Church Planting in Bakersfield, Calif.

Bakersfield, Calif., is the location of a church plant to be started in the FiveStone Churches network, through the pastoral leadership of Cary Nack.

Vanguard Bible Church will be planted under the conviction that the Lord’s church should aggressively take ground—make disciples—for the Lord’s glory and for His pleasure. The word vanguard calls up an image of devoted followers of Jesus Christ who are at the forefront of a movement.

The Lord has called us to expand His kingdom in Bakersfield, Cary said. There’s an immense need for more churches that are effective in ministry. We need more churches that are making strong disciples. Only about 20 percent of all churches are growing, and many churches are plateaued or declining. Many churches are closing their doors.

The city of 360,000 is 110 miles north of Los Angeles and 280 miles south of San Francisco. Bakersfield is growing fast; its population was 185,000 in 1990.

There are many thousands in Bakersfield who don't know Christ, he said. We envision a church that will bring many people into discipleship relationships. We plan to offer opportunities to serve and to lead. Our vision is to see Bakersfield and Kern County radically transformed by the Gospel.

Cary is building a core group in preparation of this fall’s expected first public worship service of Vanguard Bible Church. The FiveStone Church Plant Manual will serve as the template of prayer and preparation for this fall’s expected first public worship service. He plans to cast vision for the new church that will focus on five key words: Word, Worship, Walk, Work, Witness.

Several core values will mark Vanguard Bible Church, including:

  • Preaching: bold exposition with application;
  • Worship: contemporary, passionate, contemplative;
  • Discipleship: intentional; built around Word, Worship, Walk, Work, Witness;
  • Gospel-centered Missions: service plus evangelism;
  • Excellence: honors God, removes distractions, attracts people;
  • Holiness without legalism.

Cary served as the planting pastor of a flourishing church in Illinois nine years ago and also has pastored in Indiana and Texas. He is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and enjoys basketball, football, guitar, drums and movies.

Cary and his wife, Maija, are parents to two sons and two daughters: Gabrielle, Jonathan, Dillon and Abigail. Maija has a bachelor's degree from the University of Iowa and enjoys leading Bible studies, reading, baking and tennis.

Read more about the vision for Vanguard Bible Church in this blog article.