Preacher man follows in his fathers footsteps



Submitted Photo
Rev. Ray Collver and his wife Blanche lived at Neepawa in the 1950s. Collver was pastor at Neepawa’s Calvary Chapel. His son Rodney is re-tracing his father’s footsteps and will be preaching at Calvary Chapel on Sept. 10.

By Ken Waddell
The Neepawa Press 

Some men follow in the fathers’ footsteps. One former Neepawa resident not only followed in his father’s footsteps, he is re-tracing those steps. Rod Collver spent some of his early years in Neepawa while his father, the Rev. H R Collver  was pastor at Neepawa’s Calvary Chapel from 1953 - 1958. Collver senior, went on to pastor in Fort Frances, Ontario and at churches in the United States.

Rodney said in a phone interview with The Neepawa Press that he moved with the family to Fort Frances, Ontario when he was in the third grade. After his seventh grade, Rodney and his older brother hitch-hiked back to Neepawa to see some friends. He did that again a few years later with another brother, but he says times have changed. “I wouldn’t hitch hike today.” It has been a lot of years since he last saw Neepawa but he and his wife are looking forward to coming to the area.
Rodney Collver not only followed in his father’s footsteps by spending his whole life as a preacher, he has made it a mission, as he approaches retirement, to visit (and if possible preach in) every church his father served in. Collver, the younger, is pastor at Open Arms Church at Lake Dallas, a suburb of Dallas, Texas. “I just loved people and they loved me back and the Open Arms Church grew.” He also spent a number of years touring with a family gospel singing group called The Canadian Gospel Singers.
Collver is scheduled to preach at Calvary Chapel in Neepawa on Sept. 10 at 10:30 a.m. While there may be few who remember the Collver family, Rodney Collver says he has very fond memories of the Percy Ford Family. “I spent a lot of time with them.” Percy Ford passed away many years ago but there are several descendants at Neepawa and Gladstone.