Fourth Grade


Hi, I’m Jon Willingham.  I was born and raised in South California. I have lived in the South Bay (Torrance) with my wife of over 31 years. (Where we raised our son and daughter) I have felt God’s calling to work with youth grades third through sixth grade for over 35 years now. I have been a camp counselor at seven different camps, soon to be eight, from Fresno to San Diego. I have been a Sunday school teacher and a Junior Group Leader (third-fifth) on Sunday nights. I filled in briefly for two churches as their Director of Children’s Ministry. I have been a co-leader in taking a group to the National Children’s Prayer Conference in Washington D.C. over ten times. Having said all that, the highlight of my career has been as a teacher. (Teaching full time in a classroom since 1999) I have been blessed to be able to be in a classroom everyday with God’s children.  Together the students and I have been trying to live out Romans 12:9-21. “Love from the center of who you are…”

You won’t remember every day, but you will remember the moments. Moments when you were on your knees praying with your class, when that student asked Jesus into their heart, or the class finally got that tough lesson you were teaching. Then there is the time when something happens and we all start laughing until we cry or when life wasn’t kind and we cried because we lost someone. It’s playing a great song in worship and you can hear the students singing louder than the singer, “Amazing Grace How Sweet the Sound.” It’s the quiet moment when nothing is said at all. It’s going home every night and thanking God for the day and getting up the next morning and starting all over again. It’s realizing that it’s the journey that is so much sweeter than the destination.