FAMILIAR WITH ACT OF SERVICE
A HIGH-ranking former army serviceman who served in Afghanistan and other conflicts is Caloundra Church of Christ’s new pastor.
Peter Willis, 56, joined the large congregation for what he hoped would be at least a 15-year chapter. The move represented his life coming full circle, he said.
“The reason I talk about it being like a return is, you know, the sense of what I thought God was wanting me to do with my life was ... being a local minister,” Pastor Willis said.
“It’s like returning to my first love, that initial call.
“I’m really thrilled to be back in Queensland, back in local church work and back with my family.”
Pastor Willis was 19 when he began his theological training with the Churches of Christ, which took him to the US before he graduated in Brisbane and began the first of 15 years of local church work at Boonah, west of Brisbane, and in Devonport, Tasmania.
He had been an Army Reserve chaplain for 15 years when he was asked to join the Australian Army as a chaplain at age 40.
He agreed and it began a 17-year career involving three deployments overseas and his becoming the second-highest-ranking chaplain in Australia.
The role was fulfilling and he helped many people, often in situations of extreme hardship including around the deaths of friends on the front line.
Looking ahead, he hopes the 250-strong congregation at Caloundra Church of Christ will grow.
“The great joy we have in this congregation is that we’re a strong, stable church but we’d like to be more connected into our community,” he said.
The Caloundra church has friendship groups, 15 coffee groups and other chances to get involved.
Hear Pastor Willis speak at a men’s breakfast on March 9. Phone the church on 5491 7778.
SHINING NEW LIGHT: Peter Willis is the new pastor at Caloundra Church of Christ. Previously he was working with the Australian Defence Force serving overseas.