MITRA: There’s a new kid on the city’s pastoral block
The 100-or-so-strong congregation at the Dallas-Barnhartvale Baptist Church (DBBC) on the eastern fringe of Kamloops welcomed a new pastor recently.
Following a short stint without a permanent pastor, Nova Scotia native Brent Foster, 34, has taken over the task of under-shepherding DBBC following the departure of his predecessor, Bruce Christianson.
Foster landed at the doorsteps of DBBC almost directly from the portals of his Briercrest Seminary in Carenport, Sask., having crammed the master of divinity degree in two years, instead of the regular four years, completing the degree in July 2012.
Prior to seminary, he and wife Erica helped flourish the youth work at a Baptist church in Moncton.
In addition to doing junior and senior high youth work, Foster tasted leadership responsibilities by way of a young adult ministry and occasional preaching.
All these involvements were prelude to what his mentor encouraged him to pursue in eventually becoming a senior pastor, a stage which Foster has reached now.
“My ministry success can only be attributed to a mentor that God has used in my life all along the way.
“I compare our relationship to the relationship between Paul and Timothy.
“Many times in 1 and 2 Timothy, Paul writes: ‘Timothy, my son,’ followed by seasoned wisdom from an older mentor.
“I went to him almost weekly for advice and direction and he responded with seasoned wisdom and encouragement,” Foster said.
Now, armed with his own well-defined set of beliefs and a focused philosophy of ministry, Foster’s arrival at DBBC has generated much excitement.
In just a month, new people have come through the doors. Erica’s planned weekly work with kids is on the anvil as a stepping stone to reach their parents.
“They have been 100 per cent accepted by a happy congregation,” said deacon Larry Otto.
“Solid Bible preaching is strength of this man of faith, knowledge, wisdom and energy.
“He is definitely up for the job. They and the church are mutually agreeable.”
His personal core values encompass a wide gamut from missional living and spiritual development to open leadership, care for his family and dedication to hard work.
Eventually, his lifelong learning plan would include getting a doctoral degree, interspersed with diligent studies and bolstered by regular input by attending leadership conferences.
What’s the future for smaller to medium-size suburban churches like DBBC?
Kamloops has a few of them with excellent records of serving their immediate neighbourhoods and the extended community.
Some have produced giants of faith serving in the marketplaces at home or abroad.
Similarly, others have gone on to missionary journeys of faith, again, here or across the seas.
But, most productive resources are the people who laugh with those who laugh, cry with those who weep, and visit the widows, the widowers, the sick and the needy and tell them to keep looking up and on.
They seek to joyfully conduct themselves “in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15) in an increasingly secular humanistic culture.
With its past history of its own involvement in mission work in Haiti and supporting the cause of Fellowship Baptist international missions, the desire of DBBC and that of Foster “to further the kingdom of God and placing others interests ahead of his own,” will co-operatively fit in very well.
Erica and Brent have a young family of two in Caleb and Leah.
The church is located at 495 Todd Rd. in Dallas and can be reached at 250-573-4413.
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