Randy and Maria Bunch are very familiar with the community

A new church has just launched in the Taft area.

West Kern Christian Center is a Spirit-filled, Bible teaching church, located at 1000 6th Street in downtown Taft.

Currently, the church holds services every Sunday evening at 6 p.m. as well as Wednesdays at 7 p.m.

Pastor Randy and Maria Bunch are both Taft natives with deep roots in the community.

Maria has been a teacher in the Taft City School District for 27 years, serving most of that time as a 1st grade teacher, though she also served as a reading coach for a number of years.

Her parents have lived in the community their whole lives as well, and last year Maria’s father, Ray Smith, was honored as the Businessman of the Year by the Taft Chamber of Commerce.

Randy is also a Taft native, though his ministry had taken him away from the area for many years.

He has planted churches on both east and west coasts and traveled extensively throughout the United States, ministering in local churches, and even traveling abroad.

Both Randy and Maria are delighted to now have the opportunity to invest into the lives of the people of their own community.

There are several initiatives planned for the area, such as a literacy program and a monthly prayer breakfast aimed at bringing men who work in the oil fields together for mutual fellowship and spiritual support.

West Kern Christian Center is an extension church of Kern Christian Center of Bakersfield, founded by Pastor Billy Rash. For more information about the ministries of West Kern Christian Center, log on to their website at www.wkcc-taft.org.