BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Roger Spradlin was a husband, father and influential pastor from Oklahoma who made his way to Bakersfield, and was co-senior pastor of Valley Baptist Church from its launch in 1985 until his retirement in February.

Spradlin was battling bile duct cancer until his untimely death Sunday, Nov. 5. He was 68.

Spradlin’s son, Andrew Spradlin, announced the heartbreaking news on the church’s social media platforms, stating, “My dad, Pastor Roger, passed from this world and entered the presence of Jesus this morning while our church was singing ‘Goodness of God.’ He passed very peaceably and comfortably with my mom and some of the family by his side.”

Pastor David Goh of the Garden Church knew Spradlin well, and said he captivated all who saw him preach.

“He would often be in jeans and boots, but when he spoke, there was incredible weight in his voice and in his personhood, and that to me in what integrity is about,” said Goh. “It’s not what you put on on the outside, or how you market yourself, but it’s really the experience of someone who has sacrificed and lived by faith all their life. I’ll always be thankful for having known him.”

Spring Bunting was a member of the church, and was baptized in 2017. She shares that she will always remember Pastor Roger for changing her life and the lives of others.

“He’s just that inspiring, so full of hope, love, and joy and happiness no matter what,” said Bunting.

Both share this will be a huge loss for all that knew or heard him preach, but Goh says he will always be remembered for being a man of his faith.

“The phrase that will come to many people whether they believe or not, is that, that is a true man of God,” said Goh.

Bakersfield Congressman and former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy released a statement on Spradlin’s death, stating, “Pastor Roger lived a remarkable life – a true pillar of Bakersfield. He cared for those in need with humility and grace, and made a difference in countless lives, including mine.”

The church announced its funeral plans for Spradlin in a social media post on Monday. You can find more information about those plans here.