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Meet our leadership team

Chad & Melissa Petersen

Lead Pastors of Bigfork Chapel

Pastor Chad & Melissa Petersen joined the Bigfork Chapel family in October of 2019 as Lead Pastors. Together, they have served for over 20 years of full-time ministry in 4 states and now are excited be a part of the Bigfork community. Pastor Chad is passionate about helping people to experience Christ for themselves, to discover and develop their place in the body of Christ, and to mentor other leaders. As a team, the Petersens want to see the local church empowered by the Holy Spirit to step beyond the walls of the church and to be the hands & feet of Christ in the community. Pastor Chad and Melissa have one adult son, Timothy, who lives and works in North Dakota.

Meet the team

Blake Bigart

Family Pastor

Pastor Blake came to the Flathead Valley in June 2022, following her graduation from Trinity Bible College and Graduate School. She holds degrees in Youth Ministry, Children’s Ministry, and Biblical Studies. She and her husband, Zachary were married in June 2023. Since first feeling called to ministry at age 13, Blake has immersed herself in serving in children’s, youth, and worship ministry as well as at various camps.

Blake is passionate about creating an environment in which students can discover Jesus and explore His call on their lives. She has a heart for missions and for seeing God receive glory in every nation, by every people group! Blake loves learning, especially reading books. She also enjoys hiking, camping, paddle boarding, crocheting, and singing and playing the piano. Playing cards or table games with friends is another of her favorite things!

Nicholas Van Oort

Associate Pastor

Pastor Nicholas has been leading worship at Bigfork Chapel since 2009. He is an ordained Assemblies of God minister and holds a Pastoral Ministry certificate from Global University and B.A. in Organizational Leadership from Northwest University. He and his lovely wife, Summer, have two children, a daughter, Madeline (age 13), and a son, Ethan (age 10).

Nicholas enjoys playing guitar and writing songs, and anything relating to technology. He is a huge fan of Apple products and can often be seen with at least three different devices nearby. Nicholas and Summer enjoy hanging out with friends and participating in events in the community, and they treasure time spent relaxing with family and enjoying life in the beautiful Flathead Valley.