A lot has changed in the 56 years since Hesperia Community Church was organized. The church, on the corner of "C" and Olive in Hesperia, has grown to be one of the largest in Hesperia, and the Hesperia Christian School, which the congregation added in 1966, just celebrated its 30th graduating class.

A lot has not changed: The same warm spirit of welcome still exists. The same spirit still calls the community to come worship God, in the new worship center, opened in the spring of 2001.

The key message of Christianity drives the church: Jesus commanded His disciples and followers to spread the good news; Jesus Christ is Lord, and He died on the cross for our sins.

That commandment includes missions, and HCC commits a sizable amount of its budget toward that end.

"We're always been a mission-minded church," said Senior Pastor David Ley.

As a result, the church has sent small groups of missionaries to South America, Central America and parts of the United States. HCC supports a missionary in China.

But missions are not confined just to faraway locales. The church also wants to reach out to its nearest neighbors. With that in mind, HCC is letting its theme for the year, "Reaching Out With Hope," lead the way.

Beginning next month, HCC members will canvas area apartment complexes, houses and other dwellings.

"Our purpose is to ask if they have needs," Pastor Ley said. "Our purpose is not to go out and convince anybody. We just want to let people know what's available here. Hey, there's a church here with Lord-loving people."

After the initial meet-and-greet, the two-person ministry teams will ask if they could come back and pray for them.

Pastor Ley said the church will conduct the new ministry for as long as it is needed.
"We're going to keep on doing it until it's done."

Beginning on Sunday, Sept. 9, HCC will initiate a new worship time, 9:30 a.m., with Sunday school and seminars for all ages to follow after the service.

Peter Day contributed to this article.