Pastor Rick Nerud leads his congregation at Calvary Chapel to serve those in the community and around the world.

Pastor Rick | His Faith and Friends are Worth the Heat

Walking into Calvary Chapel, a warm and welcoming feeling fills the air as people pass by and offer a hello. Then Pastor Rick appears with a perfectly friendly smile to match his clean-cut and stylish appearance.  He walks and talks casually and comfortably as he enters his office and sits down to tell the story of how he came to the area.

Working for Walmart initially brought Pastor Rick and his family to St. George. Arriving in June, he was immediately caught off-guard by St. George’s characteristically hot summers.

“I thought I’d made the biggest mistake of my life,” Pastor Rick said followed by a robust and contagious laugh. “I thought to myself, ‘We are out of here! In two years I’m transferring!’”

Despite the distinctive climate, Pastor Rick found two reasons to stay in Southern Utah, the good people and his faith.

Pastor Rick expressed his appreciation for the educational system, the city government, and the values of the community members that make this area a happy and safe place to live.

“It’s just the little things the people do,” Pastor Rick said. “It really makes this an amazing place.”

Pastor Rick started attending Calvary Chapel in Southern California during his time in the Marine Corps. His faith quickly grew to become an immensely important part of his life. When he and his family moved to St. George, Calvary Chapel wasn’t established yet in the area. As St. George developed, Pastor Rick resigned from Walmart and became Assistant Pastor at Calvary Chapel now located on Pioneer Road. Later on, Pastor Rick was called to lead the congregation as Senior Pastor and has been doing so for the last 18 years.

Pastor Rick’s devotion to the community is reflected in the service he and the congregation of Calvary Chapel offer to the community.

Three of the worship services they offer are the Christmas Eve Service, Easter Service, and Church in the Park.

All three of these services have been highly attended and enjoyed by people of different faiths. Several thousand people attend both the Christmas Eve and Easter services every year.

“Everybody and anybody comes,” Pastor Rick said. “Very frequently I meet people who say they don’t come to our church but they go to the Easter Service every year.”

Providing opportunities for worship is not the only way Calvary Chapel reaches out to the community. Every year they assist the ministry of Biker’s For Christ with Angel Tree, a program that provides Christmas presents for the children of local inmates. The congregation purchases and delivers presents to the children on behalf of their parent. A bible is also given to each child as a special gift from Calvary Chapel.

The congregation also provides the community with yearly concerts that share their beliefs. One such concert was recently held and featured the internationally recognized African Children’s Choir.

Pastor Rick expressed his gratitude for the people in the community and in the congregation of Calvary Chapel who’ve made his time in the hot desert worth it.

“We love Southern Utah,” Pastor Rick said. “This is home and we love the people. We are just so thankful that God moved us to Southern Utah.”