New pastor, family, settling into life in Waitsburg
Cameron and Angelica Hedges have fallen in love with the rural town life, saying goodbye to California and the city lights
September 23, 2021
Cameron and Angelica Hedges are new to Waitsburg and are wholeheartedly embracing small-town life.
"I love it out here, so far," said Angelica Hedges about Waitsburg. "It's much slower paced than what we are used to."
The Hedges family moved to our quiet little town from Los Angeles County in California after Cameron accepted the lead pastor position at Waitsburg Christian Church. The couple moved to Waitsburg roughly one month ago, with their daughters Abigail and Avah and their niece, Shylo. While they had wanted to leave California for 'quite some time,' Cameron said it was hard to say goodbye to their family without having the right reasons.
He was a pastor in California for more than ten years, holding an undergraduate degree in Bible Theology and a seminary degree. He searched for work in churches and spent time as a missionary, working with bible translators, before learning about Waitsburg Christian Church.
When asked how an L.A. County pastor ended up in small-town Washington, he said it was just by chance.
"An ad for a church in a town I had never heard of popped up in my feed, and I sent in my resume," Cameron said. "The church invited us to come up in May, and we were here for four days. We stayed at the hotel in Dayton, and I kept asking Angelica, 'what do you think?' She said she loved it.
"There was this sense of peace," Angelica said about Waitsburg and the surrounding area. "It was hard for me to move because I love the beach and being so close to the beach, but it was meant to be. My girls needed a change, too."
The past two years had been tough for the young ladies of the Hedges Family, Angelica said. From a school shooting to riots and protests brought on by political tensions, Angelica said it was time to trade the hustle and bustle for the rural quiet.
"The girls have transitioned incredibly well," Cameron said. "They did a great job researching schools and finding out what they wanted to do when they got here. Avah, our youngest, said that she felt like the quiet really helped calm her down."
Cameron said that the family's overall goal is to simply become good citizens of Waitsburg, and they got a head start the week before school by hosting a school supplies giveaway for families in need. They worked closely with Andrea Anderson, the church's Youth Ministry Leader, to coordinate the giveaway. Some additional backpacks and supplies are still available, Cameron said. He said he loves doing humanitarian work and is excited to get involved with the Waitsburg Resource Center.
He has already begun working with Pastor Stan Hughes of Waitsburg Presbyterian Church on community projects. He said they are working together to plan a Halloween event and getting a jumpstart on Operation Christmas Child.
Operation Christmas Child is a seasonal ministry event where families pick up an empty show box and fill it with small items, including hygiene products, school supplies, and toys, for both boys and girls. The boxes are shipped to children in impoverished areas of Africa, sharing just a little bit of joy worldwide.
"It's awesome for a lot of reasons," Cameron said. "You feel good because you realize, 'wow, I helped give to these kids who don't have a lot,' but I think it is a perspective changer for people, kids too, to see that we are pretty blessed. In the midst of all of this, we have a lot. It's not meant to guilt people or feel bad; it's just a different type of reality. You get to see these kids just screaming with joy because they got a pack of pencils."
When they aren't helping in their new community or leading a sermon, Cameron said they are a family filled with love for the outdoors, and they can't wait to get out and explore surrounding lakes, rivers, and forests.
"We love the town a ton," Cameron said. "We are already having fun!"
Waitsburg Christian Church meets every Sunday, masks required and will stream each sermon on Facebook and YouTube.