliver our second grandson. Florian August Knepper.

We’re super excited to see Flo and see him grow in his relationship with Jesus. It’s really cute to see how excited Noah is to meet his little brother and share his toys with him.

Please keep us in your prayers. We thank God that we have friends and family who are willing to stand with us in prayer, for the ministry the Lord has entrusted to us.

**Please pray for the church, that God would give us wisdom and protection as we have begun to meet in person. **Pray that God would bless the teaching of His word and people would be growing in Christ. **Pray God would bring people who need to hear the gospel and be saved. **Pray for an uneventful birth of our grandson too. We welcome and thank you for all your pryers.

As always, we desire to hear from you, how you are doing and how we can be praying for you? Please pray about visiting. We’d love to see you when you’re up in this area.

God bless,

Gary and Tina

Posted in Uncategorized by with comments disabled.

How Long Has It Been?

I confess it has been a long time since my last update. Please forgive me for not writing sooner.

God has been doing so much and the enemy is not happy.

We were able to find a house in Verdi Nevada, about 20 miles form the church office. We are renting a little house right across the street from the Truckee river. We actually can’t afford to live in Truckee. Since the Covid pandemic, many people from San Francisco, knowing now they can work for home, are escaping the big city and buying up all the properties in Truckee. The house costs have skyrocketed. a 1000 sq ft A-frame fixer upper with no garage will run $550,000.

The Truckee river next to our house.

I have to confess, this is the first time I have ever taken over a church during a world wide pandemic. I didn’t really know what to expect. I thought when we got up here to Truckee we would have some time to get the lay of the land, to wade in the water a little to get the feel of things before we were thrown into the thick of it. That actually wasn’t the case. I feel like I asked my dad if I could go swimming and he has thrown me into the deep end.

Because of the virus we had no place to meet, I wasn’t able to meet any of the people in the church for many months, so we just found a location and began to stream our studies.

Preaching from Donner Lake

We have had the privilege of meeting outside in one of the parks in town for the past month and a half, and it has been glorious. You can watch the teachings on line if you like. Just go to YouTube and search for our channel, Calvary Chapel Truckee. Our Sunday morning teachings are there as well as our Thursday mid-week.

When we got here, the first thing I started was what we called an “Underground Prayer Meeting.” I called it that for two reasons. One because California said we couldn’t meet with more than 10 people at a time. It was intended to be a playful reminder that we take our marching orders from the Lord not the governor of California. We have tried to take every precautions we could and not expose anyone needlessly to a potential risk. We asked people who felt sick to stay home. For anyone who felt well, showed no signs of symptoms, and were comfortable meeting and praying together, they were invited. The second reason I called it “Underground Prayer” was to be a gentle reminder of our brothers and sisters around the world who are meeting in secret for fear of their governments.

When the Covid virus hit, before we took over the church officially, the interim pastor scrambled to find a place where we could eventually meet. He found a 2500 sq ft space for us at a complex called “The Rock.” The space gives us room for a sanctuary with about 8o seats in it and a small space for children’s ministry. The interim pastor also bought several small, 17.5 inch wide, chairs. During one of the meetings I had with the leadership, I mentioned the change in the weather that was coming that would force us out of the park. I mentioned my concern about the small space and the small chairs. Someone mentioned that the interim pastor said, “When the new pastor comes, there will be a natural downsizing of the church and it will be plenty large enough then.” I am very happy to report that God has been blessing and we have not decreased in size as a church, but we have been growing.

We have been praying and seeking the Lord about starting a Food Pantry. Surprisingly enough, there are many people living in this area of affluence who are in great need. God opened a door for us to partner with a church in Reno and coming this month, we hope to be supplying food to people and families in need. It’s very exciting to be able to engage in a work like this. It has been something that has been on my heart for the last few years.

June 22-July 1 2020, we are partnering with Calvary Chapel Saving Grace and taking our youth on a “Youth Apologetic Tour of Israel.” The basic vision is, we send our kids to school and they learn history. We send our kids to Sunday School and they learn Bible stories, as if they were not history. We are going to take our youth to Israel and immerse them in the facts, the truth and the historicity of the Bible. The target age group is 16-25, however kids younger than 16 can go with a parent. As of the date of this update, we have 15 kids and parents going on the trip.

Due to the Covid, we have had to change what we are doing in South Asia. We have been unable to have classes the way we have had in the past. One of our colleges has been able to continue to meet, because they have just a handful of students. Our other colleges are recording teachings in the local languages and the students are able to listen to them during the day. We are all praying for the day when we can get back to raising up young men and women who are committed to taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ to place who have never heard of the truth of God’s love. To people in places, who since the beginning of time, have been in bondage to false gods. Please continue to pray.

Finally, Tina and I are happy to report that the Lord has opened a door for us to buy a house. We have never owned a house before. The Lord has never allowed it, we assumed it was because we were always on the move. But now it look like the Lord is going to have us stick around for now. It is going to be finished next April. It is also in Verdi Nevada, just a stones throw from where we are living now. I can’t tell you how happy Tina is. Thank you Lord.

Prayer requests.

  • Please pray for Calvary Chapel Truckee. For continued growth, that we would be a light to the community, that the Lord would show us how to reach out to the community, for all the ministries (Women’s ministry, Men’s ministry, Young adults ministry, Youth ministry, Food pantry and the Underground Prayer.)
  • Pray the Lord would bless the teaching of His word on Sunday’s and Thursday. That He would continue to draw people deeper into His word and in their walks with Him.
  • Please pray for the work in South Asia, that God would continue to use us mightily. Please pray that I will be able to return soon to connect with the students. Pray that the Lord would keep those on the ground safe from anti-Christian groups seeking to persecute our workers. Pray that we would be able to resume our face to face classes and resume our internet teachings soon.

Please, please pray about visiting us. We’re so excited to show you what God is doing here in Truckee.

God bless you,

Gary and Tina

Posted in Uncategorized by with 3 comments.