The Ontario Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches board of directors announced the appointment of Ed Willms as executive director, beginning Sept. 1, working from the Niagara Region. This is the first executive director under the conference’s new structure. In compliance with new provincial bylaws, the candidate was selected by a subcommittee, and discerned by the Ontario board. Consultation with Canadian conference executive director Willy Reimer was also part of the process.
“Ed has a vision and passion for the collective work of our Ontario churches in the mission of Christ and the furthering of his kingdom,” says board chair Karen West. “Ed’s vision is fuelled by his love for Jesus, his belief in the church, and a deep conviction to see God’s redemptive power unleashed among us in Ontario, and throughout our country.”
“My hope and conviction,” says Ed, “is that God will unite our diverse and independent churches into a team committed to winning Ontario to Jesus through passionate prayer, obedient surrender, and creative partnerships. I see a day where we bless, empower, and take risks together as our first impulse. I look forward to working alongside our Canadian executive, the C2C team, and like-minded sisters and brothers from coast to coast as we live out God’s restorative mission in Canada one life at a time.”
Before taking up his new duties as executive director, Ed served as pastor for the North End campus of Southridge Community Church, St. Catharines, Ont. He planted Gateway Christian Fellowship in 2000, then transitioned it into a satellite Southridge campus in 2010. Previously, he pastored at Scott Street MB Church (1995–2000) in St. Catharines, Ont., and at Cornerstone Community (1986–1990, 1992–1995) in Dartmouth, N.S. Ed has a BRS from MBBC, a BA from the University of Winnipeg, and an MDiv from MBBS. He and Karin have 3 children and 1 son-in-law.