Cherise Gardner was installed as the new pastor of the Chico church on May 7, 2021. Gardner is a native of the Bahamas and has served in some aspect of ministry for most of her life. She explained, "I have dedicated my life to empowering others, especially young people. I was drawn to serving the Lord in some aspect of ministry around the age of five when I decided to become a pastor like my grandfather.”
Gardner earned her bachelor’s in religion and business administration from the Northern Caribbean University before serving as a sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserve. She earned a master’s in theology from La Sierra University. In April 2013, Gardner was ordained to Adventist ministry. She spent 14 years pastoring in the Southern California Conference, including the Long Beach church and as an associate pastor of the Eagle Rock church in Los Angeles.
On her move to a quieter Chico, Gardner said, “I couldn’t have imagined a more loving church. The Chico members have been very generous. They mobilized the food train the day I arrived and accepted me into their family!”
Jim Lorenz, ministerial director, stated, “Pastor Gardner is a motivated and dynamic leader and will serve the Chico church well in its call to ministry.”
By Ken Miller