ChrisLeavell_inlineMERIDIAN, Idaho—Christopher Michael Leavell, a pastor for 12 years, died Oct. 15 at age 37 after a brief battle with cancer.

Chris was born in Wyoming, and although he lived many places throughout his life, he called Idaho home. He pastored a church in Ashton, Idaho, for six years, and then Grace Baptist Church, Tempe, Arizona, for six years. In early July he relocated to Meridian, Idaho, intending to pastor a church, but God had other plans. Chris was diagnosed with a very aggressive and incurable melanoma on Aug. 5.

“God knows the timing,” says Michelle, Chris’s wife of 15 years. “As Chris would always say, ‘There is no such thing as bad timing with God.’”

On Aug. 20, when he learned his cancer was incurable, Chris wrote, “God is good and merciful to those that trust in Him. This news today has brought much tears and sorrow to family and friends. But all this sorrow is temporary. The reality is God has already had the last word on this cancer long before I was born. When Jesus rose from the dead and became the first fruits of the resurrection this cancer was defeated. It torments us for just a short time but soon will be swallowed up by eternal life. Even though it is a time of sorrow, our family is enveloped in peace that only comes to those whose faith and trust rests in the Lord.”

In addition to serving as a pastor, Chris enjoyed landscape photography and oil painting. He loved spending time in God’s creation and capturing the beauty on canvas and print. See his work at christopherleavell.com.

He is survived by Michelle and their three children, Josie, Scott, and Colette.

A viewing will be held Oct. 20, 6:00–8:00 p.m, at Accent Funeral Home, 1303 N. Main St., Meridian, Idaho. The funeral will be Oct. 21, 10:00 a.m., at Fellowship Baptist Church, 1824 W. 3rd St. in Meridian with burial to follow at Wilder Cemetery.