Year-long search brings a “man of deep faith” to Buckley's Community Presbyterian Church

Buckley’s Community Presbyterian Church has a new leader, the Rev. Peter Little.

“It took a year,” said David Ward, a Community Presbyterian elder who co-chaired the Pastor Nominating Committee with Bob Thompson. “It was an incredible amount of work, but we think it was well worth it.

“Peter Little is a man of deep faith, creative mind, gentle heart and considerable vision,” Ward said. “He is authentic, transparent and a thoughtful communicator. Listening well is one of his many skills. He has a great sense of humor and likes to laugh. Peter is a gifted orator well beyond his years and experience.”

Plus, Ward added, the committee like his wife, Krista, an artist, a lot.

The Pastor Nominating Committee was seated in March 2010, after Rodger Pettichord retired from the position, and finished its work in November.

The committee received about 100 personal information forms, or resumés, from across the country. The group first narrowed its list to 15, then to its top three. After interviews, Ward said, Little was the unanimous favorite.

Little also received enthusiastic support from the regional supervisory church body, which also interviewed him as part of the process.

Then the congregation got its turn, as Little conducted 11 a.m. Sunday services at the big, white church on Cottage Street Nov. 21.

They unanimously voted to accept him as the new pastor, Ward noted of the approximately 100-member congregation.

This is Little’s first call, so not only did he take over in February, but he was ordained at Community Presbyterian Feb. 23.

“I felt there was an immediate connection,” Little said of the elder-driven church which is heavily involved in community service. “They were clearly invested in their church community. They cared about the community and cared about the church, plus they laughed a lot.”

A one-time a civil engineer, Little found the church calling.

Unhappy with his job, but enjoying his work in ministry, he took the advice of a friend, quit his job and applied for and received an internship in ministry.

“I’m a risk taker,” Little said. “I figured if it wasn’t a good fit I could go back to engineering, but I never went back.”

Before arriving in Buckley, Little was director of ministry at a couple of churches. He said he always lived in big cities like New York, San Francisco and Vancouver, British Columbia. Growing up near Spokane, that was the smallest city he’d lived in until now.

“It’s been a big change coming to a small town,” he said, but, he added, he’s enjoying it.

He and his wife wanted to stay on the West Coast and love the Pacific Northwest.

The Plateau provides a great backdrop for Little to enjoy bicycling. He’s already made the climb to the top of Mount Peak and plans to spend time in the surrounding mountains and at Mount Rainier this summer.

It’s the community in Community Presbyterian that has caught Little’s attention early in his ministry.

He was impressed that during the two years the church was with an interim leader, the membership and activity did not decline. He was also taken by the flood of support and donations on a recent visit to the Buckley Food Bank.

“My vision for the church is to be a blessing for the world,” he said, starting with Buckley and helping the people who live there.

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