Hundreds gathered today on a crisp summer morning to grieve the loss of a man whose preaching and gardening left an unforgettable imprint on those who met Pastor Wayne Scott Creach.
The service, at the Greenacres Baptist Church that Creach founded, included only a few mentions of the questions surrounding his death late Wednesday night when he was shot by Spokane Valley Police Officer Brian Hirzel.
Friends, family and parishioners filled the sanctuary, youth building and a large event tent erected on the church lawn. Some attendees had to stand outside and watch video feeds of the service.
“Pastor Scott loved his wife and his family. He will be greatly missed,” colleague Eric Walsh said during the service. “The Creach family finds great comfort as they see God’s plan unfolding through this tragedy.”
Walsh and others spoke of a man whose unyielding principles attracted those both to his church and his greenhouse, the Plant Farm.
“He had an opinion about everything and didn’t mind telling you what that opinion was,” Walsh said. “Inside that gruff exterior was a tender heart. Pastor Scott was a good shepherd who was loved by his sheep.”
Phyllis Stephens, a friend and colleague of Creach’s, said the shooting was a tragedy not only for the family but for Hirzel and his family
“He always had and opinion, but he always had a great smile,” Stephens said of Creach. “It’s wonderful so many people came today. It’s like he said, something good will come from this. We don’t know what it is yet, but there will be something good from this.”