What does your job involve?
Ministry at Hillside is in three categories: 1) Leading two staff teams, Premier Family Ministries and First Impressions. This is oversight, care and coaching to 11 staff. 2) Encouraging every Hillsider to take a next step in their spiritual life reflecting Jesus Christ, leading our Discipleship Pathway which includes oversight of our Group Life Ministry. 3) Assisting Pastor Jerry with congregational and staff needs. This happens through communicating/preaching on occasional Sunday’s, pastoral care, connect first time visitors and vision casting for the future.
When and how did you come to know Christ?
When I was 7 years old, I attended a summer church camp (Pascobac). The children’s speaker made it very clear to me that I could not do life on my own, described what Jesus had done for us, and I needed to accept my creator God into my young life. I had a wonderful Christian heritage growing up both sides of my family were active church members. I was baptized at the age of 12 outside at a special “Beach Service” on the Kennebecasis river.
What was the first job you ever had?
The first job I ever had was the classic paper boy. Then I lasted 3 hours at Burger King before settling in to Maritime Paper, a cardboard box factory that I spent five summers in. I quickly learned the truth about 8 hour shifts and the difficulties of a graveyard shift.
Where were you born and raised?
I was born in Saint John, NB. Graduated high school at St. Malachy’s High School 1994.
How large is the family you grew up in?
Besides my parents, I have a younger brother.
Where did you go to University/College?
I went to University of New Brunswick (Saint John Campus one year and Fredericton for three). Though, I decided to make it unconventional by stopping after three years in order to go to Briercrest Bible College in Caronport, Saskatchewan for two years. Then back to UNB to finish my fourth year studies. In total, six years and two degrees, Bachelor of Kinesiology (Sports Science) and Bachelor of Arts in Sports Ministry. In 2012, I completed a Masters of Arts in Christian Leadership from Liberty University after four years of online courses.
When and whom did you marry?
I married Cynthia MacDonald on August 5, 2000 in Nassau Bahamas in a beautiful gazebo on the beach with immediate family, white sand and palms trees. Our move to Moncton was immediately following our honeymoon.
How many children do you have?
Three daughters (Brooke, Julia, Clara). Even our dog is a female!
How did you get into ministry?
Hockey Ministries International had a big influence on me. Observing hockey players who were solid Christian men made a real impact. One of the staff members challenged me to be open to Bible College and while attending I believe God clearly imprinted on my heart that I was to impact teenagers by reflecting Jesus Christ to them and investing in many people’s lives. Being a pastor was a great way to be obedient to God’s call on my life.
Have you ever done any long- or short-term mission trips?
One of the most significant ways God has shaped me and allowed me to invest in others, multiplying Kingdom effectiveness has been through mission trips:
2011 – Haiti
2011 – New York City
2010 – Lubumbashi, Congo, Africa
2009 – New York City
2008 – Trinidad/Tobago
2007 – Odessa, Ukraine
2007 – New York City
2005 – Phnom Penh, Cambodia
2005 – New York City
2003 – Guatemala
2002 – New York City
2001 – New York City
1998 – Sweden/Holland
Where else have you served before coming to Hillside?
I spent my final year in Fredericton, NB (1999) finishing up my Kinesiology studies while at the same time serving as St. Paul’s United Youth Co-ordinator. The size of the youth group was 3! It was an interesting first glance to behind the scenes of a church and am thankful for the foundational experience that role provided me. However, it did not prepare me for my next ministry role at Atlantic Canada’s largest church, Moncton Wesleyan. It was the polar opposite of my previous ministry experience. Hired on as a Youth Pastor in the fall of 2000 the size of the youth ministry there was 90! I thought I was at a youth rally. Little did I know I would have the opportunity to serve on staff for thirteen years alongside dozens of other tremendous ministry leaders while being mentored by Rev. L.D. Buckingham and Rev. Kevin J.Matthews. I was involved in youth ministry, missions, connections/guest services, small groups, young adults, counseling, internship/residency, and family life ministries. God has used each of these wonderful church leadership roles in my life to help me grow in His likeness and be the pastor He wants me to be for this next season of ministry at Hillside. I started my current role with Hillside in January 2014.
What do you like most about your job?
I love helping people find God’s love and helping them see what He has for their lives. Specifically, seeing someone choose ministry and investing their time in others gives me a wonderful sense of satisfaction as God’s Kingdom is multiplied. I thank God that I get to encourage others through walking with them, knowing them, teaching them and loving them.
Do you have a favorite Bible verse or portion of the Bible?
That’s a dangerous question because there are so many that I love. My favorite chapter in the New Testament is Hebrews 11. It serves as a Hall of Faith and reminder of how God uses imperfect people to do extraordinary things. Ephesians 3:14-21 contains the context of my life verse……now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine.
What do you like to do with your free time?
In my former life it was all hockey all the time. Free time is family now and we try to really make our vacations special and memorable. We love to travel, Cynthia and I really enjoy Tennis & Family Bike Rides. The girls are involved in dance, swimming, gymnastics, cheerleading, voice and musicals so that pretty much makes me the taxi driver of the family mini-van! It’s a Dad’s life and I’m lovin it. For “guy time” I strategically try to get to pro sports games. I love the atmosphere of a live game. I’ve been to 92 NHL, NBA, NFL, MLB games in my life and have the dates and scores in a special document. Does that make me a sports nerd?
If you weren’t a pastor, what would you be doing?
Ready for this diversity…..
I’d want to be a hockey coach in an elite setting. Shaping and molding a team to work together while teaching life lessons
Own and operate a Cheesecake Factory franchise
Take groups of families on Mission trips, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing people open their lives to missions!
Is there something about you people would be surprised to learn?
People are surprised when I tell them that I still get nervous/jitters 24 hrs before I preach, even though I love it. It’s such an awesome responsibility and I want to make sure that I please the Lord and honor Him with my words. So, even though it may not look like I get nervous, I do because preaching the Word is such a big thing.