Dedicated Follower of Jesus Christ


Ed and his wife Nadiene were friends of my family for many years. Most of their daughters were in the church youth group I oversaw while attending Neighborhood Church of Anderson Cottonwood. The church formed when I was in High School so I experienced Ed’s leadership in cooperation with the other elders, one of which was my father, K.C. Farrar. It was a privilege and honor to know Ed and sit under his teaching, but it was also quite an experience to see church “Body Life” function among followers of Christ.


The sermons included on this web site were converted by me from audio tapes recorded at Neighborhood church during the 1980’s and 1990’s.


General Information Concerning Ed Petersen


Ed was a close friend to all he met, an historian and pastor to the people of Shasta County. He was a man of God whose life touched so many in such a positive way.


Ed was a counselor at Shasta College for 27 years, and a teacher at Anderson High School from 1955-1965. He was also a founding elder at the Neighborhood Church of Anderson-Cottonwood. He was married to Nadiene Petersen and they had three daughters and sons-in-laws; Beck and Doug Wion, Elizabeth and Mark Boyle and Sarah and Chris Fitch.


Ed was the key leader who gathered other Christian men around him to form Neighborhood Church in 1971. Under the leadership of its founding shepherd, Ed Petersen and a team of elders; they were joined by several strong Christian families from the community. Together they sought to establish a non-denominational Bible-believing church that served Anderson, Cottonwood, and the surrounding region with several distinctives.


These included being led by a team of elders rather than by an individual pastor, putting a strong emphasis on Christian community in and through small groups, emphasizing the priesthood of all believers, and seeking to be actively engaged in the local community. During the first 11 years of its existence, Neighborhood Church did not have its own building. On Sunday mornings the church met in various locations over the years including the Shasta District Fair Grounds, the Anderson River Park, and the Seventh Day Adventist Church building in Anderson. Throughout those years, people were always encouraged to also meet in home groups in the evenings throughout the week. In 1982, Ed and the other elders with the support of the congregation built what was affectionately called, “The Lighthouse on the Hill,” on Rhonda Road.


In the summer of 1997 Ed came down with a sudden illness which put him in the hospital. Despite all medical efforts he passed away later that month on August 14th.


A Tribute by Rev. Michael F. Kierman

Pastor, Sacred Heart Parish, Anderson, Ca.


“Ed played such a great role in the community in so many different ways. He was an inspiration and blessing to me in my own attempts at ministry. I would marvel at how he could always be positive, open, faithful, and accepting of people. He was always saying “Yes” to God and leading us by gentle example to love and serve God and others. Now he is in heaven where he will enjoy the presence of the God he loved so much and served so faithfully. May we all be united with him again when our time comes and experience again his love and goodness.”

A Biographical Sketch by Jim Schultz

Redding Record Searchlight


Ed Petersen, “the Billy Graham of Northern California,” left his mark on Shasta County through his sermons, writings and public service. Ed Petersen, who died [Aug 14, 1997] touched the hearts and lives of countless Shasta County residents. Whether it was through his historical or religious writings, his work on various school boards, or through his work for the Lord, Petersen earned the respect, admiration and love of many.


“Ed was the epitome of a Christian,” Lynn Peebles, an elder at the Anderson -Cottonwood Neighborhood Church, said Friday. “He touched more people’s lives in Shasta county than most. He was truly concerned about the welfare of people and their needs.”


“We know him as the Billy Graham of Northern California,”said Linda Rogers, a church facilitator. “He presented the Gospel to whomever he met.”


Brought as an infant by his parents, Petersen was a Shasta County resident for 63 years. Petersen was a founding elder and the pastor at the 500-member church, officiating hundreds of funerals and caring for people in their time of need.


He had also been a Shasta College trustee for the past three years.


Petersen served for 20 years as a member of the Cottonwood Elementary School District Board of Trustees and served for eight years as a member of the Anderson Union High School Board of Trustees.


Born May 28, 1932, in Berkeley, Petersen and his family moved to Shasta County when he was only 2 years old and his parents, William and Hannah , owned and operated the Cottonwood Feed Store. A 1950 graduate Anderson High School, Petersen was a member of the first Shasta College class from 1950 to 1952 and played intercollegiate tennis. He received a bachelor of science degree in history from Chico State University in 1954 and taught history at Anderson High School until he entered the U.S. Army in 1956. After his two-year Army stint, Petersen who also received a master’s degree in history from the University of Michigan, returned to Anderson High School. He taught there until 1965 when he became a Shasta College faculty member. He was a Shasta College counselor and division director for 20 years, retiring in 1992.


Petersen often contributed religious columns to the Record Searchlight and was the author of five books about Shasta County’s history, including “In the Shadow of the Mountain” and “Peter Lassen – California Naturalist.”