Through Faith and Patience!
Timothy and Ruthie Irvin: Members for 17 years
A nice balance.
That’s what Ruthie Irvin recalls about her impression of The Faith Center the first time she visited the church nearly 17 years ago.
“It wasn’t the traditional Pentecostal church that we were brought up in,” Ruthie said, “but it had some flavor to it.”
It wasn’t long, though, before Ruthie and her husband, Timothy, discovered that their new church home had more than just “flavor.” It had everything they were looking for—including the support and encouragement they needed as they endeavored to start a family.
“What impacted me most,” recalled Timothy, “was the teachings on love. As a husband, they helped me to understand a number of things in several areas of my life that I didn’t understand prior to getting here.”
“This church is built on faith,” says Ruthie, “and faith is what was so important to us as we were trying to have children.”
For seven years, Ruthie had tried to become pregnant, but to no avail. Then, she heard the testimony of her new pastors, Henry and Carol Fernandez, and their own personal journal on the way to starting a family. Carol told of an experience very similar to that of Ruthie, including the fact that a number of times she was tempted to give up and stop trying to have a child.
But then, Carol said something that got Ruthie’s attention.
“She said she refused to give up, and no matter what,” Ruthie recalled. “They just held on, had faith and believed God for 16 years before finally conceiving their first child! I thought, If Pastor Carol can get pregnant after 16 years of waiting, then I can get pregnant, too! God can do the same thing for me!”
The faith teachings she received at The Faith Center triggered something in Ruthie—something that gave her hope when she could see no hope. Suddenly, she was ready to take a stand of faith.
But Ruthie soon learned that it would not be easy.
“The hardest part was the waiting,” says Ruthie. “But the faith we had been taught helped us to realize that God doesn’t have to do it right now. It doesn’t matter if it’s 10 or 20 years later, He still will come through.”
Though they don’t speak much about it, God did come through for the Irvins and Ruthie soon became pregnant with their first child. However, during her pregnancy Ruthie experienced a series of complications that resulted in them losing the child.
That, in and of itself, was an issue for both Ruthie and Timothy, the couple admits. But their faith and continued trust in God enabled them to overcome their loss.
When their daughter, Genesis, was born, the two rejoiced in the fact that God always holds true to His promises. The experience of losing a child, they say, makes you recognize and place even more value on the children God gives you.
“We had a problem with the first child,” says Timothy, “but I know people who had problems with multiple children not making it into this world. Having a foundation of faith, which we received here at The Faith Center, and being able to use it to deal with that situation was priceless.”
“Sometimes people go through things and they just stop coming to church,” adds Ruthie. “They stop hearing the Word. But for us, no matter what we’ve gone through, we’ve continued to come to church. That is what has kept us. If it wasn’t for The Faith Center, I don’t know that our marriage would have survived. Being here has taught us to be stronger, to have each other’s back. Did I question God when that happened? Absolutely! I think most women would question Him in a time like that. But the truth is, I don’t have to know why I lost my child. I just have to trust Him that it happened for a reason.”
Today, the Irvins are very active in ministry at The Faith Center, where they say their faith grows stronger day by day. For the past eight years, they have watched the evidence of God’s promises coming to pass through the lives of their exuberant 8-year-old daughter, and their 3-year-old son.
They’re thankful, they say, for what they have learned at The Faith Center.
“You sit and listen to the Word that comes from the pulpit every Sunday, and it seems like God is talking directly to you,” said Timothy. “Sometimes I wonder, Why would God take time out to get a message to me? When you think about it, it tells you just how good God is and how much he cares about an individual. That has helped us to put things in the right perspective.”
"If it wasn’t for The Faith Center, I don’t know that our marriage would have survived."