After a year and a half as pastor of Lakeview Trinity Baptist Church, Joe Juvenal announced last week that he is retiring to help take care of his daughter and granddaughter, who are facing health challenges.
Juvenal came to Lakeview from Redmond after being asked to “fill preach” at the church. After coming to the area, he said he realized, “I like Lakeview ... I like this church.” Not longer after being asked to fill in as pastor temporarily, he began preaching at the church full time.
Juvenal said he began preaching in 1997 and in the years that followed had “fill preached” and served as full pastor in numerous areas. “My wife and I, before she passed away, would go everywhere and fill these little churches,” he shared. In addition to Oregon, Juvenal had served at churches in California and Nevada.
Though he had not been planning to leave Lakeview any time soon and said he will miss the area, Juvenal noted that he is also “at peace” and “really happy” to be going to spend time helping care for his family.
“The things I came to do here, I feel I accomplished,” he said of his time at Trinity Baptist. Those things were preaching the gospel, bringing in new members, and getting the church looking good.
Sitting on his front porch and gazing at the church which sits just across the street, Juvenal contemplated the changes that have taken place in the relatively short time he has served as the church’s pastor. “We got new trees planted. The church is looking good inside and out. We have new members ... and people are happier. I think we’re in a good place,” he reflected.
He added that the first thing he did when he arrived in Lakeview “was pray for the prosperity of the town.” He observed, “The town seems more prosperous despite the virus. Of course that has nothing to do with me,” he added, but noted his belief in the power of prayer to bring about such change.
Juvenal said his favorite part of serving as a pastor in Lakeview has been helping people, especially because it is a small town. Pastors are often the ones who receive a late-night call from someone looking for help, he said, even if the person doesn’t attend church.
“I know everybody it seems like,” he expressed. “I fell in love with the town and the church is just starting to grow.”
While it is uncertain who will take over as pastor of Trinity Baptist, Juvenal said, “It’s in God’s hands and the hands of the right people in the church.”
He added, “Farewell to Lakeview. It’s been good. I made a lot of friends.”