Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Challenges; Embracing My Saviour

By Gerrard Fess

(The Following is inspired by "Your Context, Your Calling" Christian Standard magazine's recent issue with writing based upon my own calling and context)

Since my youth, I knew I wanted to be a preacher. There was no escaping it. My home church had a prolonged impact on my life. A little ole church in Selkirk, Ontario; that helped shape a dysfunctional kid to be inspired by God. During my training at Mid-Atlantic Christian University (then Roanoke Bible College), I was instilled to love God and love people.

I would of never have thought where God would have me years later. From a few youth ministries to currently my second preaching ministry. I know that I've made mistakes along the way but am thrilled where God has me. When God calls; we follow. I'd always thought that one day I'd be ministering back "Home" in Canada; but that door has been closed several times over. (Thus I joke with some that I'm a missionary to the Americans) In a "weird" turn of events - my family of 5 would be lead back to the place we'll call "Home." an area where we had a previous youth ministry, an area where two of my children were born. A ministry where my wife's grandfather use to be an elder.

Ministering in a traditional church, where my predecessor, served almost thirty years and I knew him.

Bonnie Brae (literally translated "Beautiful hill") Church of Christ is not a megachurch by any stretch of the imagination. A small church with a Big heart for Jesus. Located in the Greater Richmond Area (or RVA as some call it) a place of vast history and potential for growth.

One of the saying I hear new churches quote "We're not your Grandparents' Church" Fact is for us: "We are your Grandparents' Church ...and everyone loves Grandma." Embracing who we are; what we value was just the beginning.

Over twenty years of ministry, with young children, has taught me to be patient. Don't be a bull in a China Shop./ My godly church leaders have taken a chance on a young preacher. We're trying to reach our community by serving. Partnering with a local food pantry (Called "Lamb's Basket"), a local Christian camp (Oak Hill) , a Christian Home (Golden Age Christian Village).

Serving by partnering with missions overseas and praying for the underground church. I still hear that cry from the class of 1995 as our motto "May all who come behind us; find us faithful." Or in the words of the late youthworker, Mike Yaconelli "What a ride!!" What a ride it had been and continues to be. A family that is Bonnie Brae.

-Gerrard Fess serves as the preacher at Bonnie Brae Church of Christ in Henrico, Virginia. Married to Valerie adn has three children: Kendra, Nicole and Brian.

(c) 2016

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