CITY TALK Award presented to Pastor Richard Luna

L to R: Carmen Luna, Pastor Richard Luna, and Dr. G, Council Member and Community Advocate.

On Sunday, May 22, during a special dedicated service, Member Dr. G (Dr. Luis S González) presented the CITY TALK “Community Impact Award” to long time community minister, Richard Luna, Pastor of Amazing Grace Apostolic Church.

For 50 years, Pastor Luna and his wife, Carmen, have been an integral part of the establishment and development of Amazing Grace Apostolic Church, located at 147 East L Street, in Colton.  Their association with this church actually goes back to 1968, when the church had its humble beginnings in a small one room building at the corner of M Street and Ninth Street. The former Pastor, Mr. Vicente Cornejo, grandfather to Richard Luna, was the one who learned the L Street location was for sale, and for $13,000 spearheaded the purchase of this dilapidated old church. When they moved in, November 1972, there were approximately 50-60 members.

Before the church beginnings, Pastor Luna and his wife, Carmen, were married in 1959, and made San Bernardino their first home-apartment. In 1962 they purchased a home in Bloomington and over the years, raised four children; Rick, Corinna, Jim, and Marc.  This year, Pastor Richard and Carmen will celebrate 63 years of marriage, and are blessed with three grandchildren. Pastor Richard also has three siblings; Pete, Angie, and Patsy.

During the early church years, Pastor Luna learned much about the ministry and developed a desire to pursue a full-time calling. For a period of time they accepted a position at a mission in Ontario, to where his primary responsibilities were music and evangelism.

With the excitement of a growing church, the move to the L Street location was somewhat bitter-sweet, as his grandpa fell ill.  Soon after, the concern over church leadership began to brew, and all eyes were subsequently trained on young Richard. After careful prayer and consideration, Richard Luna felt the calling to lead the church, and accepted the call, not realizing this would be a ministerial journey spanning over 50 years. Pastor Richard and Carmen were not only embraced by the congregation, they were supported with prayers, encouragement and provided financial support for Richard to take classes through the Apostolic Church Association.

During his 50 years of ministry, Pastor Richard has provided his congregation with thoughtful, prayerful and effective leadership. In addition, Carmen closely supported her husband, and was instrumental in the development of women’s ministries. From the time of his appointment, Pastor Luna has guided the members through bible study, weekly sermons, church activities, financial stability and building renovation and improvements. Together, their ministry has not only allowed their church to flourish, but to sustain that success over 50 years, establishing itself as the longest running pastor-congregational relationship in the entire City of Colton.

The special dedicated service was a great celebration for the entire church, and included friends, relatives and invited guests. Over 75 people attended, and many took part in the program including Joshua Sarmiento, Charlie Nieto, Rick Luna, Garret Luna, Carla Sanchez, Josue Cristobal, Felipe Lugo and Edward Pacheco, who was the main speaker.

Pastor Richard Luna, along with his wife, Carmen, have served in a manner that epitomizes three distinguishing characteristics; service, dedication and accomplishment. They have served unwaveringly the people of this congregation, this community, and our Lord Jesus Christ. The official CITY TALK certificate was presented to recognize Pastor Luna and his wife for 50 years of service. May they continue to receive the blessings of Jesus Christ through their leadership, their service, and perhaps at one point in time, their retired life. Congratulations to Pastor Richard C. Luna and 1st Lady Carmen A Luna.

The CITY TALK “Community Impact Award” was established in 2020 to recognize the great efforts that people make to make our community, the City of Colton, a better place.  “I think Pastor Richard Luna, along with his wife Carmen,  is excellent choice for this recognition, and truly represents the very best, in terms of service to the community, and in recognizing the intent of this award.” explains Dr. G, a City Council Member, Founder of CITY TALK, and well-known community advocate.

For more information about CITY TALK, volunteer opportunities, or the online live-stream programs, contact Dr.G @ 909-213-3730.  Questions and comments are always welcome.