Church Profile

Valley Friends Church Congregation

We are a community of Christ followers on mission to impact the San Joaquin Valley with the message of Christ.

Our relationship with Christ can be summarized by this scripture – “For now we are all children of God through faith in Jesus Christ, and we who have been baptized into union with Christ are enveloped by Him. We are no longer Jews or Gentiles, or slaves or free men, or even merely men or women, but we are all the same – we are Christians; we are one in Jesus Christ!” – Galatians 3:26-28 (NLT)

Our relationship with one another can be summarized by this scripture – “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.” – Colossians 3:12-15 (NLT)

Mission Statement

Mission Statement: We are on mission to impact the San Joaquin Valley with the message of Christ through connecting, developing and sending…

Mission Verse: “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.” – Ephesians 3:20-21

Core Values

  • Passionate People – Our passion is to PRAY and WORSHIP God daily and SHARE the gift Jesus Christ offers to the whole world.
  • People of Purpose – Our purpose is to share our STORY and God-given Gifts and talents to SERVE others and become LEADERS for Christ.
  • Purposeful Place – Our place is open to anyone and everyone because what we have in common in the Lord is far greater than the things that separate.

Church Staff

Crystal Backowski, Logistics Director

Crystal Backowski, serves as the Logistics Director for Valley Friends Church. Her job is making sure everything runs smoothly. She helps coordinate Sunday morning service, gather supplies, and oversee events. She says, “It is a blessing to work with the team at Valley Friends. My husband and I have been married for more than 20 years, and we have 3 teenage sons, Eli, Mick, and Isaac. In my free time (when I’m not doing dishes, washing clothes or attending baseball games) I spend time gardening in my backyard and making floral arrangements.”

Erin Garrison, Events Director

The Garrisons have been with VFC since December 2015…partnering in 2017. Their family consists of: David, Erin, Kaitlynn, Liana, Kaleb, Emalee and Jaxson. David serves in Tech and Erin is part of various ministries at VFC. They are both part of Neighborhood Hub/Pastors.

David Hopper, Lead Pastor

David and Alisa Hopper have been a ministry leaders for over twenty-five years. His master’s degree is in organizational leadership from Biola University. He has led teams in all levels of leadership and has a lifetime mission of building leaders who go beyond themselves to build up leaders around them. David has three published books: In the eye of the Storm; 10 Steps Closer to God; and Growing Grass on Rocks. He is currently launching a Church in Clovis, California, called Valley Friends Church. He is married to Alisa Hopper. Alisa is a singer, songwriter, and has been a worship leader for the last twenty-five years. She is classically trained in vocal performance at San Jose State School of Music and California State University, Fresno. Alisa has recorded 3 CDs: Yours, Christmas at the Piano, and Encounter. Her song, How Marvelous, was chosen for a top 20 worship album. They have 3 children together; Analise, Nate, and Noelle.

Michael Hopper, Human Resources

Michael Hopper, serves as Human Resources Director for Valley Friends Church. He oversees the financial, facilities, and website. He has been in the ministry for over 50 years and uses his expertise in all aspects of church progression. He has been married 52 years and has two children (one being David, the pastor of VFC) and four grandchildren. His hobbies include graphic designing, video editing, and playing with electronics.

Ryan Penir, Teaching Pastor

Ryan works as woodworker and blacksmith in his furniture business of Iron Wood Outfit and has been involved in ministry for over 20 years. He has traveled the world preaching and teaching and being involved in global missions which is a huge passion. He says, “My goal is to introduce everyone to the real Jesus so that they can experience the full, abundant life He came to give!”

Andrew & Denise, Youth Pastors

Hello we are Andrew and Denise. We have been married since September 2015 and have been with attending Valley Friends since June 2016. Together we run the Youth group here Valley Friends. Come and check us out Mondays from 6:30-8 at VFC for lessons, games, and fellowship. Can’t wait to meet you!