Church Planter – New Brunswick, Canada
Corey and his wife Amy live in Fredericton, New Brunswick where he began pastoring a church plant in 2015. He grew up in a Christian home and was converted at the age of 16, feeling an immediate call to full-time ministry. He graduated from Bible college in 2011 and was ordained for ministry in 2015.
Testimony of Conversion
I grew up in a home where both of my parents were believers. We went to a typical, small town Baptist church for most of my childhood. I actually was with them in the Sunday morning service since I was 5 years old.
One Sunday our pastor gave a vivid sermon on the terror of hell. Like I said, I was only 5 or 6 at the time; but I remember thinking about how terrible a place it was and I did not want to go there. When we came home, I stopped by the washer and dryer in the mudroom of our house and asked my mother how to not go to hell. I was crying in fear. She told me to pray after her, and so I did.
And on that day I received absolutely nothing. Though the Lord certainly was kind to me, I was still unconverted. He kept me from any kind of grievous sin, but as I grew, so did my desire for the sin that surrounded me. Oh of course I didn’t get involved with any of the partying or the sex or the drinking, but it was not because of any love for the Lord, but only out of pride.
I wanted to be the good boy. I didn’t want my parents to think poorly of me. I didn’t want to be “bad”. So I behaved very morally, but inwardly I longed for sin and despised God. I wanted nothing to do with prayer or the word.
But then when I was sixteen, I went with a local youth group to a monthly retreat. Month after month I was deeply convicted, but it didn’t have a lot to do with what was preached. I can’t remember any of it, but I remember the Lord drawing me. I knew I had to surrender my pride, and my life, and follow Him, but I was unwilling. Not once, not twice, but six times I resisted.
At the seventh youth rally, however, I confessed my pride before God and asked for forgiveness. I remember feeling like a fish on the end of a hook, and I had finally given in and submitted to the Lord. I went up to the front to pray for forgiveness, not that going there would save me, but it was an expression of my repentance – as a young man who prided myself on my self-righteousness, nothing was more offensive then going forward, thereby admitting I was a sinner.
But I did. And I am so thankful the Lord drew me. Immediately after I arrived home I began reading the Bible and I remember weeping over the pages in Matthew. I saw my sin for what it was, I saw God for who He is, and it brought me to tears. Life did not get easier after my conversion, but thankfully, Matthew 10 prepared me for that.
Since then the Lord has continued to teach, stretch, grow and sanctify me.
Call to Ministry
From the time I was converted, there was a strong pull towards ministry. It wasn’t like a bolt of lightning or a mental zap, but a steady, growing knowledge that the Lord was calling me into ministry, either through the affirmation of godly men, a desire to learn and to teach, and the constant drawing of the Holy Spirit.
Unfortunately for me, I decided instead I would go to Acadia University and take pre-med, with the aim of becoming a doctor. I did this fully knowing it was not the Lord’s will for me, and I really felt like Jonah in the belly of the fish. The Lord confounded my thoughts and made me miserable. It was as if his thumb was pressing down upon me, and the pressure was great. So at the end of the year, I left medicine and went to Bible College.
Since then the Lord has continually prepared me for whatever ministry he has had in store. After graduating from Washington Bible College in 2011, I worked as a carpenter during the winter and directed bible camps for an organization called One Hope Canada. It was my job to oversee the entire camp ministry, and the Lord used the high demand jobs to prepare my wife and I for church planting here in Fredericton.
Pastor Dave asked me in 2011 to Pastor the church in Fredericton. I had no desire, but told him I would pray about it, and after four years of prayer, the Lord changed my entire disposition towards pastoral ministry. In 2015 I was joyfully ordained into the SBC as a Minister and we began the church plant here in Fredericton.
Amy's Testimony of Conversion
I didn't grow up in a traditional Christian home. My Dad and Mom met in church, but as soon as they married, he stopped going. Growing up, my Mother was a guidepost for me to the Lord. She would read the Bible to my sister and I, she would have us write down our prayers. She would always have us in church and teach us about God. Looking back on it, she demonstrated her faith in the Lord many times by trusting Him to provide for her and her daughters on those occasions when we needed to leave the house while she was looking for work or a place to stay. He always provided.
When I was about 5 or 6, I saw a play at my church called "Heaven's Gate and Hell's Flame". In that play there's a scene where a Mother and Daughter get separated – one goes to Heaven and the other to Hell. I knew where my Mother was going and I knew I wasn't going there. I also wanted Jesus to be my father, since I didn't have much of one in my Dad. I remember going down and talking to my Sunday school teacher, who led me to pray to ask Jesus into my heart. I didn't quite understand. Later that night, my Mother talked to me about the play and why I went up front. I told her I knew where she was going, and that I didn't want to go away from her, but most importantly, I remember wanting Jesus as my father.
I went through a time of rebellion as a teenager, knowing what the Lord required but refusing to listen, for about a year. The Lord disciplined me during this time, and though it was unpleasant and led to a lot of strife with my family, he was patient towards me. I began to realize I had been taught a lot of things about God that were wrong, and though I was sure he loved me, I realized I knew very little about Him. Over the last five or six years, He's begun to open my eyes to see Him really: how He would have me serve him, how He would have me be in a relationship with Him, and what He is like according to His word.