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Place of Refuge launching pad for ministry

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POSTED December 1, 2013 9:41 p.m.

Annie Carver wore a flaming bright orange shirt with matching black jacket and hat. But even more eye-catching was the big smile she wore throughout the evening as she kept her hands busy at the portable grille barbecuing hot dogs and ladling up bowls of piping hot chili.

The scene was the Place of Refuge’s outreach ministry at Library Park in downtown Manteca. For six hours in the evening last week on Thursday, Carver and dozens of other volunteer church members fed the homeless, the hungry and anybody who came by, several of them three-generation families. Others were invited to help themselves to the winter coats that were hanging in a clothes rack inside the Place of Refuge’s mobile ministry van with a logo on its side that read: “The church has left the building.”

The nocturnal event was more than an exercise in volunteerism for Carver. The on-the-job experience was part of her ongoing education as a student in Place of Refuge’s School of Leadership Training that is connected with Global University in Missouri.

“We are considered a study center for Global University,” and is accredited as such, explained Associate Pastor Rob Cox who is in charge of the church’s ministry school, youth programs, and children’s outreach.

Classes are held on campus at the church property on Button Avenue where the program has been offered for the last five years. There are currently 23 students actively enrolled in this ministry training. Some of them are from the local area, and a few from the Bay area and from Las Vegas. Next year, they are expecting four more students from Las Vegas, said Cox who is one of the five staff members teaching the classes.

Students can enroll in the Leadership Training school right after graduation, either from high school or college. Whitney Ayers is one of those who went straight into the training school after graduating from high school in 2012.

Besides preparing students to local or world ministry, Leadership Training also offers a program for those who want to become a licensed and credentialed minister.

The School of Leadership Training at Place of Refuge, according to the program’s web site, is “for those who want to receive spiritual training, practical training and hands-on training in what it takes to be in full-time ministry. It will also help prepare you to be a Godly leader in your local church and family as well as a fully functional adult ready to influence a generation for the Kingdom of God.”

Global University, the statement adds, is a fully accredited online Bible University.

For additional information about costs, schedule, scholarships and other details involving the classes offered at the School of Leadership Training, contact Pastor Rob Cox at You can download an application for the school on the church’s web site at

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