R. Dale Edwards
Sherrie and Dale began their ministry during their time at Northwest Bible College while traveling for the school. After leaving Northwest, they took their first pastorate in the metropolitan community of Butte Falls, Oregon. The Church was closed at the time and as N. D. Davidson told them, “You can’t hurt it - give it a shot!” God blessed and for over a year and a half the church grew to about 70. Their son Jon joined them and they became a team of three. Amazing people believed in their green pastors and helped them grow as ministers.
In 1972 they were invited to go to Noti, Oregon. This was where their daughter Tricia would join them making them a team of four. Her birth was also part of church growth. Again, precious people invested in their ministry to help them become pastors.
In 1974, during the charismatic outpouring, they were given the invitation to pastor Bethel Church in Pendleton, Oregon. The outpouring came to Pendleton as well and this is where their ministry found its stride. The church outgrew its facilities so they relocated and built a new facility. While there the Edwards were invited to pastor the Charismatic Catholic congregation in the basement of St. Mary’s Catholic Church while they continued pastoring Bethel. This was a very busy time, and they were again amazed that these precious people would catch a vision and follow a young pastor.
In 1979 they were given the invitation to pastor Sandy Assembly in Sandy, Oregon. This is the church that their kids would call home. For the next 10 years God blessed and gave them favor with the community and the church. They watched as the Lord helped them grow the church and they saw amazing growth and full attendance each Sunday in both the English and Spanish congregations. Again, amazing people captured a vision.
In 1989 they were given an invitation to pastor Salem Christian Center in Salem, Oregon. This was probably the most challenging assignment they would encounter. As Earl Book would say, “But God.” It was truly an amazing time as the Lord helped steady a church and watch it grow. God showed up on so many occasions. As they began their time at Christian Center, Dr. O. Cope Budge asked them if they could begin Salem Bible College, the institution that is now Northwest University, Salem. It was a God moment and the rest is history. Dale’s one regret was not to have recorded all the miracles they watched seeing God’s hand on the Church during those years. Some of the mightiest saints on earth were part of that Church and once again, they captured a vision. But God!
In 1995 they received an invitation to pastor Evergreen Christian Center in Olympia, Washington. They felt honored to follow some true heroes of the faith, Pastor and Mrs. Ron Hastie. Once again, they watched God’s spirit move in amazing ways and outpourings. They loved this precious congregation and are thrilled to see it is still influencing the community and region.
In 1999 they received an invitation in Lodi, California. For 11 years they pastored Century Assembly. Throughout their ministry God had given them favor with communities, resulting in ministries that have impacted the city and that happened again in Lodi. They developed Samaritans ministry, they adopted an area comprising three square city blocks and cleaned, painted, remodeled, and improved the living condition for those living there. They developed a Food Resource Center where they provided about 80% of the food for over 500 families per month. God was faithful!
In 2010 they decided it was time to retire. But God! They moved back home to Oregon having spent 14 years on foreign soil in the Northwest and Northern Cal districts. One word about retirement: BORING!
In the fall of 2011, they were asked to be the interim pastors in Florence, Oregon at Cross Road Assembly. They had no inclination of pastoring the church. However, in January of 2012 after much prayer they were invited to become the pastors and have enjoyed watching God do what God can do: love and grow people and His church. “We are blessed with some amazing people and staff. God’s up to something. The fishing isn’t bad either.”
Dale has served on the Presbytery of Oregon, Northwest and Northern Cal Network Presbyteries totaling 17 years. He’s served as Finance Chair in Oregon for 10 years and served on General Council finance committee for two years. They have helped plant 23 churches in 16 countries and daughter or assisted 11 churches in the cities they were honored to pastor.
“Our greatest ministry though has been to our two amazing kids, four of the most handsome, beautiful, intelligent and awesome grandkids, and two great-grandkids. 50 years isn’t such a big deal, we just got up every morning and went to work, still are. As Pastor Book reminded us, BUT GOD!”