Bill Chadwick, a beloved pastor and father of two from Maine who was well known for his wit, selflessness, and passion for life and Christ, died tragically in a motorcycle accident Saturday morning. He was 64.
Authorities told Central Maine that Chadwick was riding a motorcycle at the intersection of Route 25 and Conant Street when he crashed into another vehicle around 11:50 a.m. He died at the scene. The driver of the other vehicle, 71-year-old James Bosse, was uninjured, police said.
Chadwick had been pastor at Stroudwater Christian Church in Portland since 1990 at the time of his death.
In a statement on its website, the church described the loss as something that “may seem more than we can bear.”
“It is with great regret and deep sadness that the Board of Stroudwater Christian Church must share with you that today our beloved Pastor Bill passed away. He died in a motorcycle accident. The loss and profound grief we all feel may seem more than we can bear, yet we are reminded of Pastor Bill’s many words, over his many years with us, that strengthen and encourage us, and will lead us to a place of peace in our Lord whom he loved and served,” it said.
In his bio on the church’s website, Chadwick was described as having the “heart of an evangelist” as well as being “an author, scholar, and student of the Word.”
His widow, Carol, with whom he raised two sons, Benjamin and Daniel, during 32 years of marriage, said his passion was leading others to God.
“He was absolutely passionate about leading others to Christ. That was his principal mission in life, that was why he got up every day,” she told Central Maine.
Congregant Brett Williams, who also served a Chadwick’s worship director, remembered him as a “giant” with “a quick wit, a beautiful mind, and a colossal heart.”
“The world lost a giant yesterday. My pastor from Stroudwater Christian Church, William Henry Chadwick, was instrumental in my life when I was single, when I got married, and when I became a dad. He had a quick wit, a beautiful mind, and a colossal heart. He supported and trusted me when I was his worship director ... a gift I didn't appreciate at the time. He was my pastor in every sense. He will be very sorely missed. Rest in peace, friend,” Williams wrote on Facebook.
Chadwick, who, like millions of Americans across the nation, was also coping with a stay-at-home order which in his state remains in effect until May 31, recently had his wit on display in a post on Facebook about how he was managing.
“Day 35 and I still have plenty of projects to do around the house. Just yesterday I counted 34 ants in the morning on the front deck and 7 on the back deck in the afternoon. That was down from just a week ago. I think I've flatten the curve,” he wrote on April 22. “Soon I'll let the wife come out and sun on the deck again as long as she practices social distancing. Wish the deck was bigger so we both could practice social distancing at the same time. As it is now, I just report to her that no one else was there. I'm fine really. We can do this. Tomorrow. I'm cleaning out her closets. Should be a good day.”