John "Preacher" Middleton is a former US Marine and a close friend of Jack Sheridan; he works for Jack at his bar, "Jack's Bar". Preacher forms an unlikely relationship with Paige Lassiter, and eventually is pulled into her dark web of lies.
Relationship with Paige
After Paige Lassiter begins supplying Jack's Bar with pastries and cakes, Preacher begins seeing her and her son, Christopher, more. The two eventually grow closer, and Preacher becomes aware that Paige may be hiding something. After helping Paige with a flat battery, he finds an ID Card by the name of "Michelle" in her glovebox. He becomes inquisitive, and upon searching the name finds that "Paige" is not her real name, and she is wanted for assault.
Preacher asks Paige about the ID and asks if they can talk, to which she agrees. Paige explains that she was in an abusive relationship with a detective and, in order to escape, had to change her identity and move to Virgin River. Paige asks Preacher to keep her secret, to which he agrees, promising to keep Paige safe. Eventually, she explains the history of her marriage with Wes and how he became abusive during their marriage. Preacher asks if Paige would like to move in with him if she feels unsafe and, after contemplation, she agrees.
After returning home and finding Wes with Christopher, however, Paige forces herself into a predicament when she accidentally kills Wes. She calls Preacher for help, asking him to take care of Christopher whilst she turns herself in, but he refuses, telling her to leave town and he will deal with Wes' body.
Covering for Paige
After Paige leaves town, Preacher buries Wes' body and pushes his car into a lake. He believes everything to be fine, but when Connie begins suspecting things, he is forced to explain the situation with Wes and Paige — Connie understands why Preacher did what he did, and promises to keep his secret. Things become difficult, however, when the Sheriff finds a body in the woods. Preacher panics, believing he will be arrested, but Connie tells him that she will be his alibi.
Eventually, the Sheriff tells Preacher that Wes is now a wanted suspect, therefore they will not be using their limited resources to search for him, much to his relief. When Preacher returns home, however, he finds a friend of Paige at his door. She drops Christopher off, asking if he can stay with him for a while as Vince, Wes' brother has found her.
Offer from Jamie
After Jamie, a reputable chef, stops by Jack's Bar, she becomes obsessed with Preacher's food and tells him that he is an exquisite chef. She questions why he is wasting his talents in Virgin River, and Preacher tells her about his history and lack of qualifications. Jamie tells him that she has a friend who is opening a restaurant and is willing to offer him a job, but needs to know within 24 hours. Preacher considers it and, after failing to convince Jack to make him a joint partner of the bar, agrees to accept the offer.
John Middleton is "Jack’s best friend, the two men served in the military together".
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- Deadline: ‘Virgin River’: Alexandra Breckenridge, Martin Henderson, Tim Matheson & Annette O’Toole To Star In Netflix Series by Nellie Andreeva and Denise Petski. December 19, 2018.