At the age of 18, Rene M. Charest, (an avowed agnostic) had a life-changing Pauline encounter with Jesus Christ and accepted Him as his Lord and Savior. At 19 he married his high school sweetheart, Kristi Batty. They now have two married children, Danielle and Rene Roy and two grand daughters named Lucy and Jubilee.
At the age of 24, Rene founded a commercial construction company and moved to LA. While there he attended Azusa Pacific University and graduated with a Theology degree. He continued ministering as a “lay leader” serving the multi-cultural population throughout greater Los Angeles area while attending Church on the Way.
In 1994 he moved back to Fresno to attend Valley Christian Center where he has been for 20 years and to specialize in designing and building churches. During this time his company served over 1300 pastors and earned 6 national design-build awards. He also received his district pastoral license in 2006 and became the Men’s Pastor at ‘Valley’.
He has served on the board of the Fresno Rescue Mission, Salvation Army, National Association of Church Design Builders, and Fresno Christian Schools. His mission trips include Norway and Cambodia where he and his wife, Kristi, continue to help support and build new Church Orphan homes.
In January of 2010, Rene retired from building and entered full time ministry. He is currently the Executive Pastor at Valley Christian Center and President of the newly formed Valley Dream Center.
His deepest desire is to rebuild independent communities, through breaking the cycle of emotional, spiritual and vocational poverty. He has seen the devastation that generational poverty brings upon children and society. He believes it is part of his Christian calling to bring hope and help to those who have the greatest need among us.
The Valley Dream Center will work with over 200 strategic partners to bring much need resources to strengthen individuals, families and the community. These partners are Churches, Non-profits, private enterprise and public agencies. He strongly believes the cycle of poverty can be broken and individuals should be able to pursue their destiny in a safe and strong community.