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Faithful Path Ministries celebrates fifth anniversary

Faithful Path Ministries is celebrating its fifth anniversary this month. However, founding president, Bill Ellenberger has been serving in the Lord’s work in various ministries for over 15 years.
Born and raised in Tyrone, Ellenberger left the area to serve in the Navy and attend San Diego State University.
After spending 33 years in California, Ellenberger, and his wife Anita, returned to Tyrone.
A year after his return to the area, Ellenberger began Faithful Path Ministries.
While his background is in sales and marketing, Ellenberger said he was asked to serve on various ministries and non-profit boards throughout the years.
He had the opportunity to work with several ministries, helping with development and fundraising for 20 years.
Ellenberger said, “During that time, when I visited churches, I would thank them for giving to the ministries I represented.
“At the same time, I would ask what I could put on my personal prayer list.”
Behind closed doors, the pastors would share their concerns and some of the issues the church was addressing.
Ellenberger said he began to hear things he had never heard before.
As he listened and asked questions, Ellenberger learned the seriousness of the problems that sometimes occur between the pastor, lay-leadership and/or the body of the church.
He continued to pray about what to do.
Looking back, he said, “I’m glad God brought me to this.”
According to the Faithful Path Ministries website, “Reports in Christian circles revealed more than that 10,000 churches are without a pastor and more than 1,400 pastors are fired from their church each month.”
Ellenberger began searching organizations, looking for a ministry which was already doing this type of work.
Finding none, Ellenberger continued praying with his wife. As he did, he asked God to provide the resources and contacts necessary to help get this type of ministry started.
God answered, providing the help Ellenberger needed.
“A high school friend set up the non-profit status,” he said. His friend also set up the financial books for accounting purposes.
Another friend helped to set up the website at www.faithfulpath.com and continues to maintain it.
The mission of Faithful Path is “to educate, train, encourage lay-leaders mentor pastors and to serve God in unity and purpose, using Biblical principles and examples.”
According to Ellenberger, the emphasis is on helping to restore churches.
“The best time to do that,” he said, “is when they are looking for a new pastor.”
The key goals of Faithful Path are tri-fold.
Ellenberger explained what Faithful Paths does for churches, saying the first step is to work with church lay leadership to help evaluate who they are as a body of believers and who they are trying to reach in their community. They then create a description of the ideal spiritual leader, teacher and/or pastor who would help them enhance their effort. The final step is to create a job description.
Ellenberger said throughout the years, he has noticed that people bring the human resource angle from their jobs, starting with the job description and working backwards. That results in the committee trying to justify who they like.
“That’s not Biblical, so it doesn’t work,” said Ellenberger.
Other important aspects include speaking to students in seminaries, Bible colleges, universities and institutes on what to expect as a pastoral candidate and mentoring pastors, providing encouragement and praying for them.
Ellenberger has traveled to over 20 states and a year ago, in July 2006, he was ordained. He has consulted for over 200 organizations and hundreds of individuals in reference to development, fundraising procedures, strategic planning, church leadership development, Biblical Eldership, pastoral search and effective personal support raising. He served for 10 years as Adult Fellowship Director and Teacher at Emmanuel Faith Community Church in Escondido, California, San Diego area, where he resided with his wife and their son, Aaron.
Ellenberger also mentioned he has had the opportunity to do more writing, including his bi-weekly column in The Daily Herald.
As for the future, Ellenberger said he wants to impact more people, “I love what I do, even though it’s not without its challenges, even disappointments.
“When people come into my life, I look at it as an opportunity to encourage others. If we can help get back on track, it’s the greatest thing we can do…”