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Dave Edler, senior pastor
Yakima Foursquare Church
Yakima, Wash.

Pastoring and politics can work hand-in-hand to impact a community, as Foursquare Pastor Dave Edler illustrates. Pastor Dave, 52, who serves with his wife, Susan, as senior pastor of Yakima Foursquare Church in Washington and is also the city’s mayor, was recently profiled in Charisma magazine, which noted that since becoming mayor in 2006, he has “been praised for building broad, bipartisan coalitions to address local issues.”

Yakima has also seen a reduction in crime rates, increased investment in redevelopment and an improved public image during the pastor-politician’s tenure.

“I love people, and my role as mayor has opened a whole new group of people up to me,” Pastor Dave said. “It has also been a great example to my church—they get to see me practice what I preach about being a part of the community by serving it.”

The Edlers have three adult children and also have taken in people to mentor over the years, one of whom now pastors one of the two additional churches planted by Yakima Foursquare in the surrounding area. Pastor Dave says his greatest joy-apart from the inspiration his family gives him-is seeing people decide to follow Jesus for the first time.

And how does he handle the challenges that ministry and civic leadership can bring?

“When you are called to lead, you must lead,” he asserts. “You’ve made a commitment to your community, and you have to follow through even when it seems like you are going nowhere. You pray for wisdom a lot.”

Article by: Bill Shepson, a Foursquare credentialed minister and freelance writer in Los Angeles
Photo by: Mykoli’s Photograhy |

is a credentialed minister and freelance editor living in Sacramento, Calif.