Pastor Charles Youngkin of the Morgan Hill Bible Church.
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Charlie Youngkin has been the pastor at the Morgan Hill Bible
Church for the past 21 years, but now he
’s moving on.
Charlie Youngkin has been the pastor at the Morgan Hill Bible Church for the past 21 years, but now he’s moving on.

“I’m receiving another call,” Youngkin said. “I’m going to Carlsbad (in Southern California). It’s a church of about 1,000 members. It’s a new place and a new challenge that God is sending us to.”

The decision has not come easy for Youngkin, who has been preaching since Jan. 9, 1983. He watched the church grow from 10-20 people to an 800-member church today that fills a coverted bar at 15055 Monterey Road.

“The church is a very loving, caring, Christ centered church,” Youngkin said. “It is hard to separate me from my family and work.”

The final sermon will be Sunday, almost exactly 21 years since the church first opened its doors. The topic: Praising Christ and Pressing On.

In the beginning, the Morgan Hill Bible Church was only a Bible study group that Youngkin was sent to, along with his wife, Elaine and their three sons. Since then, the church has out grown three facilities.

Janice Moriah is the office administrator, and has been attending the church from the very beginning.

“It was in a lady’s home where we first started to attend,” Moriah said. “Then a rather young Charlie Youngkin came in one day. You could just tell that he loved the Lord.”

A month later he was the pastor.

Along the way, Youngkin touched a lot of lives. As a pastor, he had the opportunity to council people going through crisis, and even through happy times.

“People came to me with struggling marriages, hurt, abused and found Christ and hope,” Youngkin said. “One woman came to me and said that if it wasn’t for the Morgan Hill Bible Church, her marriage wouldn’t still be together. Those are wonderful things. I got to be there at child births, and next to death beds; I was there for the whole journey from womb to tomb.”

The feeling of loss associated with Youngkin’s departure has not completely sunk in yet, according to Pastor Larry McElvain, who has been with the church since 1999.

“There is a feeling of disappointment and loss,” McElvain said. “He will be impossible to replace.”

According to McElvain, the entire congregation has been feeling the loss and sadness, but he says that they understand why he is leaving.

“He has to do the right thing for God,” he said. “The others also know that they have to do the right thing for God. He is dearly loved by hundreds.”

It will be hard for Youngkin to leave. His family has established some deep roots here. The two older sons found their wives in Morgan Hill.

“Our hearts are torn,” Youngkin said. “But we also have a sense of optimism for the journey and the new ministry. We are grateful to our community.”

The process of replacing Youngkin will take some time, according to McElvain. For six months, they plan to have an interim pastor, and then in late spring or early summer, they will begin looking for someone new.

“It will be quite a change,” Moriah said, “when you have known him as long as I have.”

As a final good-bye, the congregation will hold a party, open to the public, at El Toro School. The event, to be held on Sunday, will begin at 5:45 p.m. and continue past 8 p.m.

“I have to say there is an overall sense that God did good things through our church and our lives, not just through me,” Youngkin said. “The church has done good in the name of God. Not because of me. Not just our church, but the others.”

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.

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