LeadMODESTO, Calif.—Sovereign Grace Baptist Church has called Johnnie Sloan as pastor. He takes over the leadership of Pastor William Heinrich, who started the church in 2001. The process of passing the torch began 10 years ago when Sloan became a part-time pastor, being mentored by Heinrich. As Pastor Sloan worked up to a full-time position, Pastor Heinrich decreased his own time and pay. Sovereign Grace Baptist held a Passing the Torch service to commemorate Heinrich’s 40 years in ministry and Sloan’s acceptance of his new role. Members of the three churches where Pastor William and Ellen Heinrich previously served shared testimonies and photos, glorifying God for how He has worked. Ron Schrock, state representative of the California Association of Regular Baptist Churches, attended the service, as did Sovereign Grace’s sister church, Crossroads Baptist of Tracy, Calif., pastored by Pastor Heinrich’s son, Timothy. Missionaries who have been commissioned by Grace Baptist sent video greetings. SecondaryPastor Heinrich left farming in 1971 to study at San Fransisco Baptist Theological Seminary and Grace Seminary, Winona Lake, Ind. He was ordained and served as pastor for 12 years at First Baptist Church, Delphi, Ind., and for 15 years at First Baptist Church, Ceres, Calif. In 2001 he and Ellen started Sovereign Grace Baptist Church, holding its first service in their yard. During a catered luncheon, the church presented them with a “Heinrich Farm” sign and a laptop as thanks for their service. Pastor Sloan will be ceremonially installed as pastor on June 22. Pastor Heinrich will continue to serve at Sovereign Grace Baptist Church.