About Gunnison Valley Fellowship Church
From Bible Study to Church Plant
Early in 2015, Carl and Sherry Wimmer felt called to open their home for a Bible study in the Gunnison Valley rural community. At that time, they were attending church and fellowshipping with believers at Ephraim Church of the Bible, a half hour drive from their home. (Most evangelicals in the area typically drive at least 30 minutes North or South for church services.) The Wimmers were hungry for fellowship and Bible study in their hometown, as were other believers. For a year and a half, the Wimmers, along with five other participants, met each Monday evening for dinner and a study led by Carl.
By 2016, the Wimmers were hesitant to advertise their Bible study because their space was already limited. This led them to ask God for a larger home where they could host more people. God answered this desire of their hearts as it took only one weekend to sell their home for asking price and purchase an affordable home that can fit over 60 people...in the living room!
Immediately, the Wimmers sent out door flyers advertising the Bible study, and the group went from 7 to upwards of 40 overnight! These Monday night Bible studies and potlucks eventually brought talk of a church plant in the community. With encouragement from pastors out of Richfield and Ephraim, October 1, 2017 was scheduled at the official start date of Gunnison Valley Fellowship Church, with Carl Wimmer as the pastor, and the Wimmer’s home as the location.
Multiple families from Ephraim Church of the Bible and Calvary Chapel Sevier Valley were commissioned and sent to serve the communities in the Gunnison Valley for the glory of God. The Wimmers are eternally grateful for their sacrifice and willingness to walk beside them in this journey.
Since that first Sunday in October, people have continued to seek out and find the church, some in miraculous ways. It is no mistake when someone enters the doors of Gunnison Valley Fellowship Church, and for those who do, it has been life-altering. It is obvious that God has a plan for this valley and is doing a mighty work here.
Doctrinal Statement of Faith
We affirm our belief in one God, eternally existing in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. That these three are one in essence but distinct in person and function. That the triune God is the only God, and is God from everlasting to everlasting having created everything that exists both visible and invisible.
Biblical basis: Genesis 1:1, 26; Isaiah 44:8; Mathew 28:19; John 1:1-2, 14, 4:24; Acts 5:34; Romans 1:20; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 4:5-6; Colossians 1:15-18.
Jesus is fully God and fully man. Conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, he lived a sinless life, died a substitutional atoning death, rose again bodily, and ascended into heaven. We eagerly await His glorious return to earth, when he will reign forevermore in power and glory. We hold that Jesus is the only way to eternal salvation, that “he is the way, the truth and the life.”
Biblical basis: Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:18-25, 16:16; Luke 1:26-38; John 1:1-14, 3:16, 14:6, 14:9-10; Romans 5:18-19, 9:5; Colossians 2:9; Revelation 5:13.
The Holy Spirit
We affirm that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, proceeding from the Father and the Son and equal in deity. He is the giver of all life, active in the creating and ordering of the universe; He is the agent of inspiration and the new birth; and He indwells and sanctifies all born again believers. The Holy Spirit empowers believers for ministry, and distributes spiritual gifts to the church body.
Biblical basis: John 16:5-16; Romans 8 16-27; 1 Corinthians 12.
The Bible as God’s Word
We affirm that the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, was supernaturally inspired by God so that all its words are the written true word of God; it is therefore inerrant in the original manuscripts and authoritative in all matters.
Biblical basis: 1 Corinthians 2:12-13; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21.
The Bible Today
The Lord said he would preserve his word forever. We proclaim that any belief that the Bible has been corrupted or compromised is in clear and direct contradiction to the words of Jesus himself. To choose to believe in a compromised Bible is to choose the philosophy of man over the words of the Lord.
Biblical basis: Isaiah 40:8; Matthew 5:18, 16:18; 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 21:33; 1 Peter 1:24-25.
Man was created on the 6th day of creation. God formed man's body from the dust of the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. The entirety of mankind is descended from Adam and Eve, and did not originate from any previously existing forms of life. God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. God created marriage to be exclusively the union of one man and one woman, and that intimate sexual activity is to occur exclusively within that union.
Biblical basis: Genesis 1:26-27, 2:7, 2:18-25, 3:20; Zechariah 12:1; Matthew 19:5-6; Acts 17:26; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9; Ephesians 5:22-33.
The Human Condition
While God created man in His own image, mankind rebelled and sinned against God. All mankind is lost and sinful. Sin has caused all people to come under God’s wrath and judgment. Because of sin, man is separated from God and under condemnation of physical and spiritual death.
Biblical basis: Psalm 51:5, 78:56-66; John 3:36; Romans 3:23, 5:9, 5:12, 6:23.
We believe that Jesus Christ shed His blood on the cross as the perfect, all-sufficient sacrifice for sin. His atoning death and victorious resurrection constitute the only way to salvation. His death on the cross reconciled man to God which reconciliation cannot be earned by good works, baptism, tithing, church membership or any human merit. Salvation is a free gift offered to all who will receive Jesus Christ as Savior.
Biblical basis: Luke 24:46-47; John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Romans 3:23, 5:8, 6:23, 10: 9-13; 1 Corinthians 1:18; 2 Corinthians 5:10-11; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 1:7, 2:8-9, 2:13-16; Titus 3:4-7.
The Second Coming of Jesus
We affirm that Jesus Christ will return bodily as foretold in scripture to rule and reign. This will happen at God's appointed time, the exact time known only to God. At His return the dead in Christ will rise first, then all living believers will be caught up to meet Him in the air.
Biblical Basis: Matthew 24:36; Acts 1:7; Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.
We believe that the true church comprises all who have been justified by God's grace through faith alone in Christ alone. They are united by the Holy Spirit in the body of Christ, of which He is the Head. The true church is manifest in local churches, which consist of groups of believers who have joined together throughout the world with the express purpose of fulfilling the Lord's commands to share the good news of Jesus Christ with the world around them, to worship God and to do good works that will glorify Him.
Biblical basis: Acts 2:41-47; 1 Corinthians 12:4-27; Ephesians 1:9-13.
The Lord Jesus mandated two ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s Supper/Communion. Both of which visibly and tangibly express the gospel. Though they are not the means of salvation, when celebrated by the church in genuine faith, these ordinances confirm and nourish the believer.
Biblical basis: Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 8:29-38; 1 Corinthians 11:23-32.
Statement on Marriage
We hold that all are sinners and fall short of the glory of God, and sin regardless of type keeps people under the condemnation of God. We welcome all people regardless of their position in life or their personal struggles with open arms of love and fellowship. We desire all to have their heart changed and to receive the salvation that can only come through Jesus Christ. The Bible declares that it is not good for man to be alone, so Eve was created to make them complete as husband and wife, man and woman. Jesus states that God’s plan and view of marriage involves only the union of a man and a woman in matrimony that is holy and acceptable to God. This marriage covenant precedes any governmental law regulating the marriage unit. The church will follow the holy and inspired Bible as God’s instruction manual on Christian marriage between one man and one woman as biologically defined by their natural birth.
We have no authority to compromise God’s truth regardless of societal or government pressure. The church will not recognize, participate in, or support any other concept or definition of marriage.
Biblical basis: Genesis 2:18-25; Romans 1:26-27, 3:23, 5:8; Mark 10:2-9; 1 Corinthians 6:9; Ephesians 5:22-33.
Statement on the Sanctity of Human Life
We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We also hold that we must have concern for the physical and spiritual needs of our fellow men.
Biblical basis: Exodus 20:13; Psalm 139; Isaiah 49:1; Jeremiah 1:5; Matthew 22:37-39; Romans 12:20-21, 13:9; Galatians 6:10.
Carl Wimmer is on fire for the Lord! He is excited to share his love and knowledge of the Gospel through discipleship as the Senior Pastor of Gunnison Valley Fellowship Church.
Carl has been married to his wife, Sherry, for 20 years. Together, they are raising five beautiful children. Carl has served as a police officer since 1997 and spent five years in the Utah Legislature. Their family moved to a quiet life in Gunnison after an adventurous campaign for United States Congress in 2012. Although Carl did not win that race, it became a turning point that brought him something far greater than he could ever have imagined: a God-led life and valuable family time.
Carl surrendered his life to Christ in 2013 and has never looked back. He is studying theology with Liberty University online and will complete his bachelors in the winter of 2018 with plans to continue his studies through a master's program.
His love for the Word of God led him on a recent trip to Israel where he was encouraged by the physical evidence of the Bible. Carl stood in the waters of the Jordan River where Jesus was baptized, he prayed in a boat over the Sea of Galilee where Jesus had calmed the storm and walked on water, he touched bricks from the fallen wall of Jericho, and drank water from Jacob's Well where Jesus taught the Samaritan Woman about living water.
Carl has had many opportunities to substitute for pastors throughout Utah and led a Bible study from his home which served as the starting point for Gunnison Valley Fellowship Church. He enjoys sharing God's message of hope and salvation.
Benjamin Swapp is a Jesus loving man with a desire to share the gospel of grace and salvation with anyone who will listen, and he loves the opportunities that he gets to share as Assistant Pastor of Gunnision Valley Fellowship Church.
Benjamin and Lacie have been married for 20 years and are raising four wonderful children to love the Lord and be disciples of Christ. One of the ways that Benjamin teaches discipleship is by being actively involved in the church's youth group.
In 2006, after a pursuit of truth, Benjamin gave his life to Christ and has been on a mission ever since to be a fisher of men (Mathew 4:19). Benjamin served as a Deacon for a local church for 10 years before being called to help plant Gunnison Valley Fellowship Church with Pastor Carl.