SEMINOLE IS A west Texas oil and farming community that boasts of a population of . . . well, less than 10,000 people. That’s where Chris Delay grew up, and that’s where God called Chris and his wife, Gabi, to go after they graduated from Rhema in 2018.
When Chris’ parents, Tod and Daphne, began pastoring Transformation Church (TC) in 1999, only a handful of people attended. Since then, the church has grown to 350—roughly 5 percent of the town’s population.
Chris and Gabi have joined Chris’ parents in reaching the world and teaching people who they are in Christ.
As associate pastor, Chris oversees many areas of the church, including media and the men’s ministry. Something that was birthed in his heart is Circles, TC’s small-group ministry. “I absolutely love encouraging people to connect based on God’s Word,” says Chris.
Currently, Circles groups meet for a month and then take a month off. Circles has grown so popular that many who attend aren’t Transformation Church members.
“We’ve never made it a requirement to go to TC,” says Gabi. “We just wanted to share the Word of God with them.”
“What we want,” adds Chris, “is for people to see the Word and have it change their lives. If they go to this church or that church, we’re happy. We just want to see their lives changed.”
Gabi headed up a young girls’ Circle group for a year. Over half of the girls who came attended other churches.
One girl named Mary grew up in a strict Mennonite church. She was hungry for God and often came to TC by herself to soak up the Word. When Gabi started the young girls’ Circle group, Mary began going to it.
“We’d sit in my living room and pray together and read the Word for hours,” says Gabi. “Till 2 a.m. on a Thursday night,” adds Chris.
Mary was filled with the Holy Spirit in Gabi’s living room.
“That’s been the biggest reward as pastors,” adds Gabi. “Seeing people apply the Word and seeing their lives being completely changed.”
“What we want is for people to see the Word and have it change their lives. If they go to this church or that church, we’re happy. We just want to see their lives changed.”
Since its inception, Transformation Church has had a heart to go into all the world. Pastor Tod Delay has been very connected with a pastor in the Dominican Republic, and groups from TC have taken many missions trips there.
This year Chris and his dad went to five cities in five days in that Caribbean nation holding pastors’ conferences. “To see the hunger on the pastors’ faces was very moving,” says Chris.
At the end of one service, a local pastor told Chris he had planned to quit the ministry the next day. But because of the conference, he knew God wanted him to continue pastoring his church.
“That really touched my heart,” says Chris. “Now is not the time to close churches, especially in the Dominican and in the inner city. People don’t own cars. They walk to church. For a church to close is a big deal because they may not have another church to go to.”
Gabi is the missions pastor at Transformation Church. When she came on board, she added to TC’s local outreaches. She had seen people go on short-term missions trips and easily evangelize strangers they will never see again. But back home, they hesitate to share God with their co-workers or neighbors. They say, “What if I’m embarrassed?” “What if I don’t know what to say?” or “I grew up with them. They know me.”
“I felt like we needed to train people on how to share the love of God all the time,” Gabi says. “Then when they go international, it’s natural. And when they come home, they can pick up where they left off.”
A Seminole service station owner let Transformation Church use his facility for an oil change outreach. TC announced free oil changes for the community, and over 100 cars came through. Church members changed the oil, washed car windows, and vacuumed.
While car owners waited in the service station, someone from TC shared the Gospel and invited them to church. No one was “pressured” to attend Transformation Church. They were encouraged to start a relationship with God and get involved in any local church.
During COVID, TC started the Love Your Neighbor outreach. “Culture nowadays is that you don’t know your neighbors,” says Gabi. “You might wave to them, but you don’t know their story.” Church members picked up food boxes and shared them with their neighbors. And some people in the community came to the church to get boxes.
What Does the Future Hold?
“Keep plowing,” says Chris. He and Gabi will continue helping Pastors Tod and Daphne at Transformation Church. Whether it’s ministering to congregation members, expanding Circles, or planning local or international outreaches, there’s no shortage of things to do in the Kingdom of God.
Transformation Church has completed the first phase of its Student Center. Located in the center of Seminole, the building is easily accessible. The Student Center is home to TC’s youth group that meets on Wednesday nights. It also houses Kingdom Kids Child Development Center, a full-time daycare TC started 20 years ago. The Student Center’s gym is open to the community. TC has purchased portable basketball goals, and local school teams have used the building for practices.
» Pray for FUNDS TO COMPLETE PHASE TWO. That will finish the second-floor mezzanine and the gym floor.
To LEARN MORE more about Chris and Gabi Delay, go to Transformation Church at thetc.com.
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