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Mira Mesa First Assembly of God Church: a life transformed

Keeping the world out of the church and getting the church into the world

John DeSoto
John DeSoto

Mira Mesa First Assembly of God Church

  • Contact: 9696 Candida St., San Diego 858-566-0641
  • Membership: 83
  • Pastor: John DeSoto
  • Neighborhood: Miramar
  • Age: 74
  • Born: Arlington, CA
  • Formation: Mt. San Jacinto College, San Jacinto; San Diego State University; Multnomah School of the Bible (Multnomah University), Portland, OR.
  • Years Ordained: 42

San Diego Reader: How long do you spend writing your sermon?

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Pastor John DeSoto: My sermons are more topical with a combination of exegetical. I spend approximately eight hours or more preparing. It’s more than eight hours in a good week – when I have that time. But the average would be eight hours.

SDR: What’s your favorite subject on which to preach?

PD: Following and living for Christ. My general theme in a lot of my messages is not just on salvation but also on discipling and mentoring, and walking faithfully in your Christian walk. I do a lot of studies on the things that we are up against in the world. I did 14 months of videos during covid, and a lot of them were on overcoming fear. My heart is for the young Christians who are just starting off and getting started on the right path and the right foot. Christians that are already serving the Lord, I want to make sure they stay on that path.

SDR: What’s your main concern as a member of the clergy?

PD: People don’t make more of a priority to be in tune with the secular culture. I see some of that slipping into the church and the church not doing enough to penetrate that culture with the gospel. My concern is keeping the world out of the church and getting the church into the world.

SDR: What is the mission of your church?

PD: We want to reach out to the community and see their lives transformed, one life at a time, through God’s love with the gospel of Christ. In our vision statement, we say we want to grow in our relationships and reach out to people of all ages and all backgrounds. Our church is very symbolic of that; we’re multicultural and multigenerational. We reach out. At least prior to covid, for example, we had a wonderful ministry with a group of young men and women who are intellectually challenged.

SDR: Where is the strangest place you found God?

PD: Where I see God really working is when I see a life transformed and I’m a part of that. I work with one of the intellectually challenged, a young man. He was rough when we first got him because of his handicap. Many of these individuals suffered abuse as children, which caused their minds to lock up. In working with this young man, I have seen him grow and seen God change his life. We taught him how to read the Bible and be in a social group; to pray and pray in public. These individuals can be 27 or 30 years old, but they act like they’re 13 years old. It’s remarkable to see God transform a life like that – and that’s just one example.

SDR: Where do you go when you die?

PD: I believe that the choice is everybody’s. As Christians, we have been promised to go to heaven and be with Jesus. I believe heaven is designed for those who have accepted Christ as their savior, based on what Christ did for us, dying on the cross for our sins and resurrecting three days later. For those who have rejected that, the only alternative is hell.

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John DeSoto
John DeSoto

Mira Mesa First Assembly of God Church

  • Contact: 9696 Candida St., San Diego 858-566-0641
  • Membership: 83
  • Pastor: John DeSoto
  • Neighborhood: Miramar
  • Age: 74
  • Born: Arlington, CA
  • Formation: Mt. San Jacinto College, San Jacinto; San Diego State University; Multnomah School of the Bible (Multnomah University), Portland, OR.
  • Years Ordained: 42

San Diego Reader: How long do you spend writing your sermon?

Sponsored
Sponsored

Pastor John DeSoto: My sermons are more topical with a combination of exegetical. I spend approximately eight hours or more preparing. It’s more than eight hours in a good week – when I have that time. But the average would be eight hours.

SDR: What’s your favorite subject on which to preach?

PD: Following and living for Christ. My general theme in a lot of my messages is not just on salvation but also on discipling and mentoring, and walking faithfully in your Christian walk. I do a lot of studies on the things that we are up against in the world. I did 14 months of videos during covid, and a lot of them were on overcoming fear. My heart is for the young Christians who are just starting off and getting started on the right path and the right foot. Christians that are already serving the Lord, I want to make sure they stay on that path.

SDR: What’s your main concern as a member of the clergy?

PD: People don’t make more of a priority to be in tune with the secular culture. I see some of that slipping into the church and the church not doing enough to penetrate that culture with the gospel. My concern is keeping the world out of the church and getting the church into the world.

SDR: What is the mission of your church?

PD: We want to reach out to the community and see their lives transformed, one life at a time, through God’s love with the gospel of Christ. In our vision statement, we say we want to grow in our relationships and reach out to people of all ages and all backgrounds. Our church is very symbolic of that; we’re multicultural and multigenerational. We reach out. At least prior to covid, for example, we had a wonderful ministry with a group of young men and women who are intellectually challenged.

SDR: Where is the strangest place you found God?

PD: Where I see God really working is when I see a life transformed and I’m a part of that. I work with one of the intellectually challenged, a young man. He was rough when we first got him because of his handicap. Many of these individuals suffered abuse as children, which caused their minds to lock up. In working with this young man, I have seen him grow and seen God change his life. We taught him how to read the Bible and be in a social group; to pray and pray in public. These individuals can be 27 or 30 years old, but they act like they’re 13 years old. It’s remarkable to see God transform a life like that – and that’s just one example.

SDR: Where do you go when you die?

PD: I believe that the choice is everybody’s. As Christians, we have been promised to go to heaven and be with Jesus. I believe heaven is designed for those who have accepted Christ as their savior, based on what Christ did for us, dying on the cross for our sins and resurrecting three days later. For those who have rejected that, the only alternative is hell.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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