Carl and Penny: God's Fresh Air to First Christian Church

By Kyle Marksteiner |  March 20, 2017

First Christian Church has been on a wild ride for the past year or so, but that’s nothing new for active members Carl George and Marlene “Penny” Aucoin, who have navigated their own share of challenges.

“There’s an expression,” observed George “’May you live in interesting times.’ We have lived in interesting times.”
Every Sunday, Carl and Penny are typically accompanied by Skye, age 8, Gideon, age 15, and Dagan Gallegos, age 25. They bring a great deal of enthusiasm to the weekly service.
Carl has an associate’s degree in criminal justice and studied for a master’s degree in special education.  He worked for Westinghouse’s Engineered Products Division and then served as the welding instructor with New Mexico State University-Carlsbad. He left that position due to an injury. He now works with the Pecos Connections Academy, an online charter school out of Carlsbad with membership from across the state.
“The unique thing is that you are a step up from being a teacher. You are a teacher and a principal,” he explained. “I work all day at my computer, providing curriculum and monitoring. I’m still learning.”
Penny was previously a bus driver in Clovis. She’s originally from New Hampshire, but originally moved to the Deming area of New Mexico with her family. She is currently on disability while working her way through several surgeries.
Carl said he and Penny met about five years ago, near the end of 2012. She helped him recover from a difficult period that involved the injury, a loss of a job, and an end to a previous relationship.
“God kept telling me ‘you can’t be alone,’” he reflected about Penny. “I love her dearly. We’ve been searching for each other our entire lives. I knew I wasn’t complete.”
Together, the two look out for each other and assist with the special needs of their children.
Carl, Penny, Dagan, Gideon and Skye began attending First Christian Church near the end of 2015.  Their previous church disbanded its youth program, and they decided to start over at a new location. They attended several different churches over the span of several weeks, but Carl said they felt the most at home at First Christian.
“You guys were a good fit,” Carl noted. “We liked your philosophy and how you dealt with everything.”
Carl seemed to take First Christian Church’s “location issues” in stride. After all, the paths that brought the loving members of his family at home together have often been convoluted. So, he knows that bringing together the pieces of a family, even if it isn’t simple, if very worthwhile.
“We’re truly a blended family,” he concluded.  
For more on the Pecos Connections Academy, please visit