It is important that you have the history of our Pastor. This will acquaint you him as a person as you read his blog posts.

Our Pastor

Allow me to tell you a little about me. I came to saving faith when I was 17 years old. I had been climbing Castle Crags in Northern California when on the way down a friend, Richard asked me, “Hey Buster, do you want to go to church tonight?” My first response was “no way”. Next he said, “There are going to be girls there.” I quickly changed my mind. On November 7, 1976 I stepped into the back of North Valley Baptist Church. It was a large church, and lots of people were there. I don’t remember much of the service, but I do remember what happened after the service came to a close. People in the church walked over to me, reached out their hand to welcome me, and said, “We are so glad that you are here tonight.” I couldn’t believe what I was experiencing, and so I said to myself, “I am going to come back next Sunday night to see if these people are for real.” A week later, November 14, 1976 I again showed up and sat in the back last pew (what a silly name I thought for a bench). I remember very clearly what th pastor was preaching on this specific night. He was preaching out of Revelation 13. About a beast rising up out of the sea having heads and horns. He was speaking about the coming anti-christ. He said many times that you don’t want to be here on earth at that time. When he brought his sermon to a close he ask if anyone was present who needed to ask Jesus into his heart. I didn’t understand the terminology so I looked at Richard and asked, “What does he mean?” Richard said, “He asking if you feel empty inside to come forward and allow Jesus to come into your life.” I immediately got up out my seat, and I set my eyes on the front of the church. It seemed like a long ways down in front of all those people. A man stood upfront by the name of Jim Linddenburger. Jim took me into a side room called a prayer room. There Jim asked me why I came forward. I told him, “I feel so empty inside, and I know that I have sinned against God. I need God’s forgiveness.” Jim opened the Bible and showed me how I could have a relationship with the God who created me through His Son, Jesus Christ. Right there that night I received Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord of my life. When I walked out of the room I still had tears in my eyes. One of the young girls that alo had invited me to church walked over to me and said, “I think we are going to have to get a rope and tie you to the ground.” Immediately it was obvious that Jesus Christ changed my life.

After I had come to faith in Christ I got very active in my new church. I was a part of the youth program, helped out with Sunday school, served as a bus captain, going out knocking on doors inviting children to Sunday school. Two summers in a role I sang with our youth choir in tour. What an awesome experience. Just prior to graduating from High School my youth pastor resigned and went on staff at a church in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho. A few weeks later I received a phone call from him asking if I would come to Idaho for the summer or help him establish his youth program. Both Richard and I gave our summer to ministry in Idaho. Little did I realize that the summer of 1978 I would meet the girl that I would marry a year later. God is o good!

I met my bride to be at our youth camp (Spirit Pines, just outside of Spirit Lake, Idaho). The camp was leased of Harold Pasily for $ 1.00 for 100 years – at least that was what I heard. The first time I saw Debbie was when she was running from the ball field to her cabin. She had her Priest River Spartan shorts on (orange), and a white tee-shirt. Wow, she was a spectacular  sight to behold. And was she ever so beautiful.

Summer ended, and I went back to California. I had a job at the Red Lion Motor Inn, and each night I would collect my tips, and use the whole amount to call Debbie back in Idaho. Soon I came to realize that my heart was in Idaho. Richard had stayed in Idaho, and I called him up and asked if I could live with him, and look for work. He agreed and I was on my way by Greyhound Bus from Redding, Ca. to Spokane. Wa. Debbie and her sister, LaFaye picked me up at the bus station. All my earthy positions fit in a small sized box. That was it.

The first night I stayed at Debbie parents place. Next I was in Coeur D’ Alene moving in with Richard. Both of us eventually landed a good job at Calkin’s Manufacturing. They made boat trailer and farm equipment. I drove forklift for packing and receiving.

Debbie and I began our dating, and it seemed I was out at her place every time I had a free moment. Now mind you – I came here on December 12th, and Christmas Eve, December 25th, I asked her if she would marry me. It went like this. I had my head in her lap, and she was looking into my eyes, and she asked, “What are you thinking right now?” She asked! I said to her, “I was asking God when I could ask you to marry me.” Debbie said, “Hurry up God.” And my next words were, “Would you marry me.” She said YES!

The two of us went off to Bible College – Inland Empire School of the Bible, later, Spokane Bible College, and today it is Moody Northwest (A part of the Moody Bible School). While attending Bible college we took at summer position as a Youth Pastor at Nile Community Church. It was here that we served with Dwayne and Sharon Hester. Dwayne was a Village Missions Pastor. Each month he had a large amount of paper work he had to fill out. For sure I knew that I didn’t want to serve with Village Missions. When the summer came to a close we were asked to come on staff at First Baptist Church, Downtown Spokane Washington. Here Debbie and I served with Charles and Barbara Smith. What a great man who had a fantastic handle on the Hebrew and Greek language. Our first son, Kim Michael was born here. After two years here it was time to time of another place where God might be calling us. Well, guess what? God has a great scene of humor because we applied with Village Missions, and were accepted. We asked to be placed in Idaho, Washington.Oregon, or Montana. Dr. Water Duff called up and said, “Were sending you to the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota. Here I became the pastor of the Nemo Community Church. Nemo was a town of 75 people, and the church had about 35 people attending. On a very serious note the church had no indoor plumbing. An outhouse sat outback of the church on top of a small rise (little hill), We served in Nemo for around two-and-a-half years. Our second son was born in Rapid City, Nicholas William. Our second move with Village Missions took us to Winchester, Idaho. About 35 miles south of Lewiston, Idaho on Hwy 95. Here we serve for another two years, and our third son was born, Anthony Jacob. Are you following me – each move, another child! After two years at Winchester our District Representive for Village Missions was staying with us and ask, “Would we be willing to move to Spokane, and to go on staff at one of the larger VM churches. You would serve as associate pastor with Jerry Kennedy at Foothills Community Church.” Debbie and I prayed for a year before we finally said, yes! We made our move and stayed at Foothills for five great years. Our first daughter was born while at Foothills, Meghan Michelle. Next we took a six month sabbatical with VM, and prayed about where God would lead us. We moved in with Debbie’s parents, and I worked in the construction trade building a house in Coeur D’ Alene. I worked with Ernest Cedarboom who was a bi-vocational pastor. Not long though and a church in Spirit Lake asked if I would come and speak for them. They were without a pastor. My first Sunday was December 12, 1994. Isn’t that date curious! I missed a week because I was speaking at a children camp, but was back the following week, and the following week. Soon I was asked to serve as the interim Pastor for six month. I had resumes out at other churches. After six months I feel in love with the people at Spirit Lake Baptist Church, and they feel in love with me. I was called to serve as their senior pastor. I have been at SLBC for almost 18 years. However, it was here that our youngest daughter was born, Kayetlin Joy. I tell people all the time that I have served in five churche and have had a child in each one. I don’t plan moving to another church. This is where God has planted me.