A Message from our New Executive Minister

We have so many things to be thankful for as the CBWC family!

This year at The Gathering in Calgary, it was an honour to be welcomed into my new role as Executive Minister of CBWC. As a pastor, Regional Minister and CBWC member for a long time, it is with great joy that I step into this next season.

Stories like the one you will read about Pastor Nixon remind me that we aren’t alone in our journey and God always has a plan. Reverend Larry Schram being announced as the new BC Yukon Regional Minister is a good reminder to appreciate all the passionate leaders and mentors within the CBWC who give their all to the work of God’s Kingdom.

Thank you for your participation in this life-giving and life-sharing ministry. I hope you are encouraged and inspired as you read this newsletter.

In Christ,

Rob Ogilvie
Executive Minister

Following the Call to Ministry

Not Journeying Alone

During this fall season, Pastor Nixon Solomon reflects on how grateful he is to have transitioned to his calling at First Baptist Church in Thompson, MB. But it has been a journey getting there, and his family has yet to join him.

The last time he saw his wife and two sons was in India, and under less-than-favourable conditions, when his mother-in-law had a medical emergency. CBWC, Northmount Baptist Church and Sonrise Baptist Church helped him during his time of need, and he’s so thankful that God provided for him through them.

Before coming to Canada, Pastor Nixon was pastoring an all-Hindu Convert Church called Bethel Baptist Thiruchabai (“Church” in Tamil is Thiruchabai). Having pioneered this church since 1997, he mentored a young man who was a Hindu convert and saw him being led into full time ministry. In 2011, he saw a need to help train pastors without formal theological education.

For the next three years, Pastor Nixon self-funded a ministry called Foundation for Disciplemakers, which was a training in disciple-making for pastors who were not able to go to school. Over 50 pastors were trained on the job in various locations. He wasn’t able to sustain it however, as he had no source of reliable income.

In 2013, the Calgary Christian Tamil Church asked Pastor Nixon to find a Tamil pastor who could speak fluently in English and Tamil. After being unable to find someone who fit the need, he was asked if he would consider the position. He accepted the offer.

“I am convinced that the Lord has a plan for me here and the price I pay is my struggle with being separated from my family.” —Pastor Nixon

While in Canada, Pastor Nixon was mentored by Pastor Greg Butt and Northmount Baptist Church. He saw the deep need for ministers who would serve; he prayed and was led to remain in Canada. “I am convinced that the Lord has a plan for me here and the price I need to pay is my struggle with being separated from my family,” he said.

Amidst the changes, the Canadian Baptists of Western Canada have helped to sustain him through his challenges. As of now, one challenge preventing his family from coming is corruption in the passport office in India. Pastor Nixon knew a full-time job would help his family in the process. So he approached his Alberta Regional Minister and mentor to assist him in finding a full-time pastor position.

During the interview with FBC Thompson, the leadership recognized that a complete job could help bring Pastor Nixon’s family to Canada. They made it a priority to do everything to reunite them and have taken on sponsorship of his family.

Pastor Nixon and his wife know that he has been called to minister in Canada and this knowledge helps sustain them through the hardship of being apart. “I really look forward to being available for the Lord to use me as He wills,” he says.

Connecting to the Larger Church Family

Experiencing Community at The Gathering

Thanks to the contributions and participation of generous members like you, this summer was full of connection and growth! Your gifts are helping build into our family of churches.

CBWC’s biennial assembly, The Gathering 2017, was held in Calgary this past May, and it was a great success. Because local church autonomy is a core characteristic of Baptist churches, The Gathering provides a place that strongly engages this, as it embodies community-based decision making. “This is what family is all about. Coming together in one place to eat and learn and fellowship and pray. It was great,” one attendee said.

“I love the networking and connecting we do at Assembly. The reminder that we are a part of something bigger is important,”
—Participant at Assembly

Delegates from every member church meet to review the work of the denomination and vote on its future direction, and all of the motions passed. One such motion was the adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

CBWC’s budgets for 2017 (remainder), 2018 and 2019 were also approved, and the areas for spending include: kingdom growth, leadership development, alleviating poverty and suffering, resourcing local churches, and governance of the denomination.

The new CBWC Board was also nominated. Six representatives were renewed for a second or third term, seven were elected as a first term. This year all nominations were ratified.

In everything we do, we seek to provide life-affirming resources to our family of churches. Growth and accountability through The Gathering is one part of that. “Keep up the good work,” an attendee commented. “There was a definite feel that we are a family, a community working together for common causes.” Thank you to all who attended!

Much to be Thankful For

We’re looking forward to the upcoming Thanksgiving season. As the family of Christ, we have so many things to be thankful for. When we gather together for fellowship with friends, family and good food we’re reminded of the joy that comes from living in community with others.

“I’m thankful to those special people in my life who support me, uplift me, comfort me and bring joy to my soul.”

—Jerry Wang, Operations Manager

“My role in the refugees sponsorship program is helping people move to Canada and start a new life here. So thankful for this country and the chance we have as Churches to show the love of Christ towards the stranger.”

—Majd AlAjji, Refugee Sponsorship Coordinator

Thank you for being a part of the Canadian Baptists of Western Canada community!