VIDEO:Pedalling pastor brings joy and laughter

If the Lord truly works in mysterious ways, then Pastor Wade Harvey is a shining example.

Pastor Wade Harvey on one of the three unicycles he has in his collection and rides year round to keep in shape

Pastor Wade Harvey on one of the three unicycles he has in his collection and rides year round to keep in shape

If the Lord truly works in mysterious ways, then Pastor Wade Harvey is a shining example.

Known to his skydiving buddies as the holy ghost for his characteristic white jumpsuit, the 60-year-old leader of the OK Falls Community Baptist Church can also be found — even in the dead of winter — pedalling his 36-inch unicycle on local streets with a big smile and a wave for everyone.

Admittedly unconventional, Harvey, a transplanted Nova Scotian, one year removed, makes no apologies for his unorthodox ways and even encourages others to do the same, all in the name of love.

“I’m a little different that’s for sure,” said Harvey with his ever-present smile and a quick shake of the head. “Absolutely people are surprised to see me riding my unicycle (actually he has three) but everybody smiles and I hope that I do bring joy to somebody’s life. If I make them laugh, that’s what it’s all about in my mind, to bring joy and laughter then I’ve brought God’s presence to them.

“I don’t take myself seriously and I always try to see things a little differently. I have dyslexia, a reading disability so I have to see things differently.”

He took up skydiving and as well as scuba diving back in Nova Scotia and last summer did about a dozen jumps in Vernon.

In spite of free falling to earth at nearly 53 metres a second Harvey feels “closer to God” when skydiving.

He even performed a wedding for a couple in the plane as they were reaching altitude and all three jumped together and the rings were exchanged on the ground after landing.

“It was special for them so that was important,” said Harvey.

Brenda, his wife of 38 years, admits her husband can be just a bit much at times but loves him dearly and wouldn’t change a thing, although she’s not too sure everyone else feels the same.

“Yes he’s an adrenaline junkie for sure,” said Brenda prior to Sunday’s service at the small McLean Creek Road church. “I think they (parishioners and others) think he’s out to lunch some of the time, most of the time, but he’s just lots and lots of fun.”

Harvey’s church services are also a little different than most.

“I try to keep it light, I only speak for 20 minutes because I think once their butts go to sleep their brains aren’t long in following,” he said. “I also often say that God has given us two ears and one mouth that should tell us that we should listen twice as much as we talk but it seems to be the reverse sometimes.”

Helping people is Harvey’s main directive in life whether it’s getting groceries for someone, piling firewood or just visiting a shut in or hospital patient.

All this comes without cost, either financially or spiritually.

“Some people think that if we feed the hungry we’re trying to convert them to Christianity. For me, the reality is we should all try to help each other and I guess that makes me a strange Baptist minister to some people,” he said.

On a more serious note, he sees much suffering at home and in the rest of the world and feels religion needs to shoulder some of the blame.

“The church has come down hard on different topics and we’ve ended up looking like we’re against things and the church should be more positive. We should be giving grace and not judgement and I think the church has kind of missed the boat in that sense,” he said. “I believe the idea of faith is becoming less and less important and the reality is that the more materialistic we become the less satisfied we are, the key to me is how do we get back to the basics.

“There is no simple answer, it’s personal choice. I believe we live in the best country in the world but people seem to grumble and find things to complain about. Why?”

As Sunday’s service ends, Wade and Brenda give their goodbyes to those heading out the doors.

“When they leave they should feel happier,” said Harvey. “I often say to them go out and fill the world, where there is darkness, bring light, where there’s despair bring hope.”

Just Posted

Rachel Spanier opened her new business, Rikki Lou Who’s Gift Emporium at the corner of Alexander Street and Lakeshore Drive on May 11. Space at the rear of the store is dedicated to her other business, Head Gamez Hair & Company. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Lookie-loos welcome at new downtown Salmon Arm business

Rachel Spanier combines gift emporium and Head Gamez salon at one location

A thief or thieves broke into a kitchen at the grandstands at the Salmon Arm Fairgrounds recently, destroying a door apparently with the intention of stealing copper. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
Man found sleeping amidst damage on Salmon Arm fairgrounds

Agricultural association dismayed by vandalism, thefts in kitchen, dance studio

Quinn, left, and Adrian Van de Mosselaer are going through UBCO’s nursing program together after Quinn encouraged his brother to go back to school. (UBC Okanagan/Contributed)
UBC Okanagan student transitions from professional hockey to nursing

Adrian Van de Mosselaer credits his younger brother for the push to get him back to learning

The first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose in Canada is prepared at The Michener Institute in Toronto on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
One death, 39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 484 active cases of the virus in the region currently

Letter writer concerned there was a lack of notice by School District 83 regarding the May 12 board meeting on the district’s Long Range Facilities Plan. Discussion at the meeting is expected to focus on Salmon Arm schools, including the J.L. Jackson campus. (Google maps image)
Letter: Public provided little notice on Salmon Arm school facilities meeting

Writer questions what constitutes proper communication

Marc Kielburger, screen left, and Craig Kielburger, screen right, appear as witnesses via video conference during a House of Commons finance committee in the Wellington Building in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 28, 2020. The committee is looking into Government Spending, WE Charity and the Canada Student Service Grant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
BREAKING: Trudeau didn’t violate conflict rules over WE Charity

Federal ethics commissioner Mario Dion found that former finance minister Bill Morneau did violate the rules

An Israeli attack helicopter launches flares as he flies over the Israeli Gaza border, southern Israel, Thursday, May 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Singh calls for halt on Canadian arms sales to Israel as violence escalates in region

Government data shows Canada sent $13.7 million in military goods and technology to Israel in 2019

New homes are built in a housing construction development in the west-end of Ottawa on Thursday, May 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Budget’s foreign-homebuyers tax could bring in $509 million over 4 years, PBO says

Liberals are proposing a one per cent tax on vacant homes owned by foreign non-residents

A Canadian flag patch is shown on a soldier’s shoulder in Trenton, Ont., on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014. The Canadian Forces says it has charged one of its members in the death of an army reservist from British Columbia during a training exercise at a military base in Alberta last year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Lars Hagberg
Canadian Forces member charged in death of army reservist during training exercise

Cpl. Lars Callsen has been charged with one count of negligence

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks during a press conference in the rotunda at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Wednesday May 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. to use remaining AstraZeneca vaccine for 2nd doses

Health officials say the change is due to the limited availability of the vaccine

A youth plays basketball in an otherwise quiet court in Toronto on Saturday April 17, 2021. The Canadian Civil Liberties Association is urging the federal and provincial governments to fight COVID-19 pandemic by focusing on proven public health policy interventions including paid sick leave, and education rather than punitive enforcement measures. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Provinces issued more COVID-19 tickets during 2nd wave: CCLA report

‘A pandemic is a public health, not a public order, crisis,’ reads the report

Capt. Arpit Mahajan of the Canadian Forces Snowbirds - Snowbirds 2 - shows off his ‘Jenn Book’ dedicated to Capt. Jennifer Casey. Zoom screenshot
Homecoming for B.C.-raised Snowbirds pilot training in the province

Capt. Arpit Mahajan flies Snowbird 2 in his first year as a solo pilot with the team

(Glenmore Neighbours/Facebook)
VIDEO: Parade of ducklings stalls Glenmore traffic

Duck and ducklings trek across Glenmore, guided to pond by residents

Vernon’s Tanya Wick, human resources VP at Tolko Industries Ltd., has been named the 2021 HR Professional of the Year by the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources of British Columbia and Yukon. (CPHR BC & Yukon photo)
Okanagan resident gets top provincial award for HR excellence

Tolko’s Tanya Wick has earned the title of 2021 HR Professional of the Year

Most Read