A longtime pastor in Portland, known for his devotion to faith, family and community service, died Saturday morning in a motorcycle crash in Westbrook, his family said Sunday.

Bill Chadwick, 64, was driving a motorcycle at the intersection of Route 25 and Conant Street when it collided with another vehicle around 11:50 a.m. He died at the scene, police said.

The other driver, James Bosse, 71, of Westbrook, was uninjured, police said. The crash is still under investigation, and no criminal charges are pending.

Chadwick’s wife, Carol, confirmed on Sunday that he had died in the crash. He had been pastor at Stroudwater Christian Church in Portland since 1990, and they raised their two sons, Benjamin and Daniel, in Gorham, she said.

Carol Chadwick, who lives in Gorham, remembered her husband as a selfless man with a “huge sense of humor” who was devoted to helping others and spreading the word of Christ.

“There lots and lots of people he’s crossed paths with and helped,” she said over the phone Sunday. “He was absolutely passionate about leading others to Christ. That was his principal mission in life, that was why he got up every day.”

Bill Chadwick was active in local Rotary clubs, his wife said, and participated in aid missions to Mexico and Guatemala. In recent years, he brought church members and Rotarians to Guatemala to build houses, work on clean water and sanitation, and spread the faith.

“He was always trying to find a way to better the life of some of the people down there,” Carol Chadwick said.

Friends, family and parishioners have been reaching out with support, she said, and Sunday morning the rest of the church’s leadership announced Chadwick’s passing over a video broadcast.

Like many religious leaders around the state, Chadwick had been holding services over the internet to maintain social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.

The board of directors of Stroudwater Christian Church also announced Chadwick’s death on the church’s website Sunday.

“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,” the directors said.

Asked what others should remember about the pastor, Carol Chadwick pointed to what he gave to others: his family, his congregation and people living in poverty thousands of miles away.

“He was selfless is the first word that comes to mind,” she said.


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