208 W. Lexington Avenue, El Cajon
Membership: “less than 100”
Pastor: Kurt Bergquam
Born: Grand Forks, ND
Formation: Berean Bible College, San Diego; Christian Bible College and Seminary, Blue Springs, MO
Years Ordained: 25
San Diego Reader: What’s your main concern as a member of the clergy?
Pastor Kurt Bergquam: The greatest desire of God is that more will be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. 2 Chronicles 7:14 talks about “If my people were to call upon my name and were to humble themselves and pray, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and then will they be forgiven their sins and I will heal their lands.” My concern is to make sure the lost come to true salvation, to grace and truth, that the church turns back to Christ, to worship him in spirit and in truth — that the lost would be saved and that the church would be a holy and happy church.
SDR:: Why did you become a minister?
PB: At a young age I knew I would be a pastor, even as a child…. I served the Lord on a missionary trip to the Amazon jungle in Colombia, South America, by age 19. We were with Bible translators, building translation facilities and helping the missionaries so they could do their work in Bible translation…. Before I returned from Colombia I was out in the wilderness, out there doing God’s work; I was away from all TV, radio, or any kind of modern culture. Not that these things are necessarily negative, but they can be. So, while I was in the jungle I heard the voice of God clearly, and he said, “Study to show yourself approved. I have a ministry for you.”
SDR:: What is the mission of your church?
PB: Our vision statement and mission statement is the same, in the core of our heart. Our mission is to evangelize the lost, to worship God in spirit and in truth, to disciple believers, and to show compassion. We have also our vision statement for Harvest Time — to love God and love people by obeying his word and enjoying God’s will. In concrete terms, we work out Harvest Time’s mission by helping marriages and families to be healthy, for couples to get along and love one another. We’re also working with parents to help train their children and we’re providing programs for the elderly, where they can enjoy life together. We also minister to the shut-ins who, for physical reasons, are not able to function in the community. We work with the refugees in our community, including the Chaldean Christians who had to flee Iraq, giving them driving lessons and cultural education to help them acclimate to the U.S. We also have recovery classes for drug and alcohol addictions.
SDR:: Where do you go when you die?
PB: The gospel is very clear. There’s a heaven to gain and a hell to turn away from. Everyone has a free will and everyone can choose where they want to live. If you want to live in heaven, do the things Jesus said; if you want to live in hell, continue on in your rebellion. Jesus has been very clear, for those willfully rebellious and unwilling to do things his way, that’s the only alternative. God doesn’t want any to perish but if people persist in their rebellion, they have to suffer the consequence.