Just a few months ago, Chris and Lydia Begnaud were enjoying life in Yucca Valley, Calif. They had excellent jobs, a good school for their three sons, and family living nearby.
Now the couple lives in Tooele, thanks to a higher calling.
“We believe without a shadow of a doubt that God called us to be here [in Tooele],” Chris said. “We weren’t leaving a bad situation at all. We had it so good. In order for us to leave, we had to be really confident that God called us and was telling us to come here.”
The couple worked at Joshua Springs Calvary Chapel in Yucca Valley where Lydia’s father was senior pastor. Chris worked as the children’s pastor while Lydia oversaw the women’s ministry.
They moved to Tooele in mid-February, they said, after receiving several promptings from God to provide outreach in the Tooele area.
Chris said the couple learned through Calvary Chapel Salt Lake City that there are 10 families in Tooele that travel 40 miles each Sunday to attend church. But oftentimes, the families can’t attend mid-week church activities or Bible studies.
Together, the Begnauds have begun to remedy this.
Although local churchgoers still have to travel to Salt Lake for Sunday services, the Begnauds have started Tooele Springs Calvary Chapel in their home. An outreach of Joshua Springs and Salt Lake Calvary Chapels, the local chapel offers weekly Bible studies, ladies’ Bible studies and children’s activities for Tooele County residents.
“We offer a verse-by-verse study of God’s word,” said Chris. “The church is an interdenominational church. We believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ and the holy trinity. There’s a difference between knowing the Bible and knowing Jesus. What we’re sharing is that you study the scriptures to build a relationship with Jesus. It’s not about religion; it’s about a personal relationship.”
Chris serves as pastor, while Lydia oversees the local women’s ministry. In addition, Chris said they are able to provide marriage counseling, funeral officiating and fellowship to local churchgoers.
“We’re here for whatever people need,” Lydia said. “We’re here to love the people and teach God’s word. That’s the goal — to help people grow closer to Jesus and learn more about him through his word.”
Chris said currently, he and Lydia are focusing on the 10 local families, which consist of about 25 adults and 13 children, and ministering to them before they look to expand the church locally.
“We’re teaching the people here and it’ll affect them and they’ll invite friends and family and we’ll grow that way,” Chris said. “We also have a ministry team coming out this summer from our home church [in Yucca Valley] and hope to do some outreach through them.”
Lydia said at this point, Tooele Springs Calvary Chapel still needs a worship leader, more advertising and a building before it can grow more.
“The eventual goal is to get a building and definitely grow the ministry here for sure,” she said. “We’ve made invite cards for people to invite friends and family, which they’ve done. It’s just word of mouth right now.”
Lydia is hosting her first ladies’ Bible study tonight at 6:30 p.m. at their home. In addition, the Begnauds host a weekly Bible study for all members on Wednesday evenings in their home at 7 p.m., along with a children’s ministry activity.
Lydia said a friend, Sue Jackson, who is also from Yucca Valley, moved to Tooele at the same time they did to become the local children’s ministry director.
“Sue will take the kids downstairs and do activities and minister to them while the adults attend the Bible study upstairs,” she said.
Overall, Lydia said she and her husband are excited to be in Tooele, and look forward to seeing what God has in store for them.
“It’s really encouraging for us to be here,” she said. “We’re taking it day by day and step by step to see where God’s leading us. We’re doing what he’s called us to do right now, which is teaching the word.”
For more information about Tooele Springs Calvary Chapel or to attend a Bible study, visit the church’s Facebook page by searching for “Tooele Springs Calvary Chapel” or call (435) 249-0170.
The Calvary Chapel in Salt Lake City is part of an international ministry of more than 1,500 Calvary Chapel fellowships around the world.