Minister stepping down after 20 years with his Buckley flock

The Rev. Rodger Pettichord was called to Buckley’s Community Presbyterian Church 20 years ago and will step down Feb. 8.

A friendly and familiar face in the Buckley community, the Rev. Rodger Pettichord, will soon be retiring from his ministerial duties at Community Presbyterian Church.

He officially steps down Feb. 8, when the congregation hosts a potluck to honor the man who has faithfully guided his church members spiritually for the past 20 years at 152 S. Cottage St.

Pettichord was an English professor at the University of Maryland before turning over his life to Christ. He attended the Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey, where he met his future wife Trudy in 1975.

Pettichord makes it clear that he and his highly-organized wife have teamed up to split all the responsibilities of their busy life 50-50.

“When we finished our work at the seminary, the lord called Trudy and I to be ministers at yoked churches in North Dakota, Minnesota and finally Buckley,” Pettichord said. “This church was in pretty bad shape when we first got here, but faith works miracles.”

Nearing the end of his days with the church, Pettichord has nothing but good things to say about the town and its residents.

“The fine people in this community are hard-working, good, solid, honest citizens, who you can trust to do what they say they are going to do,” he said. “In my 20 years here I have never run into one phony person in this church.”

The reverend appreciates that Buckley residents provide a sense of community and are involved in projects like the local food bank, youth center or assisting with the building of the senior housing project.

Asked what legacy he may be leaving behind, Pettichord refers to the last line of the church’s mission statement.

“It was written that we will equip our members to go forth into the world in active personal ministries of compassion, mercy and justice for the glory of God,” he said. “I think my wife and I have accomplished this through Bible study, Sunday sermons, steadfast stewardship and a hundred other vital principles.”

Pettichord said after their early-February departure from Buckley, he and his wife will move to the Spokane area and engage in some “long, deep breathing” and do a lot of reading, a passionate pastime for both.

“After that, we will wait for the lord to show us which direction and what purpose the remainder of our lives should be,” he said.

Reach John Leggett at jleggett@courierherald.com or 360-802-8207.