I was born and raised on Grand Manan Island. When I left at 17 to go to Bible College, I was proud of this. At 62 I am even more so.
In my 40 year absence I:
- Graduated from Bethany Bible College and married the love of my life, Elaine Sue Burbury.
- Took my first church in Presque Isle, ME, as a general assistant. I was stabbed in the parsonage on October 9, 1976.
- Went back to school at United Wesleyan College in Allentown PA, from September 1978 – April 1980. Our first daughter was born (Kristie).
- Moved to Falconer NY to take a position at the Levant Wesleyan Church from April 1980 – July 1985. Our second daughter as born in Warren, PA while we were here. Blue Cross of PA would not cover a NY birth, so we made the 25-mile trek to the Warren hospital for Erin’s arrival. This was likely the lost incredible ministry experience that I had with the Wesleyan Church.
- Moved to Moncton NB in July 1980 – July 1999. People were mostly wonderful. I have mixed feelings about the work environment for numbers of reasons. My son, Karl Jr., was born on June 18, 1992 in the Moncton hospital. I was anxious to leave when we did.
- Moved to Fredericton, NB in July of 1999 – July 2010. This was my first attempt at the pastor role. It was an old church, in love with its past and steeped in tradition. I loved it for eight years.
- In 2010 Elaine and I stepped off what we call our “truth precipice”. We left ministry as we knew it and our connection with the Wesleyan denomination. Neither of us anticipated ever going back into a traditional church. We had enough.
- A friend gave me a charity job. Dr. Bill Morrison, a psychologist/professor and the University of New Brunswick as me to do some writing and research for him. It was a wonderful blessing at every level. I discovered weekends. The work necessitated some skills development in videography and video editing, website design, development, maintenance, email management, eBook and Flipbook creation, online learning platform construction and maintenance. Bill and I worked with house churches for a five year period (2010-2015). It was truly an adventure.
- Elaine and I moved back to Grand Manan in June 2015. She had always loved the island and we purchased a home to use in the summers, with the knowledge that my mother’s health would require a year-round residency at some point. I filled in that summer for a childhood friend who was pastoring Community Life Church. He was doing a 3-month Sabbatical. The Sabbatical became a resignation and our temporary position became permanent. This was a difficult experience for my friend and the church. I had never seen a church like this one. The decision to stay on a permanently resume my work as a pastor, was totally unanticipated. It has been the highlight of my ministry experience.
We try to live one day at a time and take nothing for granted. Our trust is in God’s ability to take care of us and His Church globally. For today, I am proud to pastor this beautiful spiritual family.