Pastor's calling leads him to Snoqualmie

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SNOQUALMIE - When Weldo Melvin was 17, he knew he wanted to be a pastor.

"It's about the people," Melvin said. "I'm a people person."

Melvin's father was a pastor for the Church of God in his home state of Idaho, and Melvin interned at the denomination's churches.

In 1982, he began his career as the pastor of the Church of God congregation in Stites, Idaho. He was there for eight years before moving to Washington in 1990 with his wife and their six children to become the pastor at the Renton Church of God.

He eventually switched his ministry focus to education. For the past seven years, Melvin has been principal of Maple Valley Christian School in Renton.

His ministry brought him to Snoqualmie earlier this year when Derron Johnson, then pastor of the Family Worship Center at 8488 Falls Ave. S.E., resigned and moved to Renton. Melvin was brought in as interim pastor in February, but was asked to come on full time in May, which involved coming out to the Valley twice a week.

Melvin has held different posts in the ministry, but they have all worked toward the same goal.

"My first priority, as always, is to preach the Gospel," he said.

Although he has eagerly returned to the pulpit, Melvin knows it is a job that has not gotten any easier. He said the message he is preaching may not be popular to some, but it remains the truth to him.

"The Gospel hasn't changed," he said. "Jesus came to save us from sin and to help people see the truth."

Nurturing his congregation will be another priority at Melvin's new post. The church has 30 to 40 regular attendees and Melvin has been encouraged by their faithfulness. He said the Church of God believes in a "priesthood of believers," a belief that all the members are not only a flock in the church, but also its leaders.

"I will be working to make sure that the Gospel is still relevant in their lives because they, too, have a mission to share the Gospel," he said.

He would also like to see the church become more involved in community events, like helping out at food banks.

"We want to be a presence in the community," Melvin said. "I'd like to see us continue to reach out to anyone who has a need."

Melvin will continue his present duties at Maple Valley Christian School, but he is always looking for new ways to get to know the community. He is also looking for a house in the Valley.

The Sunday commute may be long, but Melvin said there have been some relationships he has formed in Snoqualmie that have reminded him of what his true calling in life is.

"I have met a couple people who don't know Christ yet," he said. "I'd like to share that with them."

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