Reverend Jacob Worley used to work for the U.S. Department of Defence at the White Sands Missile Range.
As a biology and zoology graduate from Western New Mexico University, Worley did environmental assessments for the army.
He studied the impact of missile testing on wildlife and endangered species.
In 2001, he switched gears and went into ministry.
“God called me,” he said, when asked why.
Rev. Worley is now the priest for the Anglican churches in Houston, Smithers and Quick.
There are 15 regular parishioners at the Houston Anglican Church of St. Clement beside the Community Hall.
Rev. Worley lives in Smithers with his wife Kelly and three of his five children Alethea, 10, Elias, 14 and Asher, 17. The two oldest, Rebekah, 21, and Ezra, 23, live in New Mexico where Worley pastored 2005 to 2013.
Worley was born in Alabama and moved to Gallop, New Mexico, when he was five years old.
After high school, he got a degree in zoology and biology at Western New Mexico University.
He met and married his wife Kelly in 1989.
After university, he ran an environmental consultant business for six years, which included work for the Department of Defence.
Then he went to seminary.
Several bishops and other people advised him to go into ministry, but Worley says he avoided it at first because of the responsibility.
“It was a long process,” he said.
In 2004, Worley finished his Masters in Divinity and became a deacon, or “bus boy,” serving a church in Michigan.
He was ordained a priest in 2005 and became an associate youth pastor and an interim pastor at a church in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
He started a new church in a different part of the city in 2007.
In 2013, he and his family moved to Fort St. John, where Worley served as an interim pastor for six months while a church waited for a new pastor to come.
Last year, his family moved to Ireland where he was priest over five churches.
“The Anglican church is a community world-wide… we had an opportunity to go there for a while, so we just took them up on it,” Worley said.
“It was quite a culture shock… It is the little things, like driving on the opposite side of the road, the speed limits and small roads, the attitudes and expectations that are different. It’s those little things that add up and make it difficult.
“We missed Canada the whole time.”
In November 2014, he moved to Smithers and became priest over the Anglican Churches in Houston, Smithers and Quick.
Although it is a challenge to support all three churches, Rev. Worley says he will be there for his congregation always.
“That’s a given. If anybody needs me, I’m there. I’ll drive out,” he said.
When asked why he came here, Worley said he and his wife felt the Lord calling them here.
“Also, when we were in Fort St. John, we fell in love with Canada. Alongside that, we fell in love with the people of Canada. There is a sweetness and a genuineness about Canadians that I really like,” Worley said.
Speaking of the Houston church, Worley said the people are like a family.
“This is a wonderful group of people who are genuine and down to earth,” he said.
Worley says one of his desires is to see local churches working together.
“Some differences are very important, but those things that are essential unite us,” Worley said.
His vision for the Anglican Church of St. Clement is based on Acts 2:42-47 in the Bible.
Worley says the passage shows families coming together, fellowship, sitting under the word of God, worship, prayer and breaking bread.
His vision is for that kind of church, and one that is “looking outward and being a part of the community in a positive way,” he said.