Tony and Tawny Arnds, Church Planter, Folsom Bible Church, Folsom, California
Tony is planting a church in Folsom, California. Folsom Bible Church (FBC) began in 2021 with a weekly Bible study. Now it has about 45 people attending services on Sunday afternoons in rented space. 25 of those people completed new member training and and joined FBC last November. Two home groups of about 12 people each meet every other Thursday evening. On alternate Thursdays, there is a training class at church with about 10 people attending. Men's ministry has a Saturday morning class, somewhat similar to GBC's Discipleship Training Program, where they study key doctrines. So far, they have covered Bibliology (what the Bible says about the Bible), Theology Proper (the study of God, the Father), and Soteriology (the study of Salvation, including man's sin). FBC also has two Tuesday evening home prayer meetings, building a respository of answered prayers showing what God has done.
This year has been an important year of foundations. They have a small group of people committed to growing in Christ and growing together in unity, fellowship, prayer, worship, and purpose. The worship team has grown a lot spiritually, as well as in skill in music and leading worship in simple and genuine praise to God. Tony's prayer is that FBC will be able to plant the gospel in Folsom, that FBC would be a strong, united group with an open door that actively invites others to join them in knowing Christ.
FBC's current facility is rented from another church which uses it on Sunday mornings, so FBC meets Sunday afternoons. This timing is not ideal, so FBC contiinues to look for a different facility but they have not found anything in their price range yet. This remains an important item for prayer.
Tony, raised in a non-Christian home, wanted to be a “cowboy” growing up. He and Tawny met during high school and were married after graduation. After college, while working on a cattle ranch in Montana, the ranch owner pointed Tony to the Bible, leading Tony to pray, “God, if you are real, I want to know you.” Later, Tony heard a radio sermon on the same Bible passage. In response, Tony got down on his knees and prayed to receive Christ. His burden of sin left, and Tony’s desire in life changed to live for Jesus and shepherd people. Tawny came to faith a few weeks later. This change led them to Bible college and then the Masters Seminary. Following seminary, Tony was called to be the pastor at Potter Valley Bible Church (PVBC) where he served for 18 years. Tony and Tawny raised 3 grown sons – Jess (married), Joey (married), and Josh (passed away in 2021)