The Rev. James Underhill isn’t a new face to Valley Fourth Memorial.
For him, starting a new job as senior pastor there was a sort of homecoming.
His father, Ed Underhill, was pastor of the North Side’s Fourth Memorial Church, and was instrumental in starting Valley Fourth. The junior Underhill attended his father’s church at the time.
“I can remember the congregational meeting when we voted to start Valley Fourth,” said Underhill, 40.
Underhill went to college in Texas, and pastored a church in Reardan for years. He came to Valley Fourth five years ago, serving as an associate pastor in charge of adult ministries.
He became the church’s interim pastor in March when the Rev. Tom Starr left after 20 years to found a new congregation in Post Falls.
Underhill’s vision for Valley Fourth is consistent with Starr’s.
“I really hope to build on a lot of the foundation that Pastor Tom laid,” Underhill said. “He had a real vision for evangelism and I want to build on that.”
The biggest thing that involves, Underhill said, is Valley Christian School.
“I think the school is probably the No. 1 ministry of our church,” he said.
When Valley Fourth became a reality due the vote of its North Side parent, there was no school. And Underhill had no idea he would one day be charged with its congregation.
“Twenty-some years ago, I never would have thought that I would be pastor,” he said.
Valley Fourth also has a new music minister.
Mark Rice starts his new job on Sunday. He previously was music minister at Northview Bible Church on Spokane’s North Side for almost five years.
Before that, he was the music director at Auburn Bible Baptist Church.
Underhill said Rice came to Valley Fourth so he could also work in a school setting.
Evangelist at Glad Tidings
Glad Tidings Assembly of God Church, 4224 E. Fourth, will feature a guest speaker on Sunday.
The Rev. Dave Ruiz is a traveling evangelist who will both speak and perform music at the church’s 10:45 a.m. service. He is a tenor vocalist as well as a trumpet player, church spokeswoman Delores Taylor said.
Ruiz has traveled and worked extensively in the former Soviet Union. Taylor said he had distributed thousands of Bibles to prisons and schools there.