Washington Pastor Spends a Week on the Church Roof

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Most pastors spend long days cooped up in their offices. But Dan Wolters, pastor of Family of Faith Christian Reformed Church in Kennewick, Wash., spent a week living in the open air on the roof of his church.

Dan Wolters lead the morning worship service from the roof with the congregation gathered on the church lawn.

Wolters challenged the Sunday school children to raise at least $1,000 to purchase goats for families in need through Christian Reformed World Relief Committee. He agreed to live on the roof for a week if they met the goal.

By February, the children had reached that goal and have since surpassed it.

From April 8 to15, Wolters slept in a tent held down by steel plates. His living quarters included a mini fridge, a patio table with five chairs, and a bucket attached to a rope for hauling up items.

Braving gusty winds and near freezing temperatures during the night, Wolters worked, visited with church members, and led the Sunday morning worship service—all from the roof. “It never rained more than a couple sprinkles—for that I’m very grateful!” Wolters said.

Church members were invited to bring a meal each day and eat with Wolters on the roof. “They were very generous with the food, and I really enjoyed the conversation and company,” Wolters said.

Hannah Roosendaal, 13, said, “[I] thought it was cool. He gave a goal and kept his promise. I told my friends, and they thought he was nuts.”

Wolters did leave the roof periodically for a council meeting, worship planning meeting, bathroom breaks, and a doctor’s appointment.

“I may spend 24 hours or so in the future on the roof, but I really don’t think I’ll ever go for a week again—just too much time away from my family,” he said at the end of his week.

About the Author

Amy Toornstra is a freelance news correspondent for The Banner. She lives in Salem, Oregon.

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