Stunned by the news, family, friends, church members and frequent church visitors were quick to express their sadness over the abrupt passing of the loving and caring pastor who had impacted each of them in a special way. Such was the the gifted life of Christopher W. Leonard, who, at age 56, was called from this earth far too soon.
It was in January of 2012 that Leonard and his wife, Kris Ann, left an Iowa church of 1,500 to pastor the Community Church of Fish Creek with a winter congregation of less than 100. His reason? “I want to be part of a smaller church where I can get to know the people and be involved in their lives,” he said. On Sunday, October 1, 2017, the nearly one hour of individual tributes to Leonard at the church celebration of his life left little doubt that he had achieved his goal.
One church spokesperson described Leonard’s various roles as church leader: “He was our pastor, teacher, shepherd and friend,” she told the crowd of nearly two hundred. Others who spoke confirmed those roles.