Pastor Jon Anderson
Growing up in a Christian home I knew the gospel from an early age, served in the church and maintained an outwardly moralistic lifestyle. However, as I grew older I became increasingly aware of my sin and hypocrisy which fostered in my heart a bitterness and hatred toward God. It wasn’t until my later teen years that God used a fireside sermon at a summer camp to open my eyes to the riches of His grace to remove the guilt of my sin and the reality of Christ’s righteousness offered to me. God radically changed my heart and my desire was no longer to live moralistically for my own glory, but to give myself fully to the work of the Lord and see Him glorified in everything. From that day on I pursued a life of ministry. I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree in Youth Ministry and served as a youth pastor for four years where I discovered my passion and love for the preaching of God’s Word. That desire took me to a lead pastor position for two years and then to pursue further training and earning a Master Divinity from Southern Seminary. Since graduating in May of 2015 the Lord has paved the way for me to serve an elder at Redemption Church Calgary North and then as head pastor of Redemption Church Olds. There have been many bumps and sacrifices along the way, but in all these things God has made us more than conquerors through Him who loves us and gave Himself up for us. Looking back we can say with confidence that He is good and He does good; blessed be the Name of the Lord. He has blessed me with Bethany, a wife of noble character and my greatest earthly joy, and four children; Ezra, Madelynn, Gideon and Elijah. We are excited together for what God is doing through Redemption Church and the GCC and look forward with anticipation for what He has planned for the church in Olds.
I grew up in a Christian home that taught me the importance of living a life for Christ, and how important it was to serve Him. My family supported me in all my endeavours, which included mainly music and camp (Youth). However, they were not aware that the passion and desire that I displayed for the Lord, largely came from an unrepentant heart, only desiring the praise of man. I studied the Bible diligently, not to have the life altering truths change me from the inside out, but so that my hand was the first in the air with the answers to all the hard questions. This lifestyle was incredibly exhausting, and eventually led to the exposure of sin in my life. Pride became my downfall; thinking I could do this myself, and hide who I truly was. However, as the Lord slowly began to break me down, I began to see the joy others had in their lives from a true relationship with Jesus. During a sermon on a winter retreat with our youth group, one of the pastors preached on Psalm 63. “Oh God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” In all my pursuit of knowledge, I was not able to say this. I didn’t thirst for God as if I was parched in a desert, I thirsted for knowledge to impress other people. The Lord started to break down the walls, expose hidden sin, and bring me to my knees. Alone in my room one evening, the Lord brought back Psalm 63:1, and I cried out to God, asking for that desire, and surrendered my life to Christ. My passion for music, and camp (youth) ministry has continued to grow. These desires have led me to support the worship and youth ministry in the churches we have attended. Through much prayer, fasting and seeking counsel, the Lord has made it abundantly clear to my wife and I, that we are called to serve the church in Olds, and we couldn’t be more thrilled about the opportunity the Lord has provided. He has proven Ephesians 3:20-21 to our family time and time again, that He is able to do far more abundantly that we ask or imagine, and it is for HIS glory, not our own. I am beyond blessed to have a wife (Sam) who loves the Lord, and Him first, and three incredible children, Nevaeh, Liberty and Declan. The five of us are excited to see how the Lord will use the church in Olds to further His Kingdom!