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Chapter Contacts

Charleton Churchill, co-coordinator
Jackson, Calif.
(209) 223-0606

Lucas Huey, co-coordinator
Salinas, Calif.
(831) 676-6998

Chapter Index

NorCal Base Camp



NorCal Chapter

Northern California, USA

Hiking Pinnacles

Lucas Huey was leading a hiking trip to the Pinnacles National Monument on Saturday, Nov. 8. It went well, he said despite the lack of hikers. “No one turned out, but that's fine,” he said. “Christie and I turned it into a prayer hike.

“It was a pretty amazing day. We saw and talked to two other groups of hikers, most of which were believers, and the others didn't want to hear it. So I prayed for them while hiking.”

A good lesson for all of us.

Half Dome hike

By Charleton Churchill
NorCal Chapter co-coordinator

The Yosemite trip was great, and though no one signed up to join me for our inaugural chapter event, I met and hiked with several believers from a Christian group from Rippen, Calif. (located near Modesto). Fifty youth and adults were among the MANY people hiking the 16.4-mile trail on a hot Saturday, Sept. 6. My shaved baldhead got scorched even with thick layers of sun block.

It all started as I was taking a quick break. I overheard some adults talking about how God's greatness is shown through His beautiful creation, such as Yosemite, and I couldn't help but to inquire about their faith? After a few minutes of conversation, we were exchanging information and talking about Climbing For Christ. They introduced me to most of their group, including the youth pastor, Tim. I hiked with many of them toward the top, and was encouraged by the fellowship and faith lived out on the trails.

People line up like ants to ascend along the cable leading to the summit of Half Dome. Below, people descending. (Photos by Charleton Churchill)

There were many people there and I had no problems conversing with people whom I did not know, encouraging those on the steep cables, where there was nearly a two-hour wait. I took a few from the group and bypassed the line by going on the outside of the cables, getting to the top, taking a few photographs, and heading back down.

Overall, it was a great trip with fellowship I didn't expect. It was a chance for me to slow down on the trail and just walk with people, pray a little, and reflect Christ.  I would like to see more Climbing For Christ members involved in the NorCal Chapter, and I think as we begin to get this chapter going, we will see more faces, and more of team effort to win souls for Christ.

Historic Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. (Photo by Gary Fallesen)

Chapter Coordinators

Meet Charleton Churchill

Age: 34. Residence: Jackson, Calif. Personal (family – married/children): Wife Kelly Churchill (married August 1999); children Janae Faith, 5; Ashlyn Grace, 2, and McKinley Hope (2 months). Occupation: Youth Ministry/Worship Pastor.

How long have you climbed? Hiking/backpacking all my life, glacier travel (9 years), rock climbing (high school/college training).

Type of climbing you do: Mountaineering and hiking, setting goals, challenging myself to greater feats (not much rock climbing anymore, but I don’t mind going out once in a while).  Climbing mountains has many purposes for me. In terms of my relationship with God, I like to go where most people are not, like on mountains, and “being still and knowing that He is God.” In terms of ministry, I enjoy having conversations with people in the mountains, as well as having fun.

Highlight of climbing career: Mission: Denali 2007 – It was my first time climbing with a team of Christians who were family. God taught me so many things that stick with me today and I’m grateful for my other experiences as well.

How long have you been a Christian? I responded to Christ and gave my life to Him my junior year of high school. I was 16 years old. A year later, I wanted to reach out to teens who were like me, with no church background.  So… I jumped into youth ministry. I’ve been involved for 17 years so far.

Type of ministry you are blessed to serve in: Working with young people (high school, college, and sometimes junior high), mountaineering and all forms, artistic and photographic ministries, and of course…Starbucks Ministry. Or what I call, “The wherever-I-am-ministry.” It just so happens, I’m in Starbucks quite a bit.

Favorite Scripture verse (and why): Ecclesiates 3:1 — “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven.” The reason this verse means so much is that it seems like (as the next verses read), God is plucking or uprooting that which was planted. God is allowing America to go through these hard times that we’re in, and everyone is feeling the effects. Personally, people I know are dying or have died recently, getting divorced, losing homes, losing jobs, hurting, questioning God, angry with the government (mostly California), our kids are growing up around all this, etc., and life seems unfair to many with which I am involved. This verse is just a confirmation that God is in charge, and there is a reason for everything. As there are four mandatory seasons of the year, summer, fall, winter, and spring, so it is with our lives. We have to go through winter, non-negotiable. There is no other way. It is colder and darker, and we must enter it before we are allowed to move onto spring thaw, which is a time of rebirth. What is God doing? I don’t know, but nothing passes by God without Him knowing, and I can fully trust Him because He is Good and Worthy of being trusted.

Special “God moment” you'd like to share: Most recent and memorable is my father-in-law’s funeral, where nearly 500 gathered. Cancer took him at the young age of 62. He was the most humble, self-sacrificing, family man I know, and with a man so quiet, it confounds me how much his faith in Christ spoke to so many. A year before His passing, my brother-in-law Kevin, his son, gave him a blank sheet of paper and told him to write down what he wanted to accomplish or see before passing. A few minutes later, he gave him back the piece of paper, and told him that’s what he wanted to accomplish. As Kevin looked at the paper, he noticed it was blank. His father said, “There is nothing I would like to accomplish. I have no regrets. I have lived exactly the way I was supposed to live, and now I am at peace. I am ready to see God.” A man of faith. A man of inspiration to so many.

Meet Lucas Huey

Age: 28. Residence: Salinas, Calif. Personal (family – married/children): Engaged to be married December 2008. I have one child (daughter Adeline, age 7). Occupation: Fabricator, freelance graphic designer. Church/community of faith: Shoreline Community Church in Monterey, Calif.

How long have you climbed? I have been rock climbing for nine years. I have been hiking, and doing minor mountaineering since I was a little kid. My dad always took the family on awesome hikes. Yosemite was our playground.

Type of climbing you do: I do the basic sport, and trad climbing, backpacking, and mountaineering. Starting to get into snowshoeing.

Highlight of climbing career: Being humbled on my very first climb (Fresno Dome in the Sierra National Forest). Feeling extremely small in the presence of awesomeness. Realizing how small I was and how huge my impact could be.

How long have you been a Christian? 15 years.

Type of ministry you are blessed to serve in: I was blessed to be a youth leader at two different churches when I was in college (graduated from Whitworth College in Spokane, Wash.). I have a special place in my heart for the youth. I also have been blessed to bring a philosophical discussion when witnessing an “out-of-the-box” view for those who need logic and clarity for: why faith, how faith.

Favorite Scripture verse (and why): 1 Corinthians 2:1-5. This is my favorite because it's not about me or what I say. It's about God and what he says and does through me.

Special “God moment” you'd like to share: I was belaying a now friend, but at the time it was someone that I didn't get along with. I realized that when I have others on belay, they are safe because of me. I realized that when they are belaying for me, my life is in their hands. At the next pitch, we put our differences aside and prayed with and for each other. I was humbled and shown to have faith.

Posted Aug. 22, 2008

The Word

“So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.”
1 Corinthians 15:58


It began in June 2008 with a suggestion from Charleton Churchill: “California Chapter possibility. There are so many mountains to hike, climb, etc., and it would be great if we could have members meet to share.” The notion of outdoor ministry in Northern California became the idea of the summer of 2008. The inaugural NoCal Chapter event was a 16.4-mile roundtrip hike up Half Dome in Yosemite National Park on Saturday, Sept. 6.


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