I grew up in Amarillo, Texas, on a dusty plot of land just outside of town where I went to the same school with the same kids (mostly) from kindergarten through twelfth grade. I signed up for the United States Marine Corps at age 17 and began to travel the world for the first time. In 1994 I went on a deployment serving in Somalia, Jordan, and Kuwait. In less than seven months we traveled more than 56,000 miles with the carrier battle group that included Everett’s own ship, the USS Nimitz. It was during my military service that the Lord brought me to Calvary Chapel of Vista, California, where Brian Brodersen was my pastor and Ken Sutton was my college pastor.
I would later serve under Pastor Ken Sutton in Lynden, WA. as Youth Pastor and Assistant Pastor. I obeyed the call to go to Brazil with a plan was to sell everything, get visas for our entire family, and move to Campo Muráo, Brazil, to direct the Calvary Chapel Bible College there. God had other plans, however, because we were not able to secure the visas for Brazil. So I spent a wonderful year teaching Bible at Calvary Christian School in Vista, CA. Then, having decided that the door to Brazil was closed, we moved back to Washington and served at Calvary Ellensburg with Tadd and Charity Scheffer for two years. Finally, Pastor Ken Sutton called and asked us to come to Everett where I took over as Lead Pastor in June of 2012. God is good and so merciful.
Why Japan? I have a great affinity for Asian cultures in general but especially those of China and Japan. I was able to visit Hong Kong while serving in the Marines and I have been praying for and following the Calvary Chapel movement in Japan for many years now. I am so excited to finally get the chance to go there myself. We are hoping that our church, Calvary Everett, in Everett, WA, will be able to partner with CC Perris Valley for many years to come!
Pastor Billy Wheeler