Music is one way Pastor Chris Wiley and his family share their Christian faith. The pastor, who has led the congregation at Community Bible Fellowship since July, said music has always been part of their lives.
Wiley and his wife sing duets and solo numbers; their children sing and some play instruments violin, guitar, banjo and piano. They perform at church and community events, including at Go Ye Village on Dec. 12. A church Christmas program, “Love Came Down,” will be presented Dec. 12 at 5 p.m.
“This will be a wonderful time of worship, and we invite the community to come,” Wiley said.
The Wileys moved to Tahlequah from Kansas, Okla. Haley, originally from northwest Arkansas, and Chris, from Louisiana, will celebrate 16 years of marriage this month. They choose to home-school to instill a biblical worldview in their children, ranging from age 3 to 14.
Becoming a pastor was a road Wiley followed with a little reluctance, at first. But he couldn’t ignore the calling he felt.
“The Lord, first of all, saved me by bringing me to a point where I understood that I had sinned against a holy God,” he said. “‘A broken and contrite heart’ (Psalm 51:17) is what the Lord desires. He had brought me to this point and given me the faith to believe in his son, Jesus Christ, as lord and savior. In response to God’s gift of faith, he gave me everlasting life in his son. Within the next year, God gave me a desire to devote myself full-time to the ministry of the word.”
Serving in two churches as music/youth pastor from 1999-2003 gave Wiley the opportunity and experience to proceed with pastoral ministry training.
“To this end, the Lord provided The Master’s Seminary in Sun Valley, Calif., for me to attend from 2003 to 2008,” Wiley said. “I applied only to this seminary and desired to attend because of their commitment to excellence in pastoral ministry, biblical studies, and anything that they endeavor.”
While many people may think of seminary like most master’s degree programs, with endless writing and reading, Wiley’s experience was also very personal.
“Seminary training was a stretching time as God conformed me more to the image of his son. And he continues to conform me and all true believers,” Wiley said.
Theologically, he said, this is called “sanctification,” which all true believers experience throughout their earthly lives.
“This stretching is done so our dependence on the Lord grows to the praise and glory of the Lord. In other words, when you come to Christ in faith, you become a new creature in Christ,” he said.
Coming to Christ is not a “fix” for problems, he added.
“But after salvation, you will begin to know how to handle your problems,” he said. “Your standing before God is fixed in Christ. It is his life, his work on the cross, his death, burial and resurrection and ascension that God accepts for your right standing before him after you repent of your sins, believing in Jesus Christ for salvation.”
After Wiley was saved, his desires changed.
“I desired to serve the Lord and was called by him to pastor,” he said.
Preaching and teaching the word of God is top priority, as it is scripturally the mandate of a pastor, Wiley said.
“The outflow of this is shepherding: to feed, lead, and protect, the local flock that God has given to me and the other elders,” Wiley said. “May we be faithful to the Lord in shepherding his flock.”
Although the Wiley family is still getting acquainted with a new home, they hope to be here for many years.
“The Lord led us here to Tahlequah with great enthusiasm of what he would do in and through Community Bible Fellowship,” Wiley said. “I have come as pastor, and the elders and I are committed to seeing the church grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
One of the unique qualities that drew him here was members’ desire to be disciples.
“Our congregation is made up of mainly older, retired missionaries who are still enthusiastic about the Lord and his work. They may be retired from their field of work but not retired spiritually,” Wiley said. “As the Lord grows this church in number, these older saints have a desire to ‘pour out’ to younger saints. We look forward to seeing how God blesses in Tahlequah.”
Community Bible Fellowship is a non-denominational, 6-year-old church in affiliation with the Fellowship of Evangelical Bible Churches. It is non-denominational; members do not subject themselves to any major denominations, nor do they want to start a new one.
“We are a Christ-centered, Bible-preaching and teaching, Bible-living body of believers,” Wiley explained. “Community is what we are – a community of believers exalting Christ. Bible is where we get our directives and live them out. Fellowship is the community of believers meeting together regularly for instruction in the Word, encouragement and edification under the leadership of our great shepherd, Jesus Christ, and church is mandated by God in the Holy Bible as a designation of the assembly of people called by his name.”
Wiley invites the community to visit at 17200 W. Grandview or call for information at (918) 207-1272. They meet at 9 a.m. for Sunday school, 10 a.m. for fellowship time and refreshment, and 10:30 a.m. for worship service.”