A local Kern County family is on a mission to restore hope in the community by establishing a new church.
The Hoss family dealt with a number of challenges in the past that ultimately led them back to Bakersfield but now the Hoss family is hoping to heal others with their story and their new church in Bakersfield.
It wasn't always a smooth path for Kern County native and clinical therapist Guy Hoss, "I was in this free fall mode I was struggling. I found myself suicidal. I was struggling with anxiety, I was struggling feeling like I was hopeless cause I couldn't provide for my family," Hoss said.
The father of two says it wasn't until he surrendered to his faith that challenges like this became part of his past, "Then all of a sudden God just kind of caught me in a net cause I looked up and said you know what I can't do this anymore," Hoss said.
As things started to change for the better Hoss and his wife Ashley Hoss eventually decided to move their family back to Bakersfield, to get back on their feet. The two are now hoping to guide others through similar challenges by sharing their story and opening up their own non-denominational church for everyone. "We want you not anyone else. We don't need the fake you, we don't need the facade. You can come dressed up, you can come dressed down, you can come with a suit and tie, you can come with jeans you can with whatever you want, we just want you to know you are loved," Guy Hoss said.
Hoss and his wife both say they dealt with mental health issues including anxiety and depression in the past, driving both of them to address the same issues in the valley by opening up a place free from pressure centered around hope."If every church was open on Sunday and opened their doors, there still would not be enough room to meet the needs and the level of the need for the people that are in this area. So for us just coming here is to meet people where they are at and let them know that they can believe again and dream again no matter what situation they find themselves in," Hoss said.
After searching throughout the Bakersfield community for a church location the Hoss family decided to make Centennial High School the new home for their new church, “it's in a great community space and they're just so open with everything we have presented and honestly where we are at we want to be able to help the downtown area," Ashley Hoss said.
The new Story Church in northwest Bakersfield will feature live music, readings from pastors and bouncy houses for children every Sunday. It will also focus on highlighting people stories from the community that inspire change for the better, "We want to support you, and for us it's not just us, we want to support the city of Bakersfield."
The Hoss family has raised over $140,000 with the support of the community and other outside donors in hope that the new Story Church will be another pillar of hope in the Bakersfield. The first church service will take place on September 16, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. at Centennial High School.