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Cowboy got out of the saddle when the Lord called
In his younger days Alvin Wood rode broncs bareback and pictured himself on the rodeo circuit. He expected to continue in his familys bootprints and spend his life taming Arizonas dusty ranch land.
But Wood traded bone bustin, for belief bolstering as traveled the Southwest and now the Northwest spreading the Lords word.
Pastor Wood, 61, of Brinnon recently took the reigns at Clear Creek Baptist Church near Silverdale.
It wasnt one lightning flash of inspiration that jolted the course of his life, but a persistent persuasion to loosen his grip.
He had become dissatisfied with the rowdy cowboy life and finally let the Lord take charge.
When the Lord said thats what he wanted me to do, I never looked back, he said in a drawl the Northwests rains havent washed away.
His life changed.
So many people are looking for answers, he said. His own search lead him to the cowboy life.
Jesus is the answer, he said.
His career of pastoring began during his last year of college.
Woods first church was the First Baptist Church of Miami. Wood waits for a reaction and delivers a well worn punch line.
Arizona, he smiles.
Oh, that one. The copper mining town is about 100 miles east of Phoenix
He was born and raised in Arizona and grew up on a cattle ranch in Nogalas, Ariz., near the Mexico border.
Wood went to Grand Canyon University in Phoenix and got his masters at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.
He has pastored in the First Baptist Churches of Flagstaff and Scottsdale Ariz., and Anchorage, Alaska. In 1980 he pastored at the Brookhaven Baptist Church and fell in love with the Pacific Northwest.
Whats not to like about it, he said. Aside from enjoying his interests of sailing, hunting and fishing he likes the slower pace.
The people and lifestyle are laid back and not as intense, he said.
He is semi-retired, but hoping to help Clear Creek Baptist build its flock and see the church make a greater impact than it has.
He attended the church on occasion after hearing about it from his daughter who lives on Bainbridge Island. Most Sundays his daughter Catherine or wife Martha play piano during the services. Wood has three other daughters who live in Arizona and Texas.
Sunday School is held 9:45 a.m. with services following at 11 a.m. A Wednesday potluck and prayer group meets at about 6:30 p.m. at the church at 12035 Clear Creek Road about a half mile north of the Waaga Way intersection.