Was there a moment in your life when you realized you were on the right track? While there’s rarely a fail-safe guide for us to follow step-by-step, sometimes just following our heart is enough. For Rick VanWagner, the answer came early but unfolded over decades. That’s because the current pastor of Family Christian Center first found God at the young age of five and immediately gave his heart to Jesus. This life-changing event came about thanks to the guidance of Pastor Joe Boatwright, located in Winter Park, Florida. Rick VanWagner says that even though age five may seem like such a young age, he immediately realized the special purpose that God would have in his life. While he couldn’t have possibly known it then, finding God and following his unfolding plan has provided Rick VanWagner with the opportunity to create and continue life-long friendships – including that with his first pastor.
Following in the footsteps of his first pastor, VanWagner would be involved with ministry positions starting in 1980 and spending the entire decade doing work on behalf of God. Thirteen years later, his life would reach a new chapter with implications that at that time would have seemed unimaginable. VanWagner took on the role of founder and senior pastor of Family Christian Center, in Clermont, Florida, in October 1993. This major shift in his life came after two years of full-time ministry work, which commenced in 1991. Since the opening of Family Christian Center, VanWagner says that the “incredible growth” the house of worship has seen has been both humbling and fulfilling.
Outside of his church, VanWagner has served two terms as president of the Ministerial Alliance of South Lake County, a group he has been a member of since 1998.Members of the Florida-based Ministerial Alliance of South Lake County include local pastors and ministry leaders who are striving to touch hearts and minds while expanding the number of believers in the region. On top of his work locally, VanWagner has traveled to South America, Asia, Europe and the Caribbean to minister to both Christian and non-Christian businesses, government officials, professional athletes, celebrities and more.
Thanks to a lifetime of selfless service, VanWagner’s teachings are both uplifting and encouraging. He has seen first-hand how faith shaped his life for the better and wants to offer those experiences to others in hopes of improving the lives of others.