Religion This Week

By Rodney Tilley, Pastor Van Horn Community Church —

In the last few months, a new church, the Van Horn Community Church, has opened in Van Horn. Located at 1603 East Broadway in the old Van Horn Funeral Home, the church has taken an old disused building and has turned it into a working church complete with a sanctuary, children’s rooms, and even a fellowship hall.

Local volunteers, along with the team from Badillo Construction, and led by Pastor Rodney Tilley, together labored to see that a church that catered to the diverse population of Van Horn be established. It was from this idea that the church got its name: “The Van Horn Community Church.” The church’s desire is to cater to the community and to those traveling through with spiritual instruction and nourishment. We want everyone to know that the church is open to all people of all ages.

The church adopted the slogan; “Where New Life in Christ Begins,” for it is with that purpose or goal that the church was organized. According to Pastor Tilley, the church wants to bring new life in Christ to a world that is searching for meaning and significance. He stated that Jesus-Christ is seeking to bring people to a life of forgiveness, peace, and a love for God and man, and God does that through individuals and through the community at large.

Last week I had an interview with Pastor Tilley and he spoke of what he said was “God’s call to Van Horn.

Morales: Pastor Tilley, how exactly did you and your wife decide to come to Van Horn?

Tilley: It’s a long story but I will give you the short version. My youngest son, Jason, had bought 10 acres somewhere west of here and so we came as tourists to find his hidden property, only to be drawn to this town with its friendly people, beautiful climate, and stunning scenery. We then bought some land and a place to live and began the process of making the move from Louisiana. But I feel it was more than that, my wife and I just felt in our hearts that this was a place of God’s calling and it was not by chance that we came here.

Morales: I understand that you have a long history of pastoral care and missionary travels.

Tilley: Yes, my wife, Judy, and I had been missionaries for over 30 years going to the countries of Turkey, Albania, and Japan. We worked in church planting and in establishing drug and alcohol rehab centers. We loved our work overseas, and made many friends, but came home in recent years to help with our aging parents.

Morales: I heard that your parents recently moved to Van Horn as well.

Tilley; Yes, my wife’s parents and my father are deceased, but just last week, my mother and step-father moved to Van Horn from Louisiana and are making the adjustment to the desert. It is not rainy and wet Louisiana for sure.

Morales: So what are you plans for the church and the future?

Tilley: Well, to be honest, we just want a church that looks and acts like Jesus. We want to teach, preach, and care with true concern and compassion for the community.

I personally would like to establish a counseling center as well and help others live a life free of addictions and anguish. I want to see people begin “a new life” and live at peace with God and man. And on the fun side, my wife, Judy, and I love to drink tea, so I also plan on drinking a lot of tea and getting to know everyone in town, so stop us and talk, and let us see what God is doing in Van Horn.