At a crossroad: Ojai pastor wants to sell church, help people

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Ojai Valley News photo by Kimberly Rivers

Pastor Paul Bergmann doesn’t think his approach is unconventional, he thinks it is what Jesus would do.

Kimberly Rivers, Ojai Valley News correspondent

Pastor Paul Bergmann, with Ojai Valley Community Church, has a simple but revolutionary idea for the church property on El Centro, he wants to sell it and use the proceeds to help people.

“I told the congregation, I’m not here to maintain buildings, I’m here to maintain people,” said Bergmann. “What has motivated me through this is Jesus. And it’s his life, what he did while walking amongst us that fuels me.” Overall, the board of the church has reacted positively to his idea, and they are moving forward. Any property sale will be reviewed by the state due to the nonprofit status, and proceeds would be handled in prescribed way. He is not anti-building, but spending church money to maintain the large property and numerous buildings does not excite him.

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