Memorial service for Spokane Valley pastor killed by police



Posted on August 30, 2010 at 9:16 PM

SPOKANE VALLEY -- Hundreds of people gathered at Greenacres Baptist Church in Spokane Valley Monday morning to honor their pastor killed last week in a shooting.

The memorial for Wayne Scott Creach, 74, was held at the church he helped found and was a pastor at for 40 years.

Pastor Creach also owned a nursery, The Plant Farm, in Spokane Valley.

Pastor Creach was killed late last Wednesday night in an officer-involved shooting.

Also Monday, Spokane Police released the name of the officer who shot Creach.

Police say Spokane County Sheriff's deptuy Brian Hirzel was patroling the area around The Plant Farm, after a request for increased patrols due to prowling.

Spokane Police say Creach, armed with a gun, and Hirzel engaged in a confrontation in The Plant Farm parking lot, and Hirzel fired one shot, causing Creach's death.

Creach's familiy told KREM 2 News he got out of bed Wednesday night and grabbed his gun because he thought he heard a prowler.

Hirzel is assigned to Spokane Valley and has worked with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office for two years after making a lateral move from the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department in 2008. Previously, he worked for 13 years as a police officer in Cathedral City, California.




Biography for Pastor Creach from his family:

In May, 1965, Scott and Imogene Creach and their three children, Serena, Edith and Alan moved from Western Oklahoma to Spokane. They stayed with long-time family friends and pastor of Pines Baptist Church, Frank and Betty Barnes, for a couple of weeks.

Wes Anderson of Early Dawn Dairy offered Scott a job as Quality Control Supervisor. Having secured employment, the Creaches rented a home off of Sprague and University. The house had a large plot of land for a garden and an outbuilding where Scott first experimented with starting plants to later transplant to his garden.

When Scott was nine months old, his mother died and his father entered the Army Air Force. Scott and his older brother, Wally, were raised by their paternal grandparents on a farm in rural Western Oklahoma. It was there that he developed a passion for growing things. He also developed a strong interest in WWII history, stemming from his father's combat experiences during the War.

Scott began doing pastoral supply work in the Inland Empire Baptist Association shortly after settling in Spokane. His grandparents had raised him in the church and in a Christian home and when he was 24 years old he accepted God's offer of forgiveness of his sins through faith in Jesus Christ. He has had a burning desire to share the good news of God's love and forgiveness ever since.

Two years after moving to Spokane, Scott and Imogene purchased a small house and five acres in the Spokane Valley. They were still living in the same house when Scott died on Wednesday night. The previous owner kept chickens, and there was a concrete slab in the backyard where he had had a chicken coop. Scott framed the slab, covered it with plastic and put six large tables in his first greenhouse. He planned to start a few tomato plants to put in the garden when the weather warmed up. When it was time to plant the garden, Scott realized he'd planted way too many tomatoes - 9,000 extra plants. So he charged Imogene with the task of peddling them to retail garden centers on Sprague Avenue. Imogene loaded some plants in the trunk of the car and set out to sell tomatoes. She sold a few at various stores and then arrived at Northwest Seed and Pet. Frieda Hester looked at the plants in the trunk of the car and ordered 3,000 plants on the spot.

Jim Fox of Fox Milling approached Scott and Imogene later that year and suggested they grow other bedding plants in addition to tomatoes for wholesale. Scott and Imogene replied that they didn't know how to raise bedding plants. Mr. Fox said, "You can learn, can't you"? And that was the beginning of Creach Greenhouse. Even today Creach Greenhouse is always learning and changing and growing with the industry and technology.

Today Creach Greenhouse encompasses approximately seven acres undercover. It grows and wholesales bedding plants, fall blooming plants, and poinsettias throughout the Northwest. The business employs a year-round staff of about thirty and more than double that amount during the busy spring season. Creach Greenhouse opened a retail outlet to the community in 1976 called The Plant Farm. Other growers in the area told Scott early on that the business wouldn't survive if he didn't work seven days a week. He responded that Creach Greenhouse would be closed on Sundays. To this day, Creach Greenhouse and The Plant Farm are always closed on Sunday.

Scott also took pride in his 4.5 acre garden which he worked daily during the summer. The produce is sold through the Plant Farm. Scott's passion for the ground was shared with others through his radio program, The Plant Farmer, which aired five days a week for the past thirty years.

In 1971 the Inland Empire Baptist Association asked Scott to start a new church in Greenacres. The church met in the Annex building at Greenacres Junior High School until it purchased land at the corner of Sprague and Barker. Today the church still sits on the corner of Sprague and Barker and it still uses the original structure as a youth facility.

As mentioned earlier, Scott had a strong desire to make sure as many people as possible know that God offers forgiveness of sin and a relationship with Him through faith in His Son, Jesus. Under Scott's leadership, Greenacres Baptist Church supported a number of area churches including Starr Road Baptist Church in Otis Orchards, WA; Crestline Baptist Church on the Southhill; Medical Lake Baptist Church in Medical Lake, WA; First Baptist Church in Kellogg, ID; and College Avenue Baptist Church in St. Maries, ID.

In 1975, Scott and Imogene were blessed with their fourth child, Ernie. Today, Alan and Ernie work for Creach Greenhouse and will continue the legacy that their father began and loved. Scott's love for his Lord was the guiding force for his life. Scott loved his wife and family and his interaction with his community brought him joy and satisfaction. He will be greatly missed.

God tells us that "all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28). The Creach family finds great comfort and, yes, even joy, as they see God's plan unfolding through this tragedy. We are reminded that our God is in control.

We also greatly appreciate the outpouring of love, compassion and concern from our beloved community.