Online Ordination Training
My name is Tony Wetmore. I’m a believer and follower of Jesus Christ. I live in a small resort town in the mountains of Southern California, in the United States of America. Yet, within a two-hour commute from this small community by car is a harvest field of about 22.68 million people!
I came to the Lord at YMCA camp when I was 12, and participated in youth groups during my high school years. I fell away from the Lord shortly after graduation, and spent a decade in the “world,” before returning to Him and becoming born again.
I’m married to a wonderful wife. We’ve been happily married nearly 30 years and have three children. My youngest, Joshua, is a youth leader and worship team leader at our church.
For the past 25 years, I’ve served as a ministry leader in programs ranging from youth and men’s ministry to those aimed at serving the homeless and those in prison. Throughout it all, music and worship leading have been an integral part of my service. I currently serve as the worship leader for my church, Selah Christian Fellowship, in Crestline, Calif. I’m also blessed to preach the message periodically at Selah as well as preaching and sharing the gospel on the street and in a local prison.
I work as a first responder/emergency medical technician for a 9-1-1 emergency ambulance service in Riverside County, where I am able to pray over, and with, my patients in times of crisis and need.
Here in the United States, in every city, in every small town, I have to ask the question: Are we becoming a post-Christian nation like much of Europe? Will my church one day be turned into a museum, where tours of people come through to see how the 21st century Christians in my town used to worship the Lord? Will there be dusty sheet music on rusty music stands with Chris Tomlin and Michael Tait music on it, with song titles such as “God’s Not Dead, He’s Truly Alive” yellowing and decaying?
We are in a spiritual decline here in America. Many Christian denominations are diluting the true Word of God, and making changes to the very Word itself. I am praying that there will be a Great Awakening in the early 21st century to revive the awakenings and enlightenment of the past, here in America, and around the world. But what will that look like? How will it come about? Who or what will be the catalyst? I pray that Christian Leaders Institute will have a great hand in God’s will and work for the future, and help to fulfill the Great Commission written in Matthew 28:18-20: “And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’”
My ministry dreams have begun to be realized, as our nonprofit, Domestic Missionaries, Inc., is now officially a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. I am the pastor and executive director, and my wife is assistant director. Under Domestic Missionaries, we are able to minister to the homeless, needy, and low-income people on the streets of San Bernardino. We set up “church service” on the street, and play worship music, read scripture, take prayer requests, pray for, and with people, give them a relevant message of hope, and distribute food cards, hygiene kits, first aid kits, clothes, jackets, shoes, socks, blankets and Gideon Bibles. We also share with them the love of Jesus Christ and His gift of salvation. We remind them that the material gifts we give—water, food cards, hygiene kits, etc.—are only temporary. That the real food—the eternal Bread of Life, the very Word of God—is what lasts forever.
At Pilot Rock Prison Camp, we do the same: worship, Word, prayer, fellowship, message, and love, plus the gift of bibles, devotionals and snacks.
Christian Leaders Institute has given me not only the knowledge, and a deeper understanding, of what it means to be a follower of Christ in the modern world, but also has taught me to become a true pastor and shepherd to people in need of salvation, in need of Jesus. Matthew 25:31-40 tells us to tell ALL people—those who are lost, hurting, abused, hungry, imprisoned and even those who think they don’t need Him —about the love and saving grace that can only come through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We need to help them turn from the earthly bread, water and empty promises of this world to the Bread of Life, Living Water and eternal promises of the One who loves them so much that He died to save them.
People ask me: Is revival coming? I say, “Hold on to your bootstraps. His kingdom will come, His will shall be done, on earth as it is in heaven!” (Matthew 6:10)
Christian Leaders Institute has given me the depth and education to move forward in ministry. It has been a blessing to me and many others around the world. I would never have had the time or money to complete seminary if it had not been for CLI! I can trust that my monthly donations will go forward to help train others seeking a higher Godly education, accredited and recognized locally and around the world.
My ordination ceremony was on Saturday, October 15, 2016, with my mentors, pastors and peers, at my side. As reverent and joyous as my wedding vows taken years before, it represented my deepening commitment to our Savior and a conscious step into a new level of service and ministry as I humbly take on the duties and title of “pastor.” My life will never be the same. Praise the Lord!