Soldier of Grace

Dr.  John Paisley enrolled in Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri and graduated in 1966. In 1965, he married his wife Dorothy, and the Lord later blessed them with two daughters—Elizabeth and Deborah—both presently serving the Lord in full-time ministry.

While on a trip through Washington state, Brother Paisley met Dr. Dallas Dobson and started a friendship that lasted a lifetime. Dr. Dobson introduced him to the northwest culture—something far different from the Southern congeniality Dr. Paisley and his wife were accustomed to living. He encouraged John to follow God’s leading and start a church.

In 1970, John Paisley planted Friendship Baptist Church now located in Prosser, Washington.
In 1974, John received a call from Dr. Dobson to join the staff of the Riverview Baptist Church in Pasco, Washington. After much prayer, he accepted the offer. For twenty-three years he faithfully served the pastor and church family at Riverview as associate pastor, leading and serving in a wide variety of ministries. His gracious servant’s heart and compassion for people has been evident throughout his ministry.

In January 1998, after the homegoing of Dr. Dobson, John Paisley became the senior pastor of the church and has served in that capacity for nearly twelve years. His wife Dorothy faithfully served by his side for the forty years the Lord gave them together. Mrs. Paisley was a longtime Sunday school teacher and bus captain. Her commitment to her Lord, her family, and her church is evidenced in the countless lives she impacted.

But on January 2, 2008, while surrounded by her family, Dorothy Louise Paisley went home to Heaven after a difficult but grace-filled battle with a rare form of cancer.

Dr. Paisley recalls his wife’s joy through her entire illness: “She never complained through the whole process, and her sense of humor never failed.”

Since his wife’s death, Dr. Paisley has given himself completely to the work of the ministry. He has learned a little more of the importance of ministering to people in their times of trial. “Spend more time in the house of mourning,” he says, “because that is where people listen. People don’t always listen in the house of mirth—when their lives have no real problems. I drop everything when there is a death or a hospitalization. When someone is going in for surgery, I like to stay through the whole operation with the family. I want to be there to pray with them if the doctor comes out and says there is a problem. It shows that you really care, and it opens up opportunities to share the Gospel.”

This man and his dear wife exemplified the lives of Christian servants, and their ministry together has been a vibrant testimony of God’s goodness and grace, even through trials.