Elders

Ryan Case

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 are Alistair Begg, John Piper, and Arturo Azurdia.

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)

Contact: lethbridgebaptist@gmail.com

Marvin Burton

Marvin has been part of a Reformed Baptist church for approximately twenty five years in the city of Lethbridge. He has been serving as elder of the congregation for the last seven years and was the sole elder for one year prior to Pastor Ryan coming to join the ministry at Grace Community Reformed Baptist Church. Marvin has been married to his wife Dini for thirty three years. They have four children, who all are married and have provided their parents with 10 grandcildren. Marvin has a desire to maintain biblical purity, both in preaching and in the lives of the congregation. It is also his desire to see joy and a vibrant love for the church lived out in his life and in the church. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the message that all need to hear, and it is his desire, along with the leadership of Grace Community, to share this precious gospel with as many people as the Lord grants them opportunity. In doing so, we ask you to come and join with us for our worship services. Come, give our Savior and God all praise and glory due to His glorious name.

Testimony:   Church never became part of my life until I was in high school and I had some Baptist friends who invited me over for the weekend when we went to church. Don Holloway, their pastor, would become a very important person in my life to come. High school ended, and more years passed by. Church again became a thing of the past. I led a rather worldly life during this time. In the spring of 1970, after losing many friends and realizing alcohol no longer was any help, life became meaningless and almost ended. But God graciously intervened and showed me in the Scriptures who Jesus Christ was. The words of Pastor Holloway had not gone without bearing fruit. I gave my life to Christ after He showed me my need and it became a life of searching and trusting. In His faithfulness, He gave me a godly wife, directed me back to Pastor Holloway’s ministry (who had moved into our area), and helped me to learn much about God, Jesus Christ, His Church and His Word. And the Lord has continued to direct our paths to this very day, and God continues to build His church. Praise be to God.

Christopher Purvis

Chris was installed as our third elder of GCC in 2011. He has been married to his wife, Julie, for three years.  Thus far, the Lord has blessed them with three princely boys: Charles, Jack, and Andrew. Chris is passionate about teaching all of Scripture as one unified story of God's redemption of a people for Himself in the person and work of Jesus Christ to thepraise of His glorious grace.

Testimony: My parents are missionaries in Southeast Asia where they planted and parented a children's home and now plant Charismatic churches and train pastors. I was raised with a basic understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ and in my early teenage years professed faith in Him and was baptized. When I returned to Lethbridge as an adult, I began attending and serving at a local Charismatic church and found myself employed by a Charismatic television ministry. God mercifully intervened and opened my eyes tothe full glory of the gospel through the expository preaching of the book of Romans: the transcendence of God's holiness, the depths ofmy sin, and the immense distance between the two that was bridged by the unmerited grace of God in the Son on the cross. It was then that God gave me my wife, Julie. We were soon looking for a body of believers who truly treasured the gospel and found them in Grace Community. Since coming to GCC, God has blessed us with three boys, Chuck, Jack and Andrew. To God alone be the glory.

Tony Martens

I was raised in a traditional mennonite home. growing up hearing about God and Jesus, and knowing that sin was horrible and hell eternal. But I was never told, or never understood that the blood of Jesus Christ call take away all my sin (Colossians 2).  So i attempted to live in a manner worthy of God. what a horrible failure that was! So when I saw there was no hope for me in living a life that would be pleasing to to God, I gave up. 
Tossed it aside. Ran head long to hell. If people told me I was bad, I would re-double my efforts to make my already wicked heart worse! I truly was without hope and without God (Ephesians 2) and I loved my sin for that season. 

I was in a semi successful rock band. 
Beautiful girl friend (now my lovely wife). 
Living on my own. Own the world. 

Till one day that girlfriend became pregnant. Life stopped. Answers needed to be had. Something had to change.

So I did want any good Mennonite boy would do. go to the church begin the baptism classes and join the church. Surely there I would find redemption. In God's providence I was driving a semi truck at this time. And so I heard preachers telling me all about this Jesus. Everything was about this Man. 

I then stumbled upon Wretched Radio (Todd friel) and it was there that I heard of a God willing to save even a rebel like me: a God hating, back biting, self loving, proud, arrogant, man. What a God who would do that?! 

If I would come to Him repenting (turning) from my sin, and placing my faith in Christ. God would have me. As it says "God shows His love toward us WHILE we were yet sinners". 
I now can not claim my goodness. I can not claim my wonderful past (I don't have it). I can't claim the fact I am now one under shepherd in God's church. I stand on the blood of Christ alone. I have no other plea. I can only claim Christ as my own. through faith in the cross He bore on my behalf. 

What a Savior! What a God! 

“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food" (Isaiah 55:1-2).

Nathan Koppert

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.

 

Deacons

Darrell Burgess

By God's sovereign grace, he was converted when he was 22 years old. Now he enjoys serving the local church body wherever he can. He is a self-employed building contractor and enjoys finish carpentry and reading in his spare time. Darrell and his wife, Cheryl, celebrated their 32nd wedding anniversary in 2017. They have two grown children, who both live in Alberta.

Matt Wirzba

I had the wonderful blessing of being raised in a christian family growing up.  Although I don't remember when I was saved, I do know that growing up in a home where the doctrines of Christianity are taught and believing them really brought me to where I am at today.

After I finished high school I went to Germany for a year to attend bible school (Friedrichshafen).  It was here that I really started to understand at a very intimate level what Christianity was all about.  It was desiring a relationship with Jesus, my Lord.  After spending a year in Germany I had a whole new appreciation for who God was and who I was in light of that.  I also found my wife Heather there as well. God has since blessed us with the addition of three daughters: Allison, Annabelle, and Alexandra.

When I returned to Canada I started and finished my degree in Environmental Science.  During this time I was not plugged into a church in any kind of real way and was suffering for it.  When I found out about Grace Community both Heather and I jumped at the chance to be plugged into a community where we could be held accountable and grow with an intimate group of believers.  I know look forward to the oppertunity I have to serve this church as a deacon.  I have grown immensely in the last five years, and hope that God will continue to reveal himself to me more and more as the years go on.

Marc Jongerden

I grew up in a loving traditional Reformed family in the Netherlands. We faithfully attended church on a weekly basis and heard the Word of God preached, but I was not aware of my need of a Saviour.

At age 11, we immigrated to BC, Canada, where we attended church faithfully and I went to a Christian school. It was during my teenage years in youth group where I learned of God's Word more intimately. This is where I met my wife Sharon.

I have been married to Sharon for 25 years and we have 5 children (and now one grandchild - a beautiful girl). She had and still has a great impact in my spiritual walk. Through her, fellow Christians, and study of God's Word, I have learned and continue to be humbled by God's Grace for me a lost and broken sinner. "Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found. Was blind but now I see."

We moved to Alberta 2001 and became part of this body of believers a year later. I am grateful the Lord has brought us, through trials and struggles, to this church. I thank the Lord for the diversity and various backgrounds that He has brought us from, to worship Him "to the Praise of His Glorious Grace". He continues to teach me of my need of a Saviour and His Love for this World.

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that WHOEVER believes in Him, should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him." John 3:16,17