About the Missionaries
Pastor Bob: I was raised in a home filled with alcoholism and violence. Following in the footsteps of my parents, I became addicted to drugs by the age of 12. After dropping out of school and “doing my own thing” for many years, I came to the end of my rope. I cried out to God, and He rescued me from an attempted suicide. I then went to Oakland Peniel Mission and graduated from the one-year residential recovery program. I began searching for what God would have me do with my life. I met Lisa, a Peniel missionary, and we were married in 1995.
I joined Lisa in Stockton, California, serving the children, youth, and families on the south side. In 1996, I was given an appointment with WGM as a missionary. I was ordained in 1998. In 2007, I was privileged to become a Stockton Police chaplain. I then was assigned as the very first ever Stockton Police school resource chaplain, assigned to two schools in our area. I am humbled that God chose me to take His love to children and families who are in the same position I was in as a child.
Pastor Lisa: I became a Christian when I was 17 years old. After high school, I attended Vennard College (Iowa). After returning home to California, I continued to seek God’s direction in my life, wanting to serve Him wherever He could use me. In 1988, God called me to the mission field. I applied with WGM and was assigned to Honduras. I spent one year in language school in Costa Rica and then went to Honduras.
However, I was a missionary in turmoil, and I began to realize that I was not serving the people God had called me to. After eight months in Honduras, I transferred to Los Angeles Peniel. I knew I was doing the work God wanted me to. After two years in LA, I was asked if I would consider transferring to Stockton. I felt God directing me and began working here in 1994. After working a year by myself, I married Bob, thus doubling our staff! I am privileged to serve God in Stockton. He has led in so many ways over my life. He has been faithful, and I know He will continue to be.
To fulfill our part of the Great Commission by introducing inner-city kids and their families to Jesus Christ. (Matthew 28:18-20)
To teach Biblical principles of faith, hope and love, giving them a stable foundation to build on for their future and the tools to break the chains of generational sin.
To provide a safe haven for growth: spiritually, emotionally, educationally, socially and physically.
To teach people to take ownership and responsibility in order to live a Holy and Spirit filled life.
Our plan is to save one life at a time by giving faith, hope and love to those many call "throw away" kids. These are the kids who society has said have no chance of accomplishing anything of significance in their future. We know that by God's grace, anything is possible. Our goal is to impact these lives one at a time.
We believe "it is better to build a child than repair an adult." For this reason, the earlier we can begin changing the mindset of a child towards being a functioning part of society, the better chance we have for long term change. Some children are being recruited into gangs or trained to sell drugs as early as 7 or 8 years old. Intervention has to be done at an early age.
Our Statement of Faith
That both Old and New Testaments constitute the divinely inspired Word of God, inerrant in the originals, and the final authority for life and truth.
That there is one God, eternally existent in the Holy Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each with personality and deity.
That the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, manifested in the flesh through the virgin birth, died on Calvary and rose again for the redemption of the human family, all of whom may be saved from sin through faith in Him.
That man, although created by God in His own image and likeness, fell into sin through disobedience and “so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12).
In the salvation of the human soul, including the new birth, and in a subsequent work of God in the soul, normally known as entire sanctification, a crisis wrought by faith, whereby the heart is cleansed from all sin and filled with the Holy Spirit. This gracious experience is retained by faith as expressed in a constant obedience to God’s revealed will, thus giving us perfect cleansing moment by moment (I John 1:7-9). We stand for the Wesleyan position.
That the Church is the body of Christ; that all who are united by faith to Christ are members of the same; and that, having thus become members one of another, it is our solemn and covenant duty to fellowship with one another in peace and to love one another with pure and fervent hearts.
That the purpose for the Church is threefold: worship of the triune God, nurture of those within the fellowship, and planned outreach to people who do not yet know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Until Jesus Christ establishes His kingdom on earth, the Church should emphasize the power of the Holy Spirit to cleanse, empower, and motivate its members to be active witnesses for Jesus both at home and to the uttermost part of the earth.
That our Lord Jesus Christ in His literal resurrection from the dead is the living guarantee of the resurrection of all human beings; the believing saved to conscious eternal joy and the unbelieving lost to conscious eternal punishment.
That our Lord Jesus Christ, in fulfillment of His own promise, both angelically and apostolically attested, will personally return in power and great glory.
In 1886 T.P. Ferguson started Peniel Mission in Los Angeles, California. Peniel Missions opened a store front location in downtown Stockton, California, on May 6, 1896. Here, a ministry for pregnant unwed mothers started.
In the late 1950s Peniel Missions, Inc. officially became the American Inner-City ministries of World Gospel Mission (WGM). In the mid 1960s, Peniel Missions in Stockton moved to the 1500 South Sutter street location in South Stockton. God continues working there today.
Since the beginning we have always had children and youth involved in Peniel Missions. In 1988 the Mission's focus shifted from repairing adults to building children.
Pastors Bob and Lisa Margaron are the World Gospel Mission missionaries serving at Peniel Missions, Inc. Together they run and operate The Center/Peniel Mission, Inc.
We believe "it is better to build children than repair adults." Many children growing up in the inner city do not have the opportunity to learn that there are other choices than the gangs, drugs, and violence they live with every day. They do not find that opportunity at home or in the schools.
To break the cycle of addiction, co-dependence, and reliance on society, they must have a change of heart. How can this happen if the Church keeps waiting until they are adults?
We introduce our kids at the Center to Jesus Christ, giving them the information, they need so they can make a choice to be different. We believe in laying a foundation of love, God's Word, and tough boundaries. Our goal is to give the kids the tools they will need to be a functioning part of society. We do this through Bible Club, recreation, crafts, snacks, Homework Club, camp and other programs.
The most important job we have in Stockton is loving kids. Spending time with them so they can see Jesus in us lays the foundation they need to make a choice for Christ. They are, by their environment, very leery of accepting and trusting people. They live with people coming in and out of their lives on a consistent basis. By being consistent in their lives they can learn that Christ is the One they can depend on. He will never leave them nor forsake them.