An incident that ended Darla Hadrick’s law enforcement career opened the doors to God’s calling and brought her back to Selby, where she had spent time as a child.
Pastor Darla Hadrick went to grade school in Selby when her father was a pastor at the United Methodist Church. The family moved to Webster where Darla graduated from high school in 1985. She then went on to Dakota Wesleyan University to get a degree in law enforcement.
After graduation she moved to California to be near her brother, and there served in law enforcement for 22 years in Yuba City, north of San Francisco.
She was serving as the county sheriff and coroner when, in 2008, an incident with a fleeing suspect put an end to her law career.
“I was trying to apprehend a suspect when he fled and hit me with the vehicle,” she said. “It crushed both of my feet and ankles. I had to have seven surgeries and had to retire. I wasn’t supposed to walk again, but by the grace of God, here I am.”
It was after the accident that she got the call to serve in the ministry. Darla headed to Kentucky where she attended the Ashbury Seminary in Wilmer.
“It was God’s decision, God’s plan,” she said. “It wasn’t my first choice when I had to retire from law enforcement, but there is a peace that comes with following God’s plans.”
Her first assignment was a parish in northern California, but she felt the need to be closer her parents, who had retired in the Black Hills.
When the opportunity to serve the United Methodist parishes in Selby and Mobridge opened up, Darla found herself headed home to South Dakota on July 1, 2017.
She lives in the parsonage in Selby with her two dogs, Gus and Bullwinkle, the same home that she once lived in as a child.
Darla serves some of the same people she remembers her father serving when he was pastor in Selby.
“Some of the same families are here,” she said. “Even one of my classmates is a member of the church.”
Gus, a mixed breed, and Bullwinkle, a golden retriever, are her associate pastors, helping her with lessons for the children in her parishes. The dogs also went caroling with the children at Christmas last year.
She serves her parishes on a full-time basis, but that doesn’t mean a regular 40-hour week.
“It depends on the week,” she said. “Sometimes it can be 50 or 60 hours, sometimes less than 40. You serve as many as you are needed.”
When she is not working, she loves getting outdoors to camp, go off-roading in her side-by-side, and enjoying her latest hobby, kayaking. Darla is also a certified scuba diver and dives whenever she gets the chance.
She is also an avid reader and has a vegetable garden during the summer months. It wasn’t until late in her life that she discovered she enjoys cooking.
“I didn’t know I had a kitchen in my house until about six years ago,” she laughed. “I grew up watching my mother cook and just got into cooking and canning about five years ago.”
Her specialty? Apple butter.
“I make it with Fuji apples so it’s nice and tart and not too sweet,” she said. “My mom’s homemade buns with my apple butter is a delicious combo.”
Darla also loves making homemade pizza. She has a special crust recipe and makes her own pepperoni. She shared the pepperoni recipe but refused to give up the recipe for the sauce.
Although her life is different now than when she was in law enforcement, Darla finds some parallels in the work of both of her careers.
“When you work in law enforcement, you work with broken people. You hope that you can say or do something that will get them back on the right path,” she said. “In the ministry we use Jesus instead of jail and hope we can make a difference in their lives.”
Darla Hadrick’s Recipes
Slow Cooker Rotisserie Beer Can Chicken
(Found on the internet and tastes great!)
1 Chicken (must fit in the crock pot)
2 Tbsps. paprika
2 tsps. salt
2 tsps. pepper
2 tsps. oregano leaves
2 tsps. dried thyme leaves 1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. onion powder
2 Tbsps. of butter
1 can dark beer
Elevate the chicken from the bottom of the slow cooker. Aluminum foil balls work great
After you wash the chicken…lift the skin away from the meat
Mix all dry ingredients together
Remove 1/2 tsp. of the mixed ingredients and mix with butter
Spread butter mixture under the skin
Rub the rest of the ingredients onto the chicken
Place in slow cooker and cook on high for 4 to 6 hours or on low for 7 to 8 hours.
5 lbs. ground meat (I use pork and ground turkey)
5 tsps. black pepper
6 tsps. mustard seed
5 tsps. crushed fennel (I grind the fennel right before I mix into the meat)
1 tsp. of crushed red pepper (you can use more if you like it spicy)
3 tsps. garlic
2 tsps. paprika
2 tsps. sugar
5 tsps. Morton’s Tender Quick
Mix all ingredients together and store in the fridge for 72 hours.
After 72 hours, remove and use a sausage stuffer to make either sticks or larger rolls. Place in a smoker for 3 to 5 hours and use apple and hickory wood for the smoke.
RG’s tomato soup
4 10-oz. cans of diced tomatoes (I used crushed tomatoes)
1 small can of tomato soup
20 oz. tomato juice
2/3 cup of ketchup
3/4 stick of butter
Combine all the above ingredients and bring to a boil.
Add 3/4 Tbsp. baking soda, stir well
Add 1 package of Non-Dairy Creamer
Add 4 cups of water (you can add more if you like)
Salt and pepper to taste
Basil to taste
Old Henry Bars
(Made by my Grandma Hadrick)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
1/2 cup of white corn syrup
2 cups of oatmeal
Mix first 3 ingredients and then add the oatmeal
Place in 9-inch by 13-inch pan and bake for 12 minutes at 350. Let cool
Mix 1/2 cup of peanut butter, 8 oz. chocolate chips, melt together and spread on bars after the bars are cooled.