Ryan graduated with an M. Div. from Toronto Baptist Seminary, and joined GCC as the preaching elder in June, 2007. He is married to his lovely wife Christina, and has been blessed with five beautiful daughters (all born in Lethbridge). Ryan has a passion to see the lost ushered into the Kingdom of God, as well as to see Christ's redeemed grow in all knowledge and grace. He loves expositional preaching, biblical theology, and studying Greek and Hebrew. His hobbies include reading copious amounts of theological books and writing music. His 'heroes of the faith' include C.H. Spurgeon, and the "three Johns" (John Owen, John Calvin, and Jonathan Edwards). His favorite preachers include Alistair Begg, R.C. Sproul, and John MacArthur.
Testimony: I grew up in a small town outside of Winnipeg, MB in a non-churched family. By the sweet and sovereign grace of God, I was converted to Jesus Christ during my third year of university in a Pentecostal church. In my fourth year of university, I dropped out, having felt God's call upon my life to become a preacher of the eternal gospel of Jesus Christ. After four years of contemplation, and after having met my future wife, I was called out to Toronto Baptist Seminary to complete my Masters Degree. Afterwards, the God who declares the end from the beginning saw fit to move Christina and myself to Lethbridge to serve some of the greatest people we have ever met. What a privilege we have been given to co-labor with brothers and sisters who cherish Jesus Christ supremely above all things. All praise, honor, and glory to my Sovereign Lord for the amazing grace He has bestowed upon such undeserving sinners.
Favorite verse: "He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things." (Romans 8:32)
I was born in Oxford County in southern Ontario and lived in that area with my parents and five siblings until I was fourteen. My parents were of paedobaptist, Reformed conviction and taught us from a young age of our need for salvation as lost sinners and that the only savior is Jesus Christ. At fourteen we moved to the Lethbridge area since my dad found a teaching job at a school in the city. We began attending a Reformed Baptist church soon after we arrived, and what really began to impact me was interacting with young people that professed faith in Christ and whose lives reflected it. My own life, though conforming outwardly to the constraints of a Christian family and peers, was marked by a love for the world and its allurements and I hoped to be free to experience its pleasures as soon as I was free from those constraints. At seventeen, when some of my secret sins were exposed, I hoped to rebuild my web of hypocrisy, but God used clear gospel preaching to grip me with the certainty of judgement. In His mercy he also opened my eyes to see and believe in the One who is the only Redeemer of sinners, including me! Soon after that I was baptized and was quite involved with the church during my late teens and early twenties.
Since then God has led me and provided for me in with His gracious hand, restoring my faith when it is weak, lifting me out of despair by showing me that there is nothing stronger than His sacrificial and eternal love for sinners – even me. God has granted me a beautiful, faithful and patient wife, Hannah, and five dear children who we desire to raise in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. We live in the Nobleford area where we feel very blessed to experience the beauty and the challenges of rural life. My occupation is in agriculture where I work at a seed company in the Lethbridge area.
Hannah and I started attending Grace Community Church early on in our relationship, and the Lord has blessed us and our children with the Christ-focused preaching and warm fellowship. Over the years here my heart has been stirred to be more involved in teaching, discipling and shepherding, so when the call to be an elder came from the church I see that God was preparing me for this role. I continue to pray for His strength and ask that you keep me in your prayers to be a faithful servant of Jesus Christ and His church.
Charles is a Journeyman Carpenter by trade who also has a deep and abiding love for the Lord Jesus. He, his wife Caitlyn, and their four children felt called to move from NW Ontario to Southern Alberta out of their love for this province and especially this local church. Charles previously served for three years as a Chaplin and Director of Spiritual Life at a Christian School in Emo, Ontario. During that time, he grew and cultivated a love for preaching and the proclamation of the Gospel by filling a pulpit supply role as local churches had need. Charles’s desire above all things is that the name of Jesus would be known to everyone and that the church would be strengthened and edified by the preaching a teaching of God’s word. Aside from elder duties, Charles works full time as a supervisor for a local home builder, and as much and he can, enjoys time with his family and fellowship with other believers.
Testimony: By God’s grace I was born and raised in a Christian home. Truth be told, I am not totally sure when I was actually saved. Around the age of 10 I asked Jesus to save me, and at age seventeen I was baptized. For much of my twenties I found myself in an on-again off-again battle between the flesh and the Spirit. But, around the age of twenty-eight, God opened up His word to me in way I had not known before. The Doctrines of Grace (especially God’s sovereignty and election) transformed my understanding of the Gospel and filled me with a whole new dedication and enthusiasm to be a faithful servant of my Lord Jesus. In 2015 our family moved back home to NW Ontario after 10 great years in Lethbridge. I got a job as Chaplain of a Christian school which God used to develop and hone my passion for preaching, theology and love for His church. In God’s wonderful providence our family moved back to Southern Alberta four years later to be reunited with Grace Community Church where I now serve as one of the pastors. All of this has happened by the mighty hand of our Triune God’s mercy and grace. When I consider who I used to be, and what God has done to change me I am truly awestruck. Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways!
“No man can do me a truer kindness in this world, than to pray for me.” - C.H. Spurgeon
Cliff and his wife Willow, and their 5 children live in Lethbridge AB. Cliff is a HeartCry missionary and elder at Grace Community Church.
Testimony: My name is Cliff and I am a sinner saved by the grace of God. Though, I didn’t always know that, in fact I didn’t always know who God was, or if there was one. I grew up in a loving home with a loving family. Mostly, I thought things were fine, and I was fine. I spent the first 20+ years of my life doing whatever I liked, whenever I liked. It is not my desire to glorify sin but to give a more accurate picture of some things that characterized my life taken from 1 Corinthians 6 are: sexually immoral, greedy, idolater, reviler, all of which are unrighteous and the Bible says any who are these things will not inherit the Kingdom of God. To add a few more: liar, gossiper, thief etc. At times I would possibly feel guilt, but as I got older, I think I suppressed the consequences of these things in my mind, and grew deeper and deeper in them without much remorse. By God’s pure grace, in 2012 my life as I knew it started to crumble. I was starting to realize that the desires I had and the things I pursued couldn’t satisfy. I had many questions about my life, and purpose. I started to feel alone, empty, and without any hope. Everything that I thought could help, didn’t and I was out of options. I didn’t know the Gospel fully, and I certainly didn’t believe I was a sinner who needed forgiveness. I didn’t know at the time that God was light, and in Him is no darkness at all. I had been gifted a Bible and tried to read it. Most of it didn’t make much sense, though there was a passage in John which caught my attention and convinced me there was a God, and He was Jesus (even if I didn’t surrender my life to Him) John 1:48 Nathanael said to Him, “From where do you know me?” Jesus answered and said to him,”Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Looking back, a part of me knew that God saw me. He came to find me when I was lost, eventually revealing Himself to me and saving me. I started to loosen my grip on the love for the world and it’s empty promises and started to see the foolishness of what were once my desires and pleasures. At that point, God granted me faith, and repentance and rescued me; and for that I owe Him my life and continue to make it my all to serve Him and follow Him.
I am so thankful that God caused me to be born again and gave me new desires and pursuits. I am thankful for the promises found in the scriptures, and the Spirit which guides me and keeps me on the narrow path. I am thankful that Jesus died on the cross, and He died to set me free. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done, what the law weakened by the flesh could not do. By sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.