March Transitions 2011
MBBS Canada appoints president
Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary (MBBS) Canada is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Bruce Guenther as interim president and developer, effective immediately. Guenther’s mandate is to provide oversight to MBBS-ACTS Seminaries and MBBS-CMU, while also leading the board to chart a future in keeping with the graduate theological educational and leadership needs in the Canadian MB landscape.
“The mix of gifts Bruce brings to the position – the ability to analyze, organize, and mobilize – are precisely what we need to re-imagine how we will train and equip leaders for our churches, church plants, and global mission initiatives,” says MBBS board chair, John Unger.
“My twelve years of involvement within the MBBS system, and my connections with Canadian conference leaders, has helped to generate a vision for what the future of an MBBS Canada could become, along with some sense of how such a vision might be achieved,” Bruce says. “I’m convinced of the necessity of an evangelical-Anabaptist theological education as part of the preparation of those training for professional Christian service within the Mennonite
Bruce served as associate dean of academics, associate professor of church history and Mennonite studies, and program chair for master of theological studies/master of theology at ACTS Seminaries.
Ross Road Community Church, Abbotsford, B.C., commissioned Art Birch as lead pastor Jan. 9. He has a BTh from Northwest Baptist Theological College, Vancouver; a BA Hons in history from University of Regina; and an MA in leadership from Trinity Western University, Langley, B.C. He has previously pastored Baptist churches in Saskatoon, Edmonton, Maple Ridge, B.C., and planted Northside Fellowship Baptist Church, Regina. Art and Rosabelle have 4 married sons, and 8 grandchildren.
Mary Anne Isaak began as pastor at River East MB Church, Winnipeg, Jan. 1. She has a 3-year diploma from Bethany Bible Institute, a BEd from University of Winnipeg, and an MA from MB Biblical Seminary, and has worked with MBMSI (now MB Mission) in Congo and Russia, and pastored in Burlington, Vt., with the Franconia Mennonite Conference. She most recently served on the pastoral team at College Community Church Mennonite Brethren in Clovis, Cal., for more than 12 years. Mary Anne and Jon have 2 adult children. Pictured, from Mary Anne’s commissioning Sunday, are moderator Cheryl Pauls, Mary Anne, pastor Gerry Derksen, and Manitoba conference minister Keith Poysti.
Coaldale (Alta.) MB Church welcomed Tyler Hagan as associate pastor (youth) Jan. 10. He has a BA in youth ministry from Briercrest College, Caronport, Sask., and has worked at Northwest Langley (B.C.) Baptist Church (2004–2008) and Eagle Ridge Bible Fellowship, Coquitlam, B.C. (2008–2010). Tyler and Charity have 2 children.
The senior pastor of Central Heights MB Church, Abbotsford, B.C., left that pulpit in November after 12 years of service to the congregation. Chris Douglas shepherded Central Heights through a period of growth and then, for more than 2 years, led the church through the aftermath of a floor collapse in CHC’s main sanctuary. (See “Central Heights worships on solid ground,” August 2010).
Terry Wicks completed 2 years of ministry as lead pastor at Glenbush (Sask.) MB Church, Nov. 30. Terry and Pat are in the process of discerning God’s will for the future.