Just over four years ago, Pastor Scott Chadwick of the Cross Roads Pentecostal Assembly in Cache Creek was getting ready to retire.
He was not in Cache Creek at the time; he and his wife Cathy were in Nanaimo, where Chadwick planned to finish his career. His daughter Lee Hand lived in Ashcroft, and in October 2016 — just as Chadwick was starting to plan his retirement — she mentioned that the pastor of the Cache Creek church had resigned.
“I said ‘That’s too bad; we’ll pray that the church gets a new pastor,’ not even thinking we would be the answer to our own prayer,” laughs Chadwick.
Not long after that, Scott and Cathy were at a meeting in Nanaimo when, he says, the Lord spoke to them and said that they were to come to Cache Creek. “We looked at each other and knew we were coming.
“We shared this with our district superintendent. We went to him and said ‘This is crazy, but we feel we’re supposed to go to Cache Creek’ and he said ‘That’s interesting.’ He had just come back from a conference and heard that the pastor was resigning, and said to us ‘I’d written your name down on a piece of paper to call you. This lines up so incredibly.’
“We applied for the church [in Cache Creek], even though that didn’t make sense because we were going to retire, but we knew that was what God wanted us to do, so we ended up here.”
Chadwick has been a pastor since 1987, and spent 11 years in Nanaimo. Before that he and Cathy spent eight years in Kamloops, so they knew the area and had visited Ashcroft and Cache Creek. “When we moved here, people said ‘Oh, you’re Lee’s parents!’”
He took over the pastorship in Cache Creek in January 2017, which he acknowledges was the start of a difficult year for the area. “We knew it was a time when we had to be there for people, build the church, and encourage the church to be there for others.”
He believes that there is something in everyone that desires a deeper relationship with their heavenly Father, and that can only be found through Jesus. “When someone is in crisis it always brings them to that point more.” He says that he and Cathy were in Kamloops when the Elephant Hill wildfire started in July 2017 and tried to get back to the area, but could get no further than Cache Creek.
“We helped out at the evacuation centre there, then helped at the evacuation centre in Kamloops and tried to minister there. When people face things like that they turn more to God.”
The past year has seen crisis of a different sort with the COVID-19 pandemic, and Chadwick says that the church adapted.
“We’ve been blessed that our church is a large building, so we were able to open after the first shutdown and continue to worship until November.” That was when churches were once more told they had to shut their doors, a decision Chadwick respected, even though he does not agree with it.
“I think the church is more of an essential service than some things that are open. Outside of the church there isn’t a lot that’s been shut down. I think church is essential to the community, and I believe that most folks in our church would believe the same thing.”
Chadwick says that throughout the pandemic the church has stayed connected and reached out to others in the community to help out. “We’ve always done an audio broadcast on our website [www.crpentecostal.org], and we’ve continued to do that. You can pick up the sermons there.”
One of the things he and Cathy have enjoyed about living in the area is the geocaching.
“We love geocaching. We’ve been doing it for a while, and have done a lot of the caches around here. We still have some to do, and might do those in the next little bit.” They’re also looking forward to indulging in another love, camping.
“When we go on holiday we always pick a place where there are a lot of caches. We go where the geocaches are. In a week we’ll do 100 caches, and have done more than 3,000. We just bought a trailer; we took two short trips last year, and hope to use it more with the kids and grandkids this year.”
Even though he is retiring, Chadwick says that doesn’t mean he won’t be doing ministry. “Eventually we’re going to move to Kamloops, but we’re not in a hurry. A few things need to be done before the house goes on the market.”
A positive thing he is taking with him is the growth — both spiritually and in terms of numbers — of the church. “There are also the relationships we’ve built in the community and the church. We’ve built some amazing relationships in the community and with other churches, especially Sage Hills, and we’re quite involved with The Equality Project. We love the people here.”
Pastor Doug Stark — who has moved here with his wife Amelia from Fort St. James — has taken over as the new pastor at Cross Roads Pentecostal as of March 1.