MISSION & HISTORY.
Oakland Presbyterian Church is a church united by the love of God. Our greatest desire is to touch people’s lives with the love of Jesus Christ and care for one another like family. To that end, we offer many programs and ministries to meet the needs of our congregation and community. Amid a swiftly-changing and unstable world, we strive to be a strong foundation, a gathering that welcomes all with open arms and loving hearts. No matter your circumstances in life, we have a place for you in Christ’s family at Oakland Presbyterian.
Formed in large part thanks to the Honorable James G. Speer, who led the effort to create a local Presbyterian congregation, the First Presbyterian Church in Oakland was formally organized in 1887 and held its first worship service on the first Sunday of September of that year. As our needs grew, the original church building was replaced by our current sanctuary in 1971. Over the years, we have added a Fellowship Hall, a library, classrooms, and our Christian Life Center, which houses our preschool five days a week.
Craig was born and raised in the suburbs of Kansas City. His family attended Village Church, a large Presbyterian Church in Prairie Village, KS, and it was there that he was formed as a disciple, began to follow Christ personally, and received a call to pastoral ministry while serving three summers in college as a youth ministry intern.
He received his Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and has been in ordained pastoral ministry in the PCUSA as either associate pastor or pastor since 1992, serving churches in Atchison, Kansas; Lincoln, Nebraska; Lakeland, Florida and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. His ministry emphasis has been congregational strategic planning and change, planting new expressions of church and worshiping communities, and engagement in mission locally and globally.
On the Presbytery level, he has been both member and chairperson of committees for evangelism and church growth and preparation for ministry.
Most recently, he has served on the Steering Committee for Cyclical Inland Northwest, a Presbytery initiative to identify, train and send church planters.
In each community in which he has served, Craig has felt called to engage in ministry and leadership roles outside the four walls of the church building, serving with the Polk Ecumenical Action Council for Empowerment PEACE), Coeur d’Alene Vision 2030, the Coeur d’Alene Downtown Business Association, the United Way of North Idaho, the Coeur d’AleneChamber of Commerce, the Community ALICE Task Force, and the Kootenai County Human Rights Coalition.
Craig has been married to Lynn for 27 years, and they have two young adult children: Brynna and Derek. In their free time, they enjoy hiking, camping, day-tripping, home improvement projects, and rehabbing antique furniture.