Caudill hired as pastor at Liberty Lake Church
1/29/2014 11:40:30 AM
By Valerie Putnam
When Anton "Ras" Rasmussen calls his new pastor a "young Ray Ruef," it's a high compliment. Rasmussen, a former elder at Liberty Lake Church who served for 50 years, helped bring Ruef to the church half a century ago.
The past November, he watched as Pastor Ryan Caudill took the helm at the pulpit once filled by Ruef. Caudill was selected from about 100 applicants for the job, Rasmussen said.
"Ray was our pastor for 30 years; he buried my parents and my brother, married all four of my kids," Rasmussen said. "He was - still is - a real pastor, a shepherd to the flock. … Ryan reminds me of a young Ray Ruef."
Caudill and his wife, Katie, came to Liberty Lake Church from Elk Grove, Calif. The couple has worked for more than 13 years in various ministry settings throughout central and northern California. Caudill has spent time as an interim lead pastor, senior pastor, associate pastor of discipleship and youth pastor. In addition, he has spearheaded several extracurricular outreach-oriented ministry projects and missions.
"I'm looking forward to serving our community as part of a church family committed to making a difference at home and abroad," he said.
Caudill has a master's in theological studies from Liberty Seminary, a bachelor's in reformed theology from Trinity College of the Bible and a ministerial studies degree from Berean University. He is ordained by the Evangelical Free Church of America.
Liberty Lake Church had been searching for a lead pastor since 2012, when Pastor Dave Butler vacated the position. Ron Miller filled in as an interim pastor since November 2012.
"(Caudill) is going to be a positive pastor, and he's going to be taking care to speak the truthful word of the Lord," Rasmussen said. "… He's fun-loving but rational, passionate and realistic. He loves Jesus."
Rasmussen said Caudill has been investing in his new community, showing confidence and dedication in his new post.
"If we treat him right, he'll be around for 30 years like Ray," Rasmussen said.
Jocelyn Stott contributed to the reporting of this article.