Community welcomes Pastor David Bradley to Valdez this month
Members of the First Baptist Church welcomed their new pastor April 1.
Pastor David Bradley, former chaplain to the US Navy, Marines and Coast Guard, said his family, consisting of wife Cynthia and two sons, will join him in Valdez towards the end of May after the school year ends.
Bradley says he is a graduate of the South Western Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth Texas, which led to his eight years as a military chaplain after he and his wife served as missionaries in several South American countries.
"Cynthia and I were missionaries in the country of Brazil for a few years," he said, then moved on to Chile before returning to the Midwest where he ministered in what he called regular churches, which led to yet another change of venue.
"...I felt a desire to serve my country," he said, which led to an eight-year hitch with the military.
Bradley received a military commission with the Navy and served on a guided missile cruiser, the USS Cowpens which had been forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, before attaching to the US Marines in Camp Pendleton which included a tour in the Helmand Province in Afghanistan. He finished his military service at the Coast Guard base in Kodiak.
"I was honored to serve my country," Bradley said.
After 10 years as missionaries and eight years in military service, Bradley said he and his family are looking forward to returning to civilian life in Valdez.
"Excited about being here," he said, "looking forward to serving at First Baptist Church and getting to know the wonderful people of Valdez."
Bradley, whose eldest son is in college, will bring his youngest son who will be entering the new middle school this fall.
"That is wonderful," he said of the new school.
Bradley said the whole family is happy to moving to Valdez.
"We wanted to serve in a small community," he said, adding that the Bradley's are ready to become active volunteers and to help make a difference. "I'm looking forward to being an active part of this great community."