Cloutier finds irony in his life’s decisions
By SHELBA NIVENS/Community Columnist
As a teenager, Ricky Cloutier drove race cars in Groveton, N.H., before attending college to study auto mechanics.
When changing to carpentry and working as a finish carpenter and construction foreman, then traveling around the country as a data technician, he didn’t know the Lord was training him for a ministry in Chelsea.
But staying for awhile in this area, he decided it’s where he wants to live and raise his family, he said. So he bought a house, which “just happened” to be a mile from Chelsea Community Church.
“How ironic is that?” he asks. “I’d had a rocky walk with the Lord and never thought in a million years I would ever work in a church.”
But, three years ago, he and wife Elicia felt led to attend Chelsea Community Church and before long he found himself involved in the work there.
“On my off time, I started volunteering to help with some things that needed to be done,” he said, and when asked to work at the church full-time, he accepted.
Cloutier said his job as a data technician — wiring commercial buildings — took him to every state in the country except two. Working at the church, he could be home with his family.
“I started there organizing the school set-up and doing the maintenance work to the building,” he said. He is now the audio/video coordinator and director of media ministries.
“Now I wouldn’t change what I do for anything in the world. Moving down here has strengthened my family and our lives. It has brought us closer together as a family and made our walk with the Lord stronger. My relationship with my wife is so much stronger, and seeing my boys live for the Lord is such a blessing. What more could a man ask for?”
Ricky and Elicia have two sons, Zachary, 16, and Mason, 10.
“We have grown lots of family members since being at Chelsea Community Church,” Cloutier said. “They all have brought us in and treated us like we have known them for our whole lives.”
But, instead of knowing him as Ricky J. Cloutier II, church people know him as “Ricky Bobby,” the name someone there gave him before learning his last name.
“He’s the go-to guy when you want something done,” Pastor Greg Davis said. “He’s a tremendous asset to the church.”
Shelba Nivens can be reached by email at Shelbasn@juno.com.