Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future
The Story of World Conquerors Church is one that is steeped in Jeremiah 29:11. Before the beginning of time the Lord knew that he would call a young, business man forward to start a church. He knew that this young man, who was highly successful and on his way to becoming a young millionaire would not immediately respond to this call. He knew that He would have to hold this young man’s hand through the ups and downs and trials and tribulations of finally saying, “Yes, Lord!” But He also knew that He needed to take this young man through a journey to build his faith to a level where others would be in awe of what God was doing in his life. He knew that Daren L. Barron would be the man of faith, the husband, the father, the Pastor that he needed to be, to build one of the most dynamic churches in the Bay Area – World Conquerors Church.
WCC was born out of a Bible Study group on August 8, 2002 where eleven people were in attendance: six adults and the five Barron children. When Pastor Daren shares his testimony of starting WCC, he makes sure to talk about how he felt during the church’s humble beginnings, “I saw myself speaking to thousands of people and only a few people were coming to Bible Study. I didn’t know what the Lord was up to and I was frustrated. I wanted to quit, but I would not stop. I knew that I had heard the voice of the Lord.” In responding to the call, Pastor Daren and First Lady Monnique Barron founded what we now casually refer to as WCC.
Pastor and First Lady Monnique’s diligence was rewarded by God as the church began to grow in faith and in numbers. After two years of holding Bible Study at Merritt College, WCC had its first Sunday Celebration Service as a church on Sunday, August 8, 2004. It was a glorious occasion and was the beginning of hosting weekly Sunday Celebration Services and Thursday night Bible Study.
Pastor and First Lady Monnique’s diligence was rewarded by God as the church began to grow in faith and in numbers. After two years of holding Bible Study at Merritt College and in preparation for holding the first Sunday Celebration Service, WCC held a “mock service” at Sister Desiree Robinson’s office in The Grove Building in Oakland. The purpose of this service was to follow the ‘order of service’ that had been given to Pastor Daren by God and to prepare for opening the doors of the church. “I was excited and honored to host the mock service at my office,” said Desiree. “I just knew that we would be blessed by opening our doors to help God’s vision become a reality. When I think back on how we started, it brings tears to my eyes, because I know how far we’ve come.”
On Sunday, August 8, 2004, World Conquerors Church held its first Sunday Celebration Service at Grass Valley Elementary School, which ironically is the elementary school that Pastor Daren attended as a young boy growing up in the Oakland Hills. Worshiping at Grass Valley was challenging yet exciting. Sister Lawana Stucky shared, “I was so excited to join WCC at Grass Valley. I knew that there had been many people working behind the scenes with Pastor and First Lady Monnique to make the vision a reality and I knew that my husband, Felix and I needed to be part of it. It made me smile to think that Pastor Daren and Felix played on the playground and went to school together at this very school and now we were worshipping the Lord there as adults…amazing!”
After 2 years of worshiping at Grass Valley, WCC was blessed to be able to move its worship services to an actual church building which excited the entire congregation. So, in August 2006, WCC began holding Sunday Celebration Services at Bayview Fellowship Church of Nazarene on Redwood Road. WCC experienced exponential growth and prosperity during the 2 years of worshipping at this location. The church flourished, built ministries, fed and clothed the hungry, saved souls, invited renowned guest speakers and gospel artists for special events and expected God to continue prospering the church and the Saints of God. However, two things happened in 2008 that greatly impacted the church: (1) in July, WCC moved its worship location to the Student Center of Merritt College and (2) in October the stock market crashed with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling 1,874 points or 18.1% over a period of 10 days from October 1st through 10th.
The move to Merritt College was exciting for Pastor Daren and First Lady Monnique. Pastor Daren shared, “First Lady and I walk up Campus Drive every day and I remember walking past Merritt College and praying that we would be on that campus praising and worshiping the Lord one day. I believed this so deeply in my heart, that I began to meet with the college president to discuss the possibilities and I kept getting what I now call ‘a delayed yes.’ After every meeting I heard, “No. You can’t do church on a college campus. What about separation of church and state? This will never work.’ Well, praise be to God that it ultimately did work in perfect timing as our lease ended at Bayview. WCC moved to Merritt to the displeasure of many members who preferred worshipping in an actual ‘church’ and could not get used to the change. Our membership dropped for this and several other reasons.
The stock market crash impacted WCC, because as a congregation we had not yet matured to a level of faith to continue giving tithes and offerings through the rough times of job loss, decreasing or ‘upside/down’ stocks and investments, and potential/actual foreclosure of homes. Many of our members were severely impacted by the economic downturn and Pastor Daren warred in prayer against the attack of the enemy on his members, his family, his friends, and his community. Pastor remembers, “The budget which used to be a surplus was quickly looking more like a deficit and we had to increase our faith; trusting God for everything and not taking anything for granted. Every time we were in need, God showed up right on time. We knew that He was with us. He has covered us. He has kept us.”
WCC began worshipping at Merritt in July 2008. Having worship services on campus enabled WCC to have the flavor of a ‘campus-based approach’ which was fully aligned with the vision God had given to Pastor Daren. The economy began to come back slowly and the Lord led Pastor Daren to do many things differently in this smaller, more humbled version of WCC. As the church stabilized the congregation began to grow and the church began to prosper again. Then the Peralta College District decided to close all of its campuses on the weekends in the summers of 2011 and 2012, so WCC had to move again.
First Lady Monnique shared her concerns, “I was a bit nervous and very concerned about having to move the church for the summer when Pastor told me what was going on. I knew that God had ordained what we were doing, so that wasn’t my worry. My thoughts were that it would slow down members coming to church when we were just now turning the corner and having more consistent attendance. I mean, who moves a church as much as we have moved and keeps the doors open? I guess we do!” she said laughingly with her God-confidence and warm smile.
WCC moved to the Redwood Heights Recreation Center on Aliso Avenue in Oakland during the summers of 2011 and 2012. Pastor Daren was led by God to brand the summer of 2011, 7 Weeks of Change and summer 2012, 7 Weeks of Refresh. Holy Spirit-filled, life changing services were held at the Rec Center, with many souls being saved, lives being rededicated to Christ and relationships growing stronger between members. Some liked it so much that they wanted to stay. Holding services at Redwood Heights enabled WCC to connect with another community and to bless the staff of the Center. The WCC annual BBQ was held on the grounds of the Center during these two summers and the church celebrated members of the community joining in on the festivities. After the 7 weeks during these summers, WCC resumed Sunday Morning Celebration Services at Merritt College.
Today under the leadership of Pastor Daren and First Lady Monnique, WCC is a place that consistently moves forward the mission to build the church (people), impact the community, and reach the world. It is clear that God has great purpose for World Conquerors Church, which now has five departments that serve as the infrastructure to walk out the mission to build, impact and reach. These are: Membership – where we connect; Maturity – where we grow; Ministry – where we serve; Missions – where we share; and Magnification – where we worship!
It is unprecedented that one church could move its Sunday services five times in nine years and still have over 300 members on the books. In Matthew 16:18-19 (KJV), Jesus said to Peter, “And I say unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Pastor Daren Barron, First Lady Monnique Barron and all of WCC’s members can stand on this scripture as it relates to WCC. God has blessed and honored our obedience unto Him. To God be the glory!