“At the end of every practice, my young son goes up to his coach and says; ‘thank you, that you for taking the time to coach me.’ Every time his coach responses with; ‘it is my pleasure to coach you but if you want to repay me when you make it to the big leagues just send me a ticket.’

Today I am filled with pride and I feel like that coach.”

Rev. Chris Wotherspoon’s opening words to his former student Gabriel Carlson.

Carlson OrdinationNovember 15th, 2015, in Moreno Valley California at Moreno Christian Assembly Gabriel Carlson was ordained as a minister of the Gospel. It was a packed sanctuary that saw both local church and FCA support. Pastors Steve Norman and Curtis McKinney from Hemet Christian Assembly, Rev. Mark Brattrud from Valley Christian Assembly, and Rev. Drew Brattrud from Riverside Christian Assembly all gave brief thoughts on becoming ordained. Elders Tony Gonzales and Ted Demetriades from Westminster Christian Assembly were a powerful presence.

Gabe has served as youth pastor and associate at MCA for more than 5 years. He is a graduate from Southwest Bible College and is well known in the community. As a powerful preacher he often fills in when his lead pastor is gone and is also sought after speaker in other circles. More importantly, Gabe has a reputation as a man of God. He has a beautiful and supportive wife, Brittney, and a cute son, Micah. They were all surrounded on stage as hands were laid upon them.

Gabe has received the honor of being a 3rd generation pastor. It was half a century in the making to see three ordained Carlsons sharing the stage. “The seed of the righteous will be mighty on the earth.” That is doubly true for Gabe. What a legacy! His grandfather Rev. Dick “Dad” Carlson and his father Rev. Dave Carlson are responsible for planting or pastoring Westminster Christian Assembly, Moreno Christian Assembly, Valley Christian Assembly, and Hemet Christian Assembly. Dan Fick, the president of Southwest Bible College, also Gabe’s uncle, gave the vow of ordination. It was a unique sight to see so many godly relatives come together and show their support for the newest “Reverend.”

The local church backing from MCA was awesome. Recent SWBC graduates including one mentored by Rev. Gabe, Jordin Briggs, led an uplifting worship set. Local church leaders spoke, sang, and prayed for their newly anointed pastor. It was a celebration to be remembered!

There was an electricity in the room during the ceremony. God’s Spirit was there empowering. Knowing Rev. Gabe and seeing the support by those that are closest, I anticipate many decades of fruitful ministry. It does lead me to agree with Kristin Carlson that; “perhaps the best years of the FCA are still ahead.”


Submitted by Drew Brattrud. Drew is Lead Pastor of Riverside Christian Assembly in Riverside, California. 

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