They first met when they were 13 years old, eleven years ago. He was born in San Bernardino, she in Los Angeles. She moved to Palm Desert when she was 9 years old, and he, when he was 13 years old. They met in the 7th grade. They became “walking neighbors” going home from school.
Collin went to summer camp with the Valley Christian Assembly youth and was saved August 15, 2007. His mother moved to Palm Desert to get away from a very abusive husband and stepdad to her children. He heard the message that, “God is willing and able to save you.” He was filled with the Holy Spirit there as well.
Mellica grew up in the church, but it was more like a routine. She heard the stories of Jesus, but there was no connection there. Collin invited her to the Christian Club and shortly thereafter to the youth group at VCA, which was down the street from their apartments. Collin invited her to a bonfire night, and shortly after she went every time there were church services. She got saved when she went to the 2008 youth summer camp. She grew up without a father from the age of 4. The message of “God being our Father” really spoke to her and she gave her life to the Lord. And she felt the emptiness she had felt before being filled to overflowing with God’s love.
They were like best friends from the age of 13, talking on the phone every day, walking home together. She saw how he took care of his younger sister when she got to Middle School. Their Youth Pastor, Matt Battrud, was a mentor to Collin, and Mellica says Collin resembled the qualities that Matt portrayed as a leader, husband and father. And she wanted that. She wanted the qualities of a man who would keep his word, and she saw that in Collin. Watching him throughout High School and college, and the influence he was on his friends, she wanted him as her husband.
When he was 16 or 17 years old he was praying and God helped him see her differently. She was always a good friend, but one night God gave him a wake-up call. He talked with his friends, Matt, and even her Mom about it. She had all the qualities he was looking for. She was definitely his opposite. He admires her patience and organizational qualities. He knew they had a perfect companionship, that was built on the Word and friendship.
Their first official dated was at their Junior prom. They called their relationship official when he was 18. They knew they did not want to fool around. They thought big picture, like marriage. They were careful not to do anything to mess with their relationship. He wanted to have a car first. He asked Mellica’s mom for permission before he dated her. Her mom said yes, “but don’t get married until after she graduates from college.” As a man of his word, they did not get married until after she graduated, and he as well. During this time, they set boundaries and kept themselves pure before God and others.
Mellica feels the call to be a “filler.” Wherever there is a need, she wants to be available. Even her major in university allows her to be flexible for wherever God leads them.
It was at Winter Camp January 2012 that Collin felt the call into ministry. He heard that “David lived like a king, did the work of a king, before he was the king.” He knew that he was to do the same in ministry. So, he looked for opportunities to work with kids, as work or as service on campuses. In the Fall of 2012 when they came to Orange County for College, they found WCA and knew they had found their church home. They worked with Josh & Lenise Schoening for a couple of years in youth ministry before the Schoenings left. Collin became the Youth Pastor in 2014. He became a Licensed Minister of the Fellowship of Christian Assemblies here at Westminster Christian Assembly in June 2017.
And, of course, there is more to their story…