Calvary Chapel: Unlikely Messenger

Tadd Scheffer: Unlikely Messenger
Tadd Scheffer: Unlikely Messenger

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Unlikely Messenger—Pastor Tadd & Charity

Story by Jessica Russell and Danae Neal
Photos courtesy of Calvary Chapel Ellensburg

Tadd SchefferTadd Scheffer had been dating Charity for almost six months. So it was time, Charity decided, for Tadd to convert to her faith. “It’s time for you to become a Mormon and get baptized in the Mormon Church,” she asserted one evening. “I can’t do that! I’m a Christian,” he responded. “What about your life tells me you’re a Christian?” she then inquired. Though Tadd had been raised to know that Jesus is Lord and Savior and attended Christian schools, he had since fallen away from his faith. “At that time, my life consisted of alcohol, motorcycles, women, and the things of the world,” he admitted. When Tadd met Charity nearly a year earlier, he had been attracted to the strong morals of her Mormon upbringing and pursued her until she finally agreed to go to dinner with him. But now that their relationship was getting serious, Charity and Tadd recognized that they couldn’t consider a future together with different religions.

"Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?" Amos 3:3

Three days later, while Tadd was test riding a motorcycle, another vehicle slammed into him, thrusting Tadd into a busy intersection. As he lay there on the pavement, face bloodied, and with a mouth full of broken windshield glass, he realized he needed to get right with God. “I broke my leg in four places,” he remembered. “I also had to buy this motorcycle that I’d only ridden for six minutes, and I was out of work for the next three months. But, during that time, I read through the entire Bible.” Tadd also studied every Mormon book he could find, some in favor of Mormonism and others opposing it. “I also wanted to read a book opposing Christianity, so I went to Barnes & Noble and bought Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis.” Judging by the title, Tadd figured the author didn’t think very highly of the subject. To Tadd’s surprise, the book only solidified what he had already been learning from reading his Bible. Between reading Mere Christianity and God’s Word from cover to cover, “There was no going back,” he shared. “The Lord got a hold of me, and from that moment on, it just broke my heart that Charity didn’t know the true God.”

Tadd and Charity Scheffer standing with their family

Tadd and Charity Scheffer pose with their family.

With much zeal, Tadd took every opportunity to point out contradictions and inaccuracies of Mormonism to Charity. “I was full of truth but not a lot of love,” related Tadd. Soon Charity got tired of his lectures and moved back to Utah to live with her family. But even with the distance, Tadd persisted to share with Charity. “I would call her with Bible verses and bombard her about Mormonism,” Tadd said. “Finally, I felt the Lord speak to me. He told me, ‘You’re trying to change a person’s heart, but that’s never been man’s job—that’s My job.’ Right then I went down on my knees and cried out to God for her salvation.”

"Let all that you do be done with love." 1 Corinthians 16:14

By Grace

Charity grew up with nine brothers and sisters in a devout Mormon family. For generations, her relatives have been active in their faith. “My mom’s great, great, great grandfather helped Joseph Smith translate the Book of Mormon,” she shared. “And my dad was in the bishopric. All of my brothers went on missions for the Mormon Church. We went to church faithfully and obeyed all the rules.”

In Utah, Charity felt compelled to research the things Tadd had told her. She went to the Brigham Young University library and studied the beginnings and theology of Mormonism. “I began to see that there were too many cracks in the religion for me to stand on it as truth in my life,” she recalled. “I was confused but couldn’t ask anyone around me about it.” Charity was discouraged from researching her faith by well-meaning friends who told her, “When you research, you are letting the devil in. You just need to believe that what you feel in your heart is right.” And Charity’s family was also confused: “They assumed I was just trying to be involved with Tadd no matter what, even if it meant giving up my religion,” she explained. “One of my brothers said to me, ‘Let’s just say that you did believe a lie and God wanted you to know the truth. Who would God send to tell you the truth—a guy who smokes, drinks, and whose life is a mess, or two nice guys in clean white shirts and ties?’” Though it made sense to Charity that God would send the nice, clean guys—referring to Mormon missionaries—she couldn’t hide her growing distrust of Mormonism and moved back to the state of Washington to find clarity. A few months later, Charity gave her life to Jesus Christ, believing in Him as the one, true God, and was married to Tadd nearly a year later.

“God uses people who aren’t worthy.”

“It wasn’t until Tadd hit his knees and prayed for my soul that the Lord began to work in my heart,” Charity recalled. “Because God knew my heart, He allowed me to come to Him slowly. God showed me that no part of me deserved to be saved. Nothing I can do will ever make me worthy—but God uses people who aren’t worthy. It was about me giving up and letting Jesus take control.” She added, “Growing up in Mormonism, I took validation in doing good works, but in Christianity I found freedom.”

"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works." Ephesians 2:8-9a

Vessels for God

“My husband was so in awe that the Lord would use him, even before he was truly living out his Christian faith, to bring someone out of Mormonism; He got so excited and wondered what God would do through him if he really gave his whole life to Him,” Charity recalled. The Scheffers attended Calvary Chapel Lynden (now Calvary Chapel Creekside), WA, and served in various ministries there. Eventually they took over the leadership of a Bible study in Ellensburg, WA, which has since grown into Calvary Chapel Ellensburg where Tadd is now senior pastor.

"For all things are for your sakes, that grace ... may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God." 2 Corinthians 4:15

The brother who had originally confronted Charity about who she was listening to has been impressed as he has observed their family over the years. While some of Charity’s family have warmed to her newfound faith, none have followed her lead … yet. Tadd and Charity have four children now and CC Ellensburg is in its 11th year.


All verses above are quoted from the New King James Version.

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