About the Pastor
Rich Douglass, pastor at Washington Valley Chapel since 2017, came to us after 25 years in the US Air Force as an F-16 fighter pilot and international strategic planner. After the Air Force, he and his wife Donna, have served as missionaries in Africa and the South Pacific nation of Palau. Since 2002, Rich has poured his life into ministry, guiding small groups, training ministry leaders, conducting strategic planning seminars for churches and Christian organizations, creating a national evangelism training program and even spearheading a statewide ministry for Fellowship of Christian Athletes. His main passion, however, remains one-to-one discipleship, where he intentionally helps move men and women through a weekly program that prepares them to disciple others who disciple others, who disciple others...
Rich has earned an MA in English Literature from Midwestern State, an MA in Air and Space Science from the National Defense University and an MA in Biblical Exposition from the nondenominational Columbia International University Seminary and School of Missions in South Carolina. An insatiable learner, he is now pursuing doctoral studies at Alliance Theological Seminary in Nyack, NY, a Christian and Missionary Alliance (CMA) school. He was ordained in the Southern Baptist tradition and is licensed with the CMA.
Rich's spiritual journey has been just as varied as the rest of his life, beginning in a synagogue in Los Angeles. He worshipped as a practicing Jew until viewing “The Cross and The Switchblade” at age 13. At the altar call following the movie, he was the first to kneel and ask Jesus to be his savior, saying, "I need whatever the guy in that movie has!" For the next 23 years, he was in and out of churches. At age 36, frustration overwhelmed him: despite all of his efforts, the Bible was as empty and silent to him as it was powerfully alive to others that he knew. He finally reached the end of his rope. While deer hunting from a perch in a tree, Rich literally cried out to God to open the Word to him, “You have got to change this!” The next day at Bible study, God did. And the rest has been the continual blessing of growth in knowledge and in life. Jesus had been Rich's Savior since 1979, but only after that day in the tree has Jesus become, more and more, Rich's Lord.
Rich married Donna in 2006. After attending seminary together for the same degree and collaborating on the endurance sport ministry, they began a family and now are raising three sweet young girls, Zoe Noelle (2009), Matilda Grace (2012) and Gwendolyn Joy (2014).