LONGVIEW?Driving to an all-night fishing tournament in East Texas outside of Longview, Mitch Gumby decided to do something out of the norm by stopping at a cookout his church was hosting. It was then that Pastor Jace Roberts approached Gumby, who at the time was sporadic in his Sunday attendance at Jay Valley Baptist Church, with one of the greatest proposals Gumby has ever accepted.
The proposition was if Gumby won the tournament, then he would attend church the following morning. He immediately had a level of rapport with Roberts. To Gumby’s and Robert’s surprise, the next Sunday Gumby was in church listening to Roberts preach after having won the tournament. Gumby even brought along some of his fishing partners.
“He is likeable and open with you,” said Gumby, a Longview machinist. “Brother Jace is a working preacher.”
Gumby continued attending church and quickly formed a friendship with Roberts and eventually followed Roberts to a church plant that became Solid Rock Bible Fellowship. Gumby received Christ in 1986 after the death of his brother, but became mired in alcohol and complacency before meeting Roberts. Soon after his return to church, he rededicated his life to Jesus Christ and has been diligent and faithful in his walk.
Since his rededication, Gumby serves the body of Solid Rock by teaching Sunday School and at times even directing music.
When asked about the force behind the rapid growth of the church, Gumby was quick to credit the Lord saying, “It is totally God. If the Holy Spirit isn’t active, your church isn’t active.”