Woolridge Road

This weekend was bittersweet… after one of the most fun, productive, and recharging seasons of ministry I have experienced in my tenure as a pastor, it was announced to the Orchard this weekend that Jen and I are heading to Woolridge Road Church, in Chesterfield County, Virginia, as the new Lead Pastor family.  Our last weekend at the Orchard will be September 20-21.

What can I say?  The Orchard is one of the best church communities in the country, and my friendship with Scott is a rare one indeed!  Rarely have I experienced the candor, chemistry, and confidence in a friendship that Scott and I share… Thanks to Scott and the Orchard for the time I’ve had to work as a part of this team!

Scott and I met while I was leading a transition at a church in Naperville.  I read his article in Leadership magazine and set up a meeting that same month… I wanted the church leaders of the church in Naperville to see the Orchard’s success story.  Scott spoke with them and shared the story of he and his dad’s transition at the Orchard.  Several months later that transition (mine) ended, but my friendship with Scott did not.  And it has carried forward to this present day, as I prepare to take my family from the Orchard to our new church family at Wooldridge – a church just west of Richmond, Virginia.

So, to the Orchard family – thanks for letting Jen and I serve with you!  You have been kind, accommodating, and a lot of fun to serve with!  I am already preparing my last talk with you for a while on the weekend of Sept. 20-21… We will miss you all as we take a bit of the Orchard east to the Richmond area!

And to our family at Wooldridge – we look forward to sharing life with you… as soon as we pack all these boxes 🙂  The cardboard mines of Peru have had to shift into overdrive to supply the Bell’s moving needs!  Seriously – pray for us as we pack and load a truck, as we look forward to seeing you all soon!


15 thoughts on “Woolridge Road

  1. Pingback: Chris Bell and Family Head East! « The Orchard Blog

  2. Hey, Chris. Really cool blog post!! As we all know, transitions are a challenge — and exciting — in so many ways. Just want to say how much the folks here @ Woolridge are looking forward to your/Jen/the fam’s coming to Richmond and bringing some of that “Orchard magic” East. We can’t help you fill all those boxes, but we’re happy to help you unpack!!

    Can’t wait to have you guys here and settling in. See you soon.


  3. Chris…I’m really happy for you and for Woolridge. It is obvious to me that you are a man of vision, passion and character. God is going to use you beyond your wildest dreams. Hate to see you leave the area.

  4. Chris,

    Thanks for your encouragement and support of my wife and I as we settle into missions here in Chicago. It’s too bad we couldn’t spend more time with you and your family while you were in the area! You have helped us feel welcome in the CDEA and participants in a wider movement of God in the Chicagoland region. Praise God for your work! Let’s find one more time to chat before you head off.

  5. Man, I am so bummed you’re leaving yet I am just as excited for you! Chris, you are an awesome pastor and Woolridge Church is just going to thrive. Jen I will miss worshiping with you on the weekends and sharing a giggle or two especially over children. God bless you both and Jen, make sure to find a podiatrist in Mosely! 😉

  6. Wow, there is a community in Virginia that has no idea how lucky they are. I will be praying for you guys during the transition!

    Jason, Kimberly, and Julianne

  7. I know it will be difficult to leave IL, but I am pumped that you are coming over to the east coast! I make trips to Virginia all the time for my job and to visit a friend in Culpeper – I am excited at the possibility of seeing you all! 🙂

  8. Congratulations Chris on this new and exciting opportunity. The community at Woolridge road is incredibly lucky to have as their new pastor a man who has a genuine love for the Lord and desire to serve his people. Your infectious enthusiasm and warmth will be missed. Thanks for your contributions to making the Orchard what it is.
    I understand the winters in Virginia are quite a bit milder than here in Chicago so at least one perk will be the ability to drive with the top down more often. Just remember the limited, shall we say, ‘protection’ you have on top.
    Best wishes on the move and the transition into the new role.

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