Billy Wheeler- Lead Pastor

Biography

Grew up:  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.

Fun:  My favorite past-time is studying and reading God’s Word, but I also love to read books, play sports with my kids, eat popcorn while watching sci-fi shows like Doctor Who and Star Trek, and I absolutely love to work in the garden when I have time.

Books:  My top five authors are J. Oswald Sanders, John Pollock, Joel Rosenberg, Ken Ham, and (believe it or not) Bill O’Reilly.

Movies: My top five movies are Gladiator, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, The Matrix Trilogy, Les Miserables, and Up.

Music:  While I listen to Bible studies much more than music, I do like all kinds of music.  I listen to mostly Christian music and I really like worship bands like Jeremy Camp, Chris Tomlin, David Crowder and All Sons and Daughters.  I ABSOLUTELY LOVE Skillet and Disciple. When I listen to secular music I use discernment on the songs I chose, but I will occasionally listen to some Journey, Bon Jovi, Philip Phillips, and Jason Mraz. Being from Texas, I also have a soft spot for country music.

Favorite Places to Visit:  I have been to nearly every state and some 30 countries. I love to visit other countries because I love other cultures and languages (especially on mission trips where we’re proclaiming the gospel). That being said, I absolutely love to visit my friends in beautiful British Columbia and my favorite place to visit is my sweet home where I grew up in the great state of Texas.

Secret Indulgence: Those who know me closely know that I am very disciplined with my dietary intake. Occasionally, though, when I get to take Monday off, my beautiful wife will make me the most delicious chocolate chip pancakes that you could imagine… and I eat every bite along with peanut butter syrup!

Secret Talent:  As the kids who come through VBS Bible story know, I love to act and do drama… plus… I can juggle!

Ministry Experience:  I signed up with the Marines at age 17 because God called me to serve as a missionary to the military. He then took me to Calvary Chapel Vista, CA, where I served as a volunteer in the junior high and college ministries. I then went through pastoral training with Pastor Brian Brodersen and went back home to Texas to plant Calvary Chapel churches. While planting in my home town of Amarillo, I found another church that wanted to become a Calvary Chapel. We took our small church plant and joined up with Pastor Bill Gehm and Grace Church which I would help to become Calvary Chapel of Amarillo. There I served in my first vocational ministry position for 3 years. Then I went to a small town called Wellington to help another church become a Calvary Chapel.  After 2 years, I moved to Lynden, WA, to serve with Pastor Ken Sutton. After six years serving there as Youth Pastor and Assistant Pastor, I obeyed the call to go to Brazil. Our plan was to sell everything, get visas for or 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. Good is good and so merciful.

Persons of influence:  I have been blessed by the Lord to have had a wide variety of ministry experiences and thus I have many ministry mentors. It all began back at Chaparral Hills Baptist Church in Texas where my classmate and good friend Kevin Humphrey inspired me to start studying the Bible personally.

Those who have midst influenced me in ministry are Pastor Brian Brodersen (Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa) who first got me excited about teaching the Bible and surrendering to the call to ministry; Ken Sutton (Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa), who mentored me into ministry from volunteering at college group in Vista to taking over as senior pastor in Everett; Bill Gehm (Calvary Chapel Amarillo, TX) who hired me in my first staff position; Rob Salvato (Calvary Chapel Vista) who has continued to give me wisdom over the years; Fred Nyberg (Calvary Chapel Yakima) who has become a spiritual rock for me; Jon Courson (Applegate Christian Fellowship), Joe Focht (Calvary Chapel Philadelphia, PA), Sandy Adams (Stone Mountain Calvary) and Chuck Missler (Koinonia House Ministries) who have highly influenced my teaching knowledge and style; and finally Tadd Scheffer (Calvary Chapel Ellensburg), Tim Walton (Calvary Chapel Amarillo) and Larry Otto (Calvary Mill Creek, WA) who have been my brothers in arms continually sharpening the iron over the years.

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