October Transitions 2012

Kirk Ehrhart began as senior pastor of Herbert (Sask.) MB Church July 1. (Gary and Eleanor MacKay served as interim pastor couple for the previous 2 years.) Kirk has previously served the Canadian Baptists of Western Canada as associate pastor of youth at First Baptist Church, Ponoka, Alta., and youth pastor at First Baptist Church, Nanaimo, B.C. He holds a bachelor of biblical studies from Peace River Bible Institute, Sexsmith, Alta., and is currently enrolled in a MDiv with Carey Theological College, Vancouver. Kirk and Abigail have 2 children.

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Nechako Community Church, Vanderhoof, B.C., welcomed Denis Federau as lead pastor Aug. 1. Denis has a BA in biblical studies from Columbia Bible College, Abbotsford, B.C. He previously worked in construction management, and served as pastoral intern at King Road MB Church, Abbotsford. He and Doris have 3 children. Johnny Thiessen, now C2C network regional director for Alberta, served as lead pastor at Nechako from February 2010 to July 2012.

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Jimmy Schimmel began as associate pastor to youth and young adults at Parliament Community (MB) Church, Aug. 20. For the last 3 years, he worked with Regina Youth For Christ as program director with a focus on student ministries, and also completed the YFC credentialing process. Jimmy and his wife Sarah volunteered as houseparents in YFC’s U-turn transitional home. He is currently enrolled at Briercrest College, Caronport, Sask.

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Sunwest Christian Fellowship (MB), Calgary, welcomed 2 new pastors in August. David Loewen joined the team as senior high and young adults director. He has a BA in intercultural studies from Columbia Bible College, Abbotsford, B.C., and completed a 1-year post-grad internship in the outreach department at Northview Community (MB) Church, Abbotsford. Worship arts pastor NeilGuiney moved with his family from Northern Ireland. He has served his local church in worship ministry for 13 years, facilitating worship at Emmanuel, Hillsong, and Grace Generation Church in Northern Ireland. Neil and Danielle have 3 daughters. “It’s a great privilege to lead people into God’s beautiful presence and see his children enjoy all he has for them,” he says.

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MBBS Canada welcomed 2 new faces Aug. 15. Director of administration and financeJohn Webber has extensive experience in organizational administration, particularly in the HR field, mostly recently as director of human resources with Eminata Group in Vancouver, and manager of human resources for Royal Bank Financial Group. He is certified as an accountant, and has worked as a consultant in leadership development. Retired a number of years ago, John has spent the past 2 years as a part-time student at ACTS preparing for prison chaplaincy ministry. John is married to Carole. 

Jeff Peters began as advancement officer for Alberta and B.C. He has an MA in Christian ministry from MBBS Fresno and was lead pastor of Hepburn (Sask.) MB Church, 2004–2011. Jeff and Connie and their 2 daughters live in Abbotsford, B.C.

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Winnipeg’s School Of Urban Leadership (SOUL), a partnership between the MB Church of Manitoba and other local churches and ministries, and Église Communautaire de la Rivière Rouge (the only French MB church west of Quebec) filled leadership roles with the same candidate this fall. Arisnel Mesidor serves as part-time director of SOUL and part-time lead pastor at ECRR. Arisnel has a BA from William and Catherine Booth University College, Winnipeg, and is studying toward an MA in Christian ministry at MBBS/CMU, Winnipeg. He previously worked as volunteer coordinator at Accueil francophone, a settlement agency for French-speaking immigrants and refugees, and coordinated ECRR’s volunteer preaching team over the 1.5 year pastoral vacancy. Arisnel and Syvelie Mesidor Vaneus have 2 children.

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Susan J. Schmidt Goerz has been appointed interim ministry arts director at Bethany College, Hepburn, Sask. Susan has been at Bethany for 20 years, serving in music and drama, mentoring and inspiring young adults.

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Ben and Melissa Froese are embarking on a long-term church planting assignment (3-year term) with MB Mission in Berlin. Ben has an MA in cross-cultural ministries from ACTS Seminaries and Melissa has a BA in education from Trinity Western University, both in Langley, B.C. They have previously served on MB Mission’s Jornada program to Berlin 2010–2012, and have varied short-term mission, volunteer and salaried local church experiences. Ben and Melissa are members of North Langley Community (MB) Church.

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The Canadian Conference of MB Churches (CCMBC) appointed Laura Kalmar as interim communications director in Aug. Laura took on responsibility for overseeing all external and internal conference communications. She continues in her role as editor of the MB Herald, a position she’s held for the past 7 years. Laura and her husband Jason Topnik have 2 children.

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