The Test of Time

Sherry Jefferson, CEP Customer Service Representative, 24 years

By the time Sherry Jefferson joined CEP’s staff, she had a wealth of work experience. But in her own words, “Not one of them had the quality of really caring for people the way CEP does. You not only talk to the customer, but you can pray with them. You’re fulfilling ministry.” Sherry has witnessed this compassion inside the company as well. “They come alongside us and work through any kind of crisis we have.” After Sherry’s husband, Daryl, of 38 years passed away in 2012, her co workers were quick to respond—providing meals, cards, and even financial help. “The turnout for the funeral alone was remarkable,” she says. “You don’t find those kinds of things in most jobs. That’s above and beyond anything you would get anywhere else.”

David Ransdell, CEP Director of Systems Development, 19 years

Unlike many CEP employees, David Ransdell began working with us as a consultant. “At first, it was a few days a week,” he says. “In March, 30 hours total; in April, 60. It just kept expanding until I was basically here full-time.” Throughout these changes, David enjoyed his unique role. “The thing I liked about consulting was the lack of office politics—there wasn’t anything I needed to worry about.” But as his hours increased, David’s perspective changed. “Having worked here for enough years, I could tell the internal politics were very friendly, and people were as they seemed. It was a great environment,” he says. In 2003, David joined CEP as a full-time employee, and his appreciation of the ministry has grown with each passing year. “They have treated me as a family member. If I had a good opinion then, it’s only gotten better.”

Beth Gwynn, CEP Customer Service Representative, 45 years

When Beth Gwynn started working at CEP, she was 20 years old. “I didn’t feel overwhelmed, even though I was the youngest,” she says. “Everyone was very friendly.” Since then, Beth has become a wife, a mother, and a grandmother, and through it all CEP has remained. “CEP has always been very encouraging. The people they’ve hired have been quality people—people that want to be part of a team,” she says. Some of Beth’s closest teammates have included George Davis, her kind and comical first boss, and Mary Ruth Lay, her consistent friend and confidant for 44 years until Mary Ruth’s retirement. “I’m so glad I’ve stayed,” Beth says. “CEP has allowed me to grow not only from a work standpoint but as a person. I don’t know where else you can find that.”

Joe Pearson, Investor and loan customer, 15 years

Pastor Joe Pearson first started working with CEP in 2001, as he was planting a church in Monmouth,Oregon. “We were just starting out,” says Pastor Joe. “I’ve known Pat and Connie forever, and we really knew CEP and their attitude and heart towards ministry.” Since then, Pastor Joe has opened a total of five different ministries with CEP as the lender. “I appreciate the capacity that CEP has to understand vision. They are looking at what you can do in the future. It frees you up as a pastor to dream big.” Pastor Joe has also joined CEP as an investor, utilizing our retirement account options. “It really can’t be overstated how much of a partner CEP is. It’s more of a family partnership.”

Ordena Bond, Investor, 14 years

Ordena Bond and her brother Glenn opened their first CEP investment accounts in 2002. “We liked you from the beginning,” she says. “We felt very safe putting money where it was invested in ministry.” Ordena expresses a special appreciation for specific employees at CEP, including customer service representative Jill Keeton. “Jill is helpful, kind, and considerate,” she shares. After Glenn’s passing in2014, Ordena’s gratitude grew even more as she began liquidating his estate. “We had some investments elsewhere, but that was much more difficult than with you guys! Jill works with you and tells you what she’s doing and why.” Much has changed in the last 14 years, but it’s safe to say Ordena’s relationship with CEP has only improved with age. “I feel like we have benefited financially as well as spiritually.”

Thomas Ming, Investor and former loan customer, 52 years

In 1964, CEP and Pastor Thomas Ming partnered together to build a church in Kelso, Washington. “We were one of the first churches in Washington to get a CEP loan,” says Thomas. “In those days, most churches didn’t have the funding or qualifications to get a bank loan. CEP became an angel of mercy to the church.” Pastor Thomas spent the next 20 years leading churches across the West Coast, then 12 years in the Assemblies of God Department of Evangelism. Today, he continues to work with CEP through investing. “I was really sold on CEP,” he says. “Having built the church with funds out of CEP, I knew exactly how it was a blessing. I wanted to invest in Kingdom-work.”