Rory Rodgers – Pastor
A little bit about me:
I grew up living a young boy’s dream on a large family cattle ranch in Klamath Falls, Oregon. On this ranch I learned how to work hard, play hard, and to do all things cowboy. We enjoyed all the pastureland, farmland, timber, apple orchards, fishing and swimming holes and hunting that South Poe Valley had to offer. Our cattle, horses, lambs, pigs, chickens, rabbits and dirt bikes kept us kids busy and my mom on her toes!
My mom took us to Bible Baptist church nearly every Sunday, even when the ranch kept my dad hard at work. She made it very clear to me from a young age that I was a sinner, and was in need of some serious redemption. The faith of our family was constantly refined through many trials as my father battled multiple life-threatening reoccurrences of Hodgkin’s disease. Though we would regularly drop to our knees with tears, my walk with Jesus did not become close and personal until age fourteen.
Through a series of events my family left the ranch and moved to Corvallis, Oregon so my dad could pursue his life-long dream of becoming a veterinarian. It was then that I began going to Calvary Chapel. The simple expository teaching of the Word of God was so attractive! With one taste of the clear teaching of the Word I was done with complacent, luke-warm Christianity. I had to have more of Jesus. I went to every Bible Study and discipleship time I could. After a short time of consistent nourishment, I knew I was called to bring this diet of the Word to others.
We then moved to Lakeview, Oregon and my dad started his own veterinary practice based at our farm. I would help him with many operations and procedures as well as work on farms and ranches all over Lake County. I began a Bible study at Lakeview High School and led the youth group and worship services at Calvary Chapel Lakeview for three years, until I graduated.
After high school I went to the Calvary Corvallis School of Ministry where God equipped me to be an ambassador for Him. In the spring of that year after touring Israel with my School of Ministry Class, my dad had a stroke. This stroke left the entire left side of his body paralyzed, including his swallowing reflexes and other motor skills. As I left school, I felt the Lord placing me into a different kind of “School of Ministry.” I came along side my family to aid my dad in his rehabilitation. After four months and great improvement, he had another stroke. This stroke sent him into a coma for four days. The Lord then called him home to his ultimate healing at age 47. I had the privilege of sharing the gospel at my father’s memorial service and many accepted Christ.
While my dad was recovering from his first stroke, I ran into a friend from childhood with whom I attended the Baptist church and first and second grade. Her name was Lindsey Pedersen and boy, the years had been “oh, so kind” to her. We chatted for a while and parted ways, but for a few months I couldn’t stop thinking about her. Her family came to Lakeview for my dad’s memorial service, but I didn’t get to greet them, as they had to leave early. I wondered when I would see her again.
A few months after my dad passed away, I really struggled with what to do with my life. I knew I was called to be a pastor, and I figured I’d need some kind of “tent-making” skill to support myself on. It was a toss-up between ferrier school in Arizona or welding school in Corvallis. One day I came home from work and found a letter in the mailbox from Lindsey Pedersen. You could have heard me scream a mile away! In the letter, Lindsey shared how moved she was at my dad’s memorial service and how she rejoiced that so many people were saved that day. She also told of her plans to go to Oregon State and be a cheerleader that fall. Suddenly, I knew what my plans were for that next year… I was on my way to Corvallis for welding school!
In December 2001, after my first term of welding, Rob Verdeyen called me and asked me to be the High School Pastor at Calvary Chapel Corvallis, I accepted the offer. I loved being with the high-schoolers and feeding them the Word of God for those seven years.
That summer in 2002, Lindsey and I were married. She is an excellent help in my ministry and a tremendous encouragement, my biggest cheerleader. We have a two year old son named Russell, and a baby girl on the way, due in September.
A little bit about our road to Prineville:
As I have been the high school pastor at Calvary Chapel Corvallis for over seven years, my pastor, Rob Verdeyen, and I have clearly known a calling on my life to pastor a church. Recently, we both sensed that time getting closer. I have felt the Lord say, “Get ready, have open eyes, open ears, and an open heart.”
Two years ago, I was sensing that God was calling me to Pullman, Washington. After praying for a year and a half over Pullman, Lindsey and I visited in November 2008. After visiting, God had clearly shut the door to Pullman. We were at peace with that, because we knew a shut door meant God would open a different door.
Two days after our trip, Pastor Rob met Lindsey and I for lunch and informed us that God was heavily speaking to him that the time to go was soon. He felt that he would be in sin to keep us any longer and knew he needed to be like a father eagle nudging his eaglet out of the nest to help it fly. He gave us the freedom and time to go anywhere we needed to seek the Lord’s heart.
Rob said he had always pictured us in a rural town like Klamath Falls. Should the opportunities arise, I would love to help serve the people on their farms and ranches by branding calves, moving cattle, or baling hay as my pastor in Lakeview used to do for us. This being one of my visions, my wife and I have kept our eyes open for a town that fit our background.
One thing led to another and we felt led to go to Casper, Wyoming. I visited there in March and felt a peace in my heart. After much prayer, we began the process of moving to Wyoming. While we were excited about making this journey, we held it loosely, always saying “we are going to Casper, Lord willing,” or “we are going to Casper, but of course, the Lord can shut the door if He wants us somewhere else.” The hardest part of moving to Casper was being so far from our family, who all live in Oregon. While we didn’t know anybody in Wyoming, we were more than willing to go wherever the Lord wanted us (we were willing to count the cost, but our hearts desire was to stay in Oregon close to family, friends, and ministry companions).
About two months before we would move to Casper, Ryan Couch called my Pastor to chat. As Rob was talking to Ryan, he felt a burning on his heart that I was supposed to pray about Calvary Chapel Crook County, even while I was in the midst of preparing for Casper. Rob felt deeply that the Lord would either confirm Casper, or perform a “last-minute intervention,” keeping me in Oregon. Perhaps he was testing me to see if I would really go to Wyoming, a land I do not know.
After about a month of, both me, and the leadership in Prineville, seeking God’s heart, it was confirmed to all of the men involved that the Lord was calling us to the area. With what little fellowship we have had with the church in Prineville, and the time we had spent “spying out” the land, both my wife and my heart are burning for the town and the people. We are more than excited to continue living out the book of Acts with the people in Prineville. I am thrilled to grow in the role and ministry God has prepared for me, and overjoyed at the opportunity to further the work of bringing the whole council of God’s Word to Crook County.
By His Grace and for His Glory,