Kirk Brian Belben passed into Glory on May 11, 2021, after a long and courageous battle with cancer.
Born in San Francisco on January 22, 1956, he was the second child and oldest son of Herbert and Gloria Belben. When Kirk was four years old, the growing family relocated to San Rafael, where his younger brothers were born. Together, they spent many hours with the neighborhood kids constructing elaborate forts and makeshift rafts in the canals and hills of Santa Venetia.
In grade school, Kirk excelled in Little League and developed a lifelong love of baseball. He was a gifted pitcher and made it to the All Stars team twice. As an adult, he would go on to play softball on the Calvary Chapel team for many years, and remained a San Francisco Giants fan to the end.
Kirk landed his first job at 15 years old, pumping gas and cleaning windshields at a gas station throughout high school. His tireless work ethic would carry him through many occupations in his life. By the time Kirk graduated from San Rafael High, he owned a ‘66 Pontiac GTO and a reputation for fast living, but a near-death accident under the Golden Gate Bridge convinced him it was time for a change of direction. He was offered a job as the parts manager at a fledgling Harley Davidson dealership in Chico, and left the Bay Area to start a new life.
In Chico, Kirk eventually married, started a family, and partnered with a good friend to establish Select Carpet Cleaning and Janitorial. Through hard work, high performance standards and professional customer service, Kirk and Lino grew Select into a successful and profitable business.
It was several years later when Kirk found his faith and began using his gifts as an acoustic guitarist and singer to lead worship at his new church. Over time, Kirk felt called to serve as a pastor, and eventually sold his share in the business to focus on his new vocation.
While working at a grocery store and raising two kids as a single parent, he attended Calvary Chapel Bible College, and began extensive training through the Biblical Counseling Foundation to become certified as a Biblical Counselor and trainer. With a genuine heart for helping people, Kirk would go on to pastor and teach discipleship and counseling training courses for over 25 years.
In 1995, Kirk married Christine, and the family of five embarked on a new chapter together. The following year, Kirk was ordained as a pastor, at Calvary Chapel Chico and tapped to lead the Children’s Ministry.
After two years, Pastor Kirk went on to establish a small country church in Paradise, where he could develop personal relationships with the people that came and offer a level of support and pastoral care that a large church environment made impossible. He enjoyed nothing more than a strong cup of coffee and a good conversation with the people who fellowshipped there on Sundays and attended mid-week studies.
The family-oriented church continued to grow and draw attendees from nearby communities, and eventually relocated to a more central location in Chico. Renamed the Chico Bible Church, Pastor Kirk felt privileged to have served this congregation for 22 years before his illness forced his retirement at the end of 2020.
In his final years, Kirk enjoyed playing his guitar, feeding the birds and watching the wildlife that made his yard their sanctuary, spending time with his family, and sitting in the sun on the patio with his faithful dogs.
He will always be remembered for his commitment to and love for the Lord, his perseverance and courage in the face of suffering, and his deep and genuine care for others.
Those closest to him will also miss his endless supply of corny jokes, love of black coffee and hot chili peppers.
Kirk leaves behind his loving wife of 26 years, Christine; son, Joel Belben (Laurel Hammang); daughter, Leah Garcia (Orlando Garcia); daughter, Abigail Whittaker; grandson, Johnathan Garcia; granddaughter, Reyna Belben; sister, Diane Belben (Brian Marks); brothers, Barry Belben and Scott Belben (Quinn Belben); nephew, Daniel Belben: nieces, Alexa Belben and Paula Belben; and many fond aunts, uncles and cousins. He is preceded in death by his parents, Herbert and Gloria Belben.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Stanford Medical Center Oncology Department or the Biblical Counseling Foundation in Kirk's memory.
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