Joe has been an elder at Candlelight for 8 years and has attended since 2004. As a Marine Corps kid, he was born in California and raised in North Carolina and Pennsylvania before returning to California to complete his schooling. Joe has degrees in Fire Science and Health Services and retired after a career as a fireman/paramedic in southern California. Joe enjoys hunting, fly fishing and fly tying along with DIY projects. Joe enjoys the interaction with the Men’s Ministry here at Candlelight. “It is the responsibility of men to lead both at home and church.”
Fletcher Michael started attending Candlelight in 2010. He currently serves as both an elder and a member of the board of directors. Over the years he has held numerous positions at several churches in California and Idaho. Fletcher was born, raised and has lived most of his life in northern California until discovering what northern Idaho has to offer. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of California at Davis. Upon graduation, he first worked in his family’s business and then later as vice president of a professional corporation. Before moving to Idaho, Fletcher started his own advertising agency which he continued to operate from Idaho for several years. In California, Fletcher spent his spare time sailing, horseback riding and hunting. In Idaho, when he can find the time, he heads to the shooting range. Fletcher is now retired and shares a house with his sister, Janetta. When asked what Fletcher enjoys most about Candlelight, he responded that first and foremost is the sound doctrine and excellent teaching one receives at Candlelight. Additionally, he loves using the gifts which God has given him to serve the church.
Dr. Jason Murray came to Candlelight with his family from Kentucky, where he had finished a doctor of education in theology and apologetics. Back in 1999 he met his wife Karen, who is from Creston, BC up above Sandpoint. After marrying her, he drug her around the South for 20 plus years, with a family that’s now grown to four teenagers, before being led by God to North Idaho last August. Now that they are here, the Murrays enjoy hiking, sightseeing, camping, guns, a good story, homeschooling, and fellowship with born-again believers. Jason loves driving motorcoaches and buses like some guys like riding motorcycles. Their four amazing teenage children are Iain, Onora, Niall and Mairi. Jason’s spiritual gifts include pastoring, teaching, and wisdom, and his life’s calling is to help families defend the Faith through all life’s seasons.
Kent Gearner joined Candlelight in January of 2021 as the Assisting Pastor. As the son of a pastor, Kent has grown up in and around church all his life. In 2002, being called by the Lord, he surrendered his life for church ministry. Kent holds a degree from Liberty University in Theology and Apologetics and has a passion for helping Christians become grounded in their faith. He is a teacher at heart, as well as a musician, playing various instruments. As a Texan, he is a lover of good Mexican food and a medium-rare steak, or anything fried for that matter! On his days off, you can catch him slicing a golf ball into the wrong fairway, recording music, or treasure hunting through God’s Word.
I came to know the Lord in High School after re-examining what I was raised to believe. I got baptized when I was 5, but when Junior & Senior High School came around, I began to seriously question whether or not I believed God existed, whether the Bible was authentic, why I had the moral or political beliefs I did. After a lot of struggle with honest, skeptical questioning, and careful examination of the Scriptures, it became clear to me that the Bible is truly the Word of God. It also became clear to me why salvation can only be by grace through faith, and that salvation cannot be lost once the gift is received. No work of man can meet the standard of God’s righteousness. Only He is good, and the work of Christ is not incomplete. The works of a believer are only an outpouring of gratitude for receiving the forgiveness of God and the blessings of the inheritance, being guided and nourished by the work of the Holy Spirit. “neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase” – 1 Corinthians 3:7
Eric Reade serves as the Executive Pastor for Candlelight. Eric was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, served in the United States Marine Corps, and worked for the Los Angeles Police Department for 24 years. Eric has a degree in Criminal Justice Management and a graduate degree in Criminal Justice Leadership. Eric is married to his wonderful wife Karen and has three children, Brianna, Ethan, and Kassidy. Eric also has two grandchildren, Brooklynn and Elle. Eric and his family enjoy traveling, camping, riding bicycles, hiking, and swimming in the local area lakes. Eric felt called to serve the Lord prior to retiring and followed God’s guidance to work for Candlelight. He looks forward to what God has planned for him to do by serving the local community and Candlelight Church.
Asif has been a pastor since 2000, and ministered in Pakistan, Thailand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Cambodia for Candlelight Church since 2015, preaching specifically to Pakistani and Indian refugees. To assist in Asif’s teaching of God’s Word, he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Theology and a Master’s degree in Divinity from Pakistani seminary. Currently, Asif is a full time pastor at Candlelight Church translating the Bible and church material from English into Urdu and Punjabi. He will then establish an online church to preach the gospel to Urdu and Punjabi speaking people around the world. Asif and his wife Shakila, their son Zimran, daughter Anna, and daughter Amelia have accompanied him and look forward to learning American customs, enjoying the lakes in Northern Idaho, and continuing their education.
Darla Erickson serves as an Administrative Coordinator with a strong emphasis in Business Administration. She started serving as a volunteer in the Body Ministry Department along with her husband in the earlier part of 2012 before becoming a staff member in July of 2013. She was born and raised in Southern/Central California. Darla is married to a wonderful husband and father, Tim Erickson. Between the two of them they have 4 lovely married children and 8 grandchildren. Before moving to Coeur d’Alene, Darla served in Community Service for almost 20 years in the Corporate World working alongside several non-profit organizations as a Corporate Leader. She attended college for 2 years majoring in Business Administration. When asked what she likes most, she would have to say a quite Saturday morning studying the Word of God with her husband over a cup of coffee. Darla loves going to the GYM on a regular basis and walking. Tim and Darla enjoy their Small Group on Tuesday evenings in their home learning from God’s Word together and spending time in fellowship and prayer. Favorite bible verse is 1 Corinthians 13:4-7: “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
Sheri serves as a Secretary for Candlelight. She was born and raised in Decatur, IL, the Soybean Capital of the World. She has 2 brothers, 2 sisters, 2 college degrees, and 2 men living in her home, a husband of 18 years and a son, age 19. A few of her interests are walking, hiking, gardening, enjoying the outdoors as often as possible, meeting monthly with a few friends to play cards, cooking, baking, traveling, and simply taking care of family and home. A goal of Sheri’s work at Candlelight is to help people ascertain that they are priceless treasures soon to sparkle when their salvation is realized and their gifts are discovered, hoping all the while that they are delighting themselves in the LORD. The WORD of God is her greatest treasure because it is the path to all righteous hope. Proverbs 13:12 encourages her as God’s plans unfold – “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”