Clergy Council honors Pastor Edgar Mohorko’s service in Oxnard and elswhere

By George Miller

Monday’s Clergy Council meeting at the Oxnard Elks Lodge was actually two sessions:

1. .A fine tribute to Rev. Edgar Allen Mohorko for his many productive years (30) in Christian ministry and rehabilitation of the less fortunate and those who have stumbled. We have a real hero in Oxnard.

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Rev. Edgar Mohorko (L)  is presented an award by Oxnard Assistant Police Chief Eric Sonstegard (R) at the 30th Anniversary celebration of Mohorko’s service, during the Clergy Council meeting, 10-24-16. Photo: Michael Hernandez/CitizensJournal.us

2. The second part of the meeting was to be a candidate forum with Congresswoman Julia Brownley and challenger Rafael Dagnesss. Brownley was a no-show, so it turned out be an empty chair situation for Rafael. At Least Oxnard Councilwomen Carmen Ramirez made a well-written and delivered statement for Brownley (this will be a separate article). Dagnesses spoke, then dealt with difficult questions for most of the hour.

Rev. Greg Runyon welcomed the attendees at the celebration for Rev. Edgar, as he is known in the community. The invocation was conducted in English and Spanish by local pastors Mark Gaston & Felipe Villegas and the benediction by Rev. Larry Bingham and Elias Espinoza. Rev. Edgar’s son Edgar Allen Jr. delivered  an extended biography of the Reverend, which we are trying to get a copy of. Edgar’s wife Marta handled some of the intro’s and announcements.

 

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Numerous members of the community, such as Oxnard Assistant Police Chief Eric Sonstegard, Oxnard Councilman and former Assistant Police Chief Bryan MacDonald, Ventura County District Attorney Greg Totten,  Chief Probation Officer Perella(?), got up to bear witness for Pastor Edgar’s many impressive accomplishments (some below) ….

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Several speakers recalled the Mohorko’s worst personal tragedy, when their daughter was killed by a speeding CHPs car driver, negligently operating the vehicle. The family received  $1.4 MM settlement, which Rev. Edgar said didn’t return his daughter, He was said to be philosophical and forgiving.

But there were many high points, described by speakers and Morhorko himself. But transitioning from car salesman to pastor in two years, becoming a force in feeding the hungry, helping the homeless and most amazingly, helping to reform hardened gang members, which had to be his greatest accomplishment.

Two tables of young to middle aged men in lettered black tee shirts, The “Hope Boyz,” sitting up front and mingling with their former nemeses Oxnard police officers, are living testament to Pastor Edgar’s skill and dedication. Of course he no longer does this alone, having built multiple organizations to help hundreds of young men around the state. Some of these men are now mentoring others. I have talked to some of them multiple times. Most still bear strange tattoos and even scars. They all seemed friendly, open, relieved, at peace and happy to participate in their communities in harmony. Please keep them in mind if your companies need help.

Another important step is the recent establishment of The Hope Boyz home for troubled men and women. Edgar thanked donors such as Oxnard Councilman Bryan MacDonald, Real Estate owner/broker and Congressional candidate Rafael Dagnesses, Consultant, former Navy Director of Naval Surface Warfare  and Council candidate Steve Huber, local philanthropists and Harbor Commission candidate Mike Barber for the seed money to help accomplish this. Edgar said the project is now self-sustaining, requires ZERO government funding and that officials and candidates should study it to see how that is done. Next step is to expand to accommodate more beds and begin to accommodate women, too.

Pastor Edgar expounded upon some of his philosophies that have led to success in his endeavors. The one he emphasized most was not just giving the needy things and money, which will only help temporarily, but help provide the tools, to instill the skills and attitudes required to function successfully and more independently from support systems.  All of this, of course, is infused with Christian teachings. He described it as “faith-based, but teaching the applicable work of God…. not pixie dust…God will not give you a job …(you need to ) learn skills.”

He and his associates have worked with Oxnard City Corps, PAL, City Impact and other organizations, which I could not write down as fast he rattled them off.  He cited his number one goal as “peace in our community.”

He is the Pastor of Oxnard Messiah Foursquare Church on Hueneme Road.

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Pastor Edgar running a “Peace March” in La Colonia section of Oxnard during a tense time in the the citiy’s recent history. Photo: George Miller/CitizensJournal.us


George Miller is Publisher of CitizensJournal.us and a “retired” operations management consultant residing in Oxnard


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