Submitted by Rhonda Bradshaw
Victory Life Church began around 1988 as Caliente Christian Center, under the pastorate of J. Loren Bradshaw.
Loren Bradshaw grew up in Elgin, Nevada, (where his family had a ranch) and Caliente. After graduating from Lincoln County High School and attending Rhema Bible Training Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he received his degree in ministry. Caliente Christian Center met weekly in the IOOF Hall across the railroad tracks, where Sunday services, Sunday school and Christmas and Easter services were held.
Longtime locals might remember more than a few Easter services held at the Bradshaw ranch in Elgin, down Rainbow Canyon. They were filled with music, an Easter message, Dutch oven chicken, potatoes, homemade salads and desserts, Maggie’s peach pie, raw egg tosses and Easter egg hunts. Everyone was invited.
Caliente Christian Center eventually relocated to the Caliente City Council room at the Depot. Pastor Loren continued to minister, and they maintained an active church.
Fast forward to 2017. Loren and his wife Sue’s oldest son, Cole Bradshaw, moved back to Caliente. Cole had been involved in both worship music and youth ministry in Utah. As Pastor Loren was getting ready to retire, Cole was working toward his degree from North Carolina College of Theology. When Pastor Loren retired and Cole became the new pastor, Caliente Christian Center became Victory Life Church.
For five years, Pastor Cole led worship music and gave messages weekly. The church and the worship team grew to include September Barnes, Chris and Ashley Patricelli, Summer B. Griffin, Michael Roth and Darin Trueblood.
Victory Life outgrew the city council room and moved into the beautiful Caliente Art Room, where sunlight streamed through the big stained-glass windows. The church also rented a room upstairs for the pastor’s office and Sunday school.
When the Depot closed its doors for restoration, the search began for a new building for Victory Life Church. Many prayers were said to find a comfortable, easily accessible modern building with adequate parking for Sundays and the new space was found on North Spring Street, and new carpeting was obtained (thanks to Mr. and Mrs. (Frank) Karpet. Doug Charlton helped build the Sunday school room, and a few members used their creative talents to paint the walls, building a beautiful cross on the wall and a lovely coffee cabinet refinished from a donated dresser. The first service was Jan. 15, 2023.
As members settle into their new building, Victory Life Church is extending an invitation to friends and neighbors to come worship with them. Watch for the new youth group and their monthly activities. Easter service will be held April 9 at Kershaw-Ryan State Park.
Victory Life Church wants to invite those in the community looking for a church family and home to come share Sundays with them.
The new address for the church is 820 N. Spring Street, Suite B, Caliente 89008.
Services start at 10:00 a.m.
The next youth event is April 22. Stay tuned for more details to follow.