Boise and Beyond: Idaho Church Reaches Farther, Invests in Future Amid Present Wins

 In All Church of God, CHOG, Western

By Carl Stagner

Amazing things keep happening at Cloverdale Church of God. The influential Idaho congregation celebrates numerous present-day wins—from baptisms to an influx of young adults, as well as life transformation—but they’re neither letting victory go to their heads nor distract them from what’s next. Wrapped up in the demands of local church ministry, it would be easy not only to focus too long on a single cause for celebration, but also to fail to see beyond Boise. For Cloverdale Church of God, that would be absurd; what makes perfect sense to them, however, is helping solidify the shared spiritual foundation which helped them get where they are today.

Since the start of 2022, Allen Chaney has served as lead pastor of Cloverdale. Though it’s only been a couple years since that important beginning, Pastor Allen’s Cloverdale roots stretch down considerably farther.

“My wife and I began attending Cloverdale right after we were married in the summer of 1992,” he recalls. “In October of 1996 I began serving the church as youth pastor until June of 2002, at which time I transitioned to associate pastor. I served as associate pastor until June of 2004, when we accepted a call to serve as lead pastor at Reedsport Church of God. Then in April of 2021, we returned as executive pastor to Cloverdale at Pastor Tom Dougherty’s invitation and anticipated succession plan. The transition went extremely well, so Pastor Tom and I switched roles January 1, 2022.”

Cloverdale Church of God exterior

Under Tom Dougherty’s exemplary leadership, Cloverdale Church of God reached incredible heights of kingdom success. A continuation of wonderful and new developments appears to be the providential plan being put into place by the Holy Spirit under Pastor Allen Chaney. The stories range from inspiring to jaw-dropping awesome, and Chaney is quick to give the credit to the mysterious and marvelous movement of the Third Person of the Trinity.

“Within the past few months,” he recollects, “we have seen many new folks start attending Cloverdale and the loving, welcoming spirit from our church family has been tremendous. I’m especially encouraged to see the Holy Spirit drawing young people to faith in Christ and his Church. We recently baptized Orion, a 17-year-old young man (high school senior), who started coming to Cloverdale by himself. He said, ‘From the first time I attended, I felt welcome and knew this is where I should be.’ When I discussed baptism with him, I asked if he had ever seen a baptism before, and he said, “Yes, the 81-year-old man you baptized on Christmas Eve.” I didn’t realize Orion was there that day, so I shared that with Wil, the 81-year-old man we baptized on Christmas Eve. Then, unbeknownst to me, Wil came back and congratulated Orion and gave him a big hug right after his baptism—Orion still dripping wet! So, the last baptism of 2023, on Christmas Eve, was an 81-year-old man, and the first of 2024, a 17-year-old man, who are now connected together for eternity because of the blood of Jesus Christ. Orion is in church every Sunday, and since his baptism, always has a family member with him.”

Excitedly, Pastor Allen continues. “Then, just last Sunday, we baptized a 25-year-old young man that recently started attending Cloverdale. The prayer he prayed at his baptism was absolutely Holy Spirit-led and incredibly inspirational to all who were blessed to experience it. We will also baptize a young lady, age 22, and a single father and his 14-year-old son very soon. [Furthermore,] we also have a young man, Riley, who started coming by himself last year and was baptized, who now brings several friends to church every Sunday, and they join me at the front of the sanctuary after service for some great theological discussions. It is so exciting to see the Holy Spirit clearly drawing young people to Jesus and allowing us to be part of their journey.”

The natural tendency for any pastor and congregation experiencing great gains and managing a full calendar is to emphasize the present and the proximate to the neglect of the future and the far. These are the moments, though, for Cloverdale, when seizing divine opportunity matters most. So, when the Pastor Allen Chaney and Cloverdale Church of God caught wind of the “One Thousand Gifts” Movement-wide initiative, participation didn’t just make sense—it was also embraced enthusiastically.

“Having been part of the Church of God family for over thirty years now,” Pastor Allen explains, “it’s obvious to me, in both churches I’ve served, that there were folks in the generations before us who sacrificially gave to establish the foundation of the Church we are now benefiting from and blessed to continue. It just seems right to me that we would now step up and participate in that sacrificial giving to make sure the Church of God stays alive and vital for the next generation.”

A few pennies in the plate wouldn’t be enough for Cloverdale. They’ve opted to give generously, to sow sacrificially, as Pastor Allen put it. And, not by compulsion, but because they know, like a turtle observed on a fencepost, they didn’t get where they are by themselves. In a world where countless opportunities relentlessly present themselves as good causes to support, Cloverdale recognizes the responsibility and privilege of provision for the family.

“We would hope all churches within our Church of God family would pray and consider how they might be able to support the One Thousand Gifts campaign,” Allen adds. “Past generations sacrificed tremendously to build the church we have today. Let’s make sure it stands firm for future generations to hear the good news of Jesus Christ and experience a vibrant model of the unity of the Holy Spirit.”

One Thousand Gifts is your invitation to join arm-in-arm with your brothers and sisters across the Movement—each giving of what we have—to raise $2 million this year. This crucial funding is essential for ongoing initiatives and programs, and vital to bringing about transformation in our churches, in our neighborhoods, and in our hearts. What will Jesus do with your gift? Learn more at www.jesusisthesubject.org/one-thousand-gifts/.

Feature (top) photo: Pastor Allen Chaney prays over the church celebrating thirty-five years of Tom Dougherty’s leadership. Photo credit: Don Armstrong.

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