About Us

Statement of Faith

Gary Panell

Gary and Marlene PanellI was born the first time, March 19, 1948. My testimony is really wrapped up in my father’s testimony because if he had not been saved, I do not know what would have happened to me.  If you would like to read his testimony, you can read it in, "What Happened to Shorty?"

As a result of my dad’s salvation experience, I saw a difference in my dad and how he treated us. Dad no longer just sent us kids to Sunday School, he took us to church as a family. There I heard a message on hell. I knew I didn’t want to go there, but I was too afraid to go forward to receive Christ.

However, that night I went home and asked my parents how I could be saved. Right there beside my bed, I knelt down and asked Christ to forgive me for my sins, and for Jesus to come into my heart and save me. That was where I was born the second time. I was nine years old at that time, and I was so happy my sins were gone, I felt as light as a feather, I got up on the bed and started jumping up and down. The Bible tells us in, Luke 15:20, that the angels in heaven were rejoicing also.

After this Dad was getting a lot of questions at the barbershop that he couldn’t answer. Since he was a new Christian and had not studied the Bible, dad moved the family to Three Hills, Alberta, Canada, where Dad attended Prairie Bible Institute. The reason he chose this Bible School was because he didn’t have a High School diploma and Prairie was the only school that would accept him at that time.

After five years at Prairie Bible Institute, my family moved to Willingdon, Alberta, North of Edmonton. In Willingdon, Dad and Mom worked with the Romanian and the Ukrainian people. Bonnie and I attended the boarding school at Prairie while Kathy and my parents worked with the Canadian Sunday School Union. Dad opened a barbershop and on weekends the barbershop became the church building.

After two years we returned to the States. Dad became the first pastor of the Bethel Baptist Church in Richland, Washington. At this time, a deacon’s daughter, Marlene Toland, caught my attention. The year I came down from Prairie High School in Canada, Marlene went up to Prairie for her Junior year. Marlene and I met at Prairie when her brother and I traveled together up to Canada to visit at Prairie.

This was at the time of the Vietnam War, so I would have been drafted after High School unless I enlisted in the military. I enlisted as a cook in the Army. I spent a year in Vietnam cooking as well doing 200 hours as a door gunner in a helicopter. I was in the 227th Unit of the 1st Air Cavalry Division, and stationed for a while at Camp Evans, fourteen miles from the DMZ.

Marlene and I corresponded during this time. I asked her to marry me and we were married December 21, 1968. Then we traveled back to Virginia where I was stationed at Petersburg, Virginia. Later we were transferred to Fort Monmouth, New Jersey where I served out my time as a First Cook.

I had dedicated my life to the Lord when I was ten years old. After our family was baptized we attended a church where some missionaries from Brazil visited. These missionaries had a city named after them, Port of Two Brothers. These missionaries were the Schlener. They challenged us kids to dedicate our lives to the Lord, as Romans 12:1,2 says to do. I did this. Now, as an adult, I still remembered this promise I had made to the Lord as a child.

As a result of dedicating my life to the Lord, I felt like I should go to Bible School if I was going to serve the Lord. Marlene and I packed up and went to Multnomah School of the Bible in Portland, Oregon. After three years at Multnomah I graduated with a major in Bible and a minor in Christian Education. There I had great teachers like Dr. Willard M. Aldrich, Dr. Mitchell, Dr. Congdon, Dr. Needham and many others.

Feeling the call of God on our lives, we went with Child Evangelism Fellowship as directors of Klamath and Lake Counties in Oregon. After a year of deputation (raising prayer and financial support), we traveled overseas to the Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago. There we were able, with God’s blessing, to see the work increase.

While there I also learned about Pentecostals. Since I had never gone to a Pentecostal Church up to this time, I wanted to know if this filling of the Holy Spirit and speaking in "tongues" was really of the Lord or not. I would later come to find out!

We left Trinidad and Tobago after the work had been organized with the recognition from the government. The Lord called us at that time to Mt. Vernon, Oregon, where I became the pastor of the Community Church. It was there that I was to hear more about the work the Holy Spirit is doing in our day and age.

Several times I visited the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship, Aglow, and the Assembly of God Church in John Day, Oregon. It was there at the Assembly of God Church, with Pastor Milo Frankie, that I received the filling of the Holy Spirit, and spoke in tongues. Later that night, Marlene, who had been under conviction about the Holy Spirit’s work, also received the "filling" and spoke in tongues.

What happened to us, did not please everyone, especially those Christians who did not believe God still works the same way He worked in the New Testament Church. However, we felt ready to go out with great power to preach the Gospel. We even tried to go overseas again, but it was not God’s timing to do this yet. So we moved back to Packwood, Washington, and later to Yakima, Washington. There I attended Yakima Valley Community College, and Central Washington University to become a teacher.

After graduation from Central with a major in Education and a minor in Bilingual, and ESL, I began teaching in public school. I taught for twelve years. During that time I was able to earn a Masters Degree in Education and Administration. Then too I was allowed to go overseas with Teen Missions International to the San Blas Islands off of Panama. I have made five trips to Mexico, and tried to improve my Spanish to use for the Lord.

I am teaching at the Christian Worship Center Academy in Zillah, WA . We are attending Calvary Chapel in Toppenish, WA on Sunday mornings, and I am attending the Spanish service in the afternoons. We still attend Calvary Chapel in Yakima, Washington in the evenings. I teach English classes in Yakima on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. I also minister at the Union Gospel Mission one or two times a month.

The Lord has blessed us greatly with three fine children, and eight grandchildren.

Christopher, our oldest son teaches in public school in Camas, Washington. Michael lives in Everett, Washington. Deborah is teaching special education full-time at Valley View Elementary in Toppenish, Washington.

Maybe you are not sure that you are going to heaven, you can know today. You need to believe first that Jesus Christ of the Bible is who He said He is. Then repent of your sin, and receive Jesus into your heart and life. When you have done this you need to find a good Bible believing church. If you will do this the Bible says:…"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household." Acts 16:31

Three year Diploma program from Multnomah Bible College and Seminary in Portland, Oregon.  Majored in Bible, Minored in Christian Education
AA Degree - Yakima Valley Community College, Yakima, Washington
BA in Education - Central Washington University, Ellensburg, Washington
Master of Education with endorsements in ESL/Bilingual - Heritage University in Toppenish, Washington
Masters in Administration - Heritage University

Marlene Panell

When I was born in 1950, my parents were Christians, and attended church on a regular basis.  I was the youngest of four children, and the only girl. 

Even though I grew up in the church, and my parents were actively involved in just about every ministry, it was not until I was 7 years old that I realized I needed to repent of my sin and ask Jesus into my heart.

My brother, Linus, and I were attending the Vacation Bible School at the Calvary Baptist Church in Sunnyside, Washington.  My brother had raised his hand and went forward to receive Christ as his Savior.  When we got home, he told me what he had done.

He took out his New Testament, and showed me the verses the people at church had shown him.  Then he prayed with me, and I received Christ as my Savior.

The Newby’s from our church were going out as missionaries.  They spoke at our church and gave a challenge to anyone who was willing to yield their lives to the Lord to enter the ministry on the foreign field.  I raised my hand and went forward.

I told my parents that the Lord wanted me to be a missionary when I got older.  The only missionaries they knew had gone away to a Christian boarding school when they were in high school, so they told me that was what I would have to do.

When I was old enough to go to high school, my parents didn’t really have the money for me to go to a private school, and they really didn’t want me to live so far away from home. 

During my 10th grade, we met a woman in the nursing home, whose daughter and family worked at Prairie Bible Institute in Three Hills, Alberta, Canada.  She convinced my parents to allow me to go to Prairie High School.

I applied and was accepted at Prairie High School for my 11th grade.  I found out that the requirements for graduation were different in Canada, so it would take at least one extra year to graduate.  I was not willing to do that, so returned to Richland, Washington for my 12th grade.

My family had gotten to know Gary, the pastor’s son well while I was in Canada.  When I got home from Canada, I met his parents and two sisters.  Gary was already at boot camp. His one sister was a year older than me and the other was two years younger.  We became friends. 

Gary and I went out a couple of times while he was on leave before going to Vietnam.  We corresponded during my senior year of high school.  He came back from Vietnam in November of 1968, and we got married in December of that same year.

I was 18 years old when we got married, and Gary was 20 years old.  Gary and I have been blessed in our marriage.  He has brought us through some hard times, as we learned to put our trust in Him.  Our marriage has lasted because God has been faithful to us, and helped us to honor our commitment to each other.

I truly believe that God expects us to put God first in our lives, then our families, before our ministry to Him.  I have enjoyed each ministry God has placed us in. 

Right now God has placed me at Toppenish High School in Washington State as a Special Education teacher.  This job is challenging, and I would never be able to work with the students without God’s help. 

The Lord is also challenging me with learning how to maintain and work on the website.  Please continue to pray for Gary and I, our family, and the ministry He has given us, that we will be faithful to Him and His Word.

AA Degree – Yakima Valley Community College, Yakima, Washington
BA in Education – Central Washington University, Ellengburg, Washington
MA in Education – Heritage University, Toppenish, Washington

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Gary Tomás Panell
1211 Pollock Avenue
Zillah, Washington 98953

© 2003-2014 by Gary T. Panell

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