Update from the Regions
Just a few years ago, reports Regional Director, David Horita, the Fellowship’s Pacific churches were only seeing a growth rate of 1/10th of 1%. Today that number has changed to over 5% growth. Partnership 2016, connecting the churches of the region in focused ministry, IMMERSE, church-based Seminary training in cooperation with Northwest Seminary, and outreach-based programs such as that out of Faith Baptist Church in Vancouver, have had an impact on this exciting growth. More than 50 ethnic groups are represented in Faith’s congregation, with more bridges being built to communities outside the church through its Intercultural Relations Ministry, headed by Mark Buhler.
Thirty-eight churches scattered across Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the Territories makes for a lot of travel for Regional Director Laurie Kennedy. But Laurie especially loves to visit Regina, the home of Fellowship Prairies’ newest church, the Regina Filipino Christian Fellowship. The congregation meets in an Evangelical Lutheran Church building. Pastored by Vennone Bihag, the congregation celebrated its third anniversary last fall. Normally the attendance runs around 110 people but for anniversary Sunday, 220 people gathered for “Every Family Bring A Family.” Laurie writes: “It was awesome.”
FEBCentral’s goal is to establish 7 new church plants yearly. According to Regional Director, Bob Flemming, 3 of the 16 current church plants will be officially recognized as FEBCentral churches at the Regional annual convention in April. Church Planter Darryl Dash is focused on establishing Liberty Grace Church in downtown Toronto. Highrise living creates barriers to community and Dash’s goal is to meet the people of Liberty Village where they really live: in the coffee shops, restaurants and marketplaces of this challenging pocket of Toronto. FEBCentral is also pleased to announce that Dr. Rick Reed has been named as the new President of Heritage College and Seminary in Cambridge, Ontario. Dr. Reed’s official inauguration was held on February 9th.
Last fall the French Region celebrated its 40th Anniversary. The Association, headed by Regional Director Gilles Lapierre, is made up of 87 churches with 140 workers. According to Church Planting Director, Terry Cuthbert, 18 new church plants have been started since 2003. Five more are planned for this year. With the French Mission coming to an end in 2014, The Fellowship has put into place a financing mechanism that will allow donors from across the nation to give in support of the ongoing ministry of church planting in Quebec. The Association is also looking forward to moving into its new building, which will allow 75% more administrative and office space for it and for SEMBEQ.
According to Regional Director Glenn Goode, the First Nation communities, along with the Acadian French Communities, are high on the priority list for the churches of the Fellowship’s Atlantic Region. Church Planter, Stephen Somers, is making inroads into the Mi’kmaq First Nation Community. Significant connections have been made with community leaders as believers have looked for practical ways to show solidarity with the Mi’kmaq people. They are seeking to build relationships and look for inroads into the First Nation culture so that the Gospel of Christ can be effectively communicated and an indigenous church formed.
You can download and view the video presentation from each region, presented at Fellowship 48 by visiting http://www.fellowship.ca/2012NiagaraFalls .