NEW PASTOR AT BRIGHTVIEW BAPTIST


 Chris Maclure, the new pastor at Brightview Baptist Church, has packed a tremendous amount of experience and sound education into his relatively few years, which has contributed to his balanced, wise and vibrant vision for ministry in this, his first pastorate. 
 Maclure spent his early years at Drayton Valley until his family moved to Edmonton when he was entering Junior High School.  He attended Harry Ainlay Composite High School followed by a Bachelor of Education from the University of Alberta and three years of teaching Junior High Science in Edmonton.  While in Edmonton he attended Ellerslie Road Baptist Church.  He is thankful that he is the product of healthy leaders in a healthy church where there were great models and mentors and where he has seen God use the church to change lives and restore to health and wholeness.
 The next step took Maclure and his wife to a small Bible School in Kenya where he was involved with administration, building, finances and such as he worked with the African Inland Mission.  After about three years in Kenya, the Maclures returned to Edmonton and accepted a position with the African Inland Mission as its Alberta organizers to partner with churches and provide the training and orientation needed for people to join the mission overseas.  While in this position, they took a team back to Kenya in 2006, and in 2008 he spoke at a pastors conference in North-Western India, which was a life changing experience with the persecuted church as he saw this great ministry including a new church, a Bible school, an orphanage, a school and beginnings of a hospital, which is now the only hospital in an area of more than a hundred kilometres each way in a largely Muslim and Hindu area.  He spoke at seven sessions of two hours each to about 350 pastors during this time in India. 
 In 2009 Maclure began full time studies at the Acts Seminary in Langley, B.C., part of Trinity Western University, and completed his Master of Divinity degree this past May, in the minimum two years.  It is clear that he thoroughly enjoyed and understood his seminary studies as he speaks with ease and excitement about his professors and their contribution to his knowledge and understanding.  He combines a solid base in the sovereignty of God and the inspiration and authority of Scripture with a love for seeing the richness of the original languages of Scripture and a willingness to thoroughly explore the full meaning and implications of Scripture.  Conversation with him is very interesting, informative and enjoyable.
 Chris Maclure sees himself as one who teaches and enables, one who equips, prepares and mobilizes the people of the congregation for individual ministries.  He views the Christian church as a place of spiritual development, a place of hope, reconciliation and healing for broken people.  As a new church leader, he is concerned with strengthening and building strong relationships and appreciates that the rural community is still relationship based.  He wants to build on the learning and best of the past with healthy next steps.  As a new church leader, he is concerned to come carefully to understand the culture, dynamics, spoken and enspoken values, and earn trust that will create a freedom to ask hard questions, discuss taboo areas and hard theological issues, and  heal hurts from past bringing freedom to move forward in discipleship and ministry.
 September 11 will be Kick-Off Sunday at Brightview Baptist Church, beginning with a Pancake Breakfast at 9:30 a.m. followed by Meeet Your Teacher as the beginning of Sunday School for the year.  In the 11:00 a.m. service, Pastor Maclure will begin a series from the letters of Peter which will consider the challenge to be the people of God and provide means to become involved.
 The 11:00 a.m. service on Sunday, September 18th, will include the very special ceremony as Chris Maclure is inducted as pastor of Brightview Baptist Church and as a pastor of the Baptist Union of Western Canada.
 Brightview Baptist Church built a new and bigger church building several years ago in order to better meet the needs of its growing congregation and has most recently been without a full-time pastor for a couple years or so.  I see it as one of a number of rural churches which make every effort to be true community churches, and as such are the centre of strong rural communities where sound values, a strong work ethic and the strengths of rural traditions remain as a very important base for our nation.

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