John Dunn was born on April 2, l952 in Santa Monica, California, where the saga begins. Raised in the 60’s it was a wild and crazy life. John’s parents brought him faithfully to a Lutheran Church until he was on his own and basically stopped going to church. He met his wife Michele in l972 and was married in 1975. He attended C.S.U.N and majored in Religious Studies, graduating in 1975, still not knowing Jesus as his Savior. He was saved in 1978 and has been serving the Lord ever since. He started the church in 1997 and will be there until he goes home to be with the Lord.
Michele was born in Van Nuys, California in 1955. She was raised in a strict Catholic home, and attended Catholic school through the 12th grade. Although she always believed in God and lived a moral life, she did not know how to have a personal relationship with Jesus as her Savior and Lord, nor was she taught the importance of reading and knowing the Bible as His Word. Her marriage to John in 1975 began her adult life’s journey. After accepting Jesus as her Lord in 1978, her enthusiasm for the transforming power of God’s Word began. She has devoted her life to growing in God through His word, to being a wife to John, a home schooling mother of their six children, and discipling, teaching and ministering to many along the way.
JOHN AND MICHELE TOGETHER
John and Michele met in 1972 as they walked down the aisle as bridesmaid and groomsman at Michele’s cousin’s wedding, a foreshadowing of their marriage three years later on April 19, 1975. After they were married, they continued going to school together at Cal State University Northridge, enjoying learning and growing in all areas as husband and wife. They traveled with backpacks around the world for 10 months in 1976-1977, living in Israel on a Kibbutz for 5 of those months. They had the time of their lives. While living in Flagstaff, Arizona in 1978 they accepted Jesus as Lord and were filled with the Holy Spirit. From that point on they have been growing in Him and serving Him wholeheartedly, while teaching their six children to do the same. They served as Elders at Big Bear Christian Center for 14 years with Pastor Jeff Tunnell; teaching Bible studies, adult Sunday school, Wednesday evening church, and helping the church grow. This is where God placed the hearts of Pastors in John and Michele, as He continually used them in ministry, preparing them for service as Pastors of Christian Faith Center.
HISTORY OF BEAR VALLEY CHRISTIAN FAITH CENTER
Pastor Jeff Tunnel believed God spoke to him about starting another church in Big Bear Valley and that his elder, John Dunn, was to be ordained and sent out. The church is named Christian Faith Center and was sent out from Big Bear Christian Center in August of 1997. Five families accompanied Pastor John and Michele Dunn and their family to help start the church.
For the first two years the church met on Sunday evenings in a Christian camp church building until a school cafeteria or gym could be secured for Sunday mornings. Since the church had no home base, a team of men would arrive very early on Sunday mornings at the storage unit where all of the sound equipment was kept and load the equipment into a truck and take it to the church site for that day. Then after the service, all of the sound equipment had to be taken down, loaded on the truck, and placed back in the storage unit. The church had no permanent home for the first four years so people on the membership list would need to be called and told where the church was meeting each week. All of this worked together to build a great group of committed and flexible people, who jokingly called their church, The Church on the Move.
The Pastors believe that building a great church doesn’t consist of building a bigger facility but of building great people. They have consistently sown the principles of God’s Word into the lives of the people so that the mission of the church can be fulfilled which is to equip believers for successful Christian living and the work of the ministry. Once the biblical principles are at work in believers for their successful Christian living, then these believers are equipped to take the gospel to the community of Big Bear Valley, the nation and the world.
We are giving all the praise to God as we expand our church ministry at our new location! It has been a long, wild ride getting here and we are overflowing with gratitude! Our first Sunday at the new property was Sunday, August 22nd, 2021. We will be on a journey of renovation, expansion, and realizing the scope of God’s plans for our church for decades to comes! Join the revival at Bear Valley Christian Faith and Retreat Center.