Because it is very difficult to be in a full-time traveling ministry in Canada within one denomination, we have ministered with every evangelical denomination in Canada, plus some other countries! When we began ministering in the US, we did the same. Our doctrinal views on some things may differ, but we present the simple gospel which should be the same in any evangelical church. Our policy is to minister in only evangelical churches if it is an outreach event, but if it is inhouse, we go anywhere they will let us present the gospel; we reason that the gospel is needed everywhere.
I was born into a Christian family in Maple Ridge, BC, Canada, and went forward at special meetings in our church at the age of 5. Shortly after that my dad became bitter toward the Lord when his favorite brother died at a very young age from an ulcer and we didn’t go to church for several years. Then we were invited to a children’s crusade with Evangelist Joe Gallop at the Baptist Church. My brother, sister and I went, and continued going to Sunday School there. Later my mother and baby sister came, and several years later, my dad finally came with us. You can see why children’s ministry means so much to me, since my family came back to church because of it!
As I grew older, my faith dimmed, but in my teens I met Suzanne, a missionaries’ daughter, who wouldn’t date me unless I was a Christian. So, I rededicated my life to make sure, and shortly after that, by “fluke”, otherwise known as God’s plan, I was elected president of the Inter School Christian Fellowship. That last year of high school, the ISCF became the fastest-growing club in the school, and I grew spiritually along with it, as I led them in outreach and fellowship activities.
I didn’t really have a plan after high school, and my youth pastor encouraged me to attend Bible college, so I went to Northwest Baptist Theological College, where Suzanne also came the next year. I finished the 3-year program before marrying her in 1972.
We were both working full time, but were very active in our church, and really interested in some kind of full-time ministry. We just didn’t know what. Then one day I was asked to tell a children’s story in the morning service, and they liked it so much, we were asked to organize a week of special children’s meetings. That went so well, and blessed us so much, that I tried to line up meetings in other churches FREE, but only another small church where we had worked during college days agreed to have us! No one wanted a greenhorn. That week a ventriloquist friend of mine came on Friday and the attendance doubled, so I decided I’d better learn how to do that.
Then we heard from the president of our college that a small children’s organization, Children’s Evangelistic Association, was looking for a replacement for their retiring evangelist, Joe Gallop (the man who God used to bring our family back to church). We were accepted in the fall, and, with letters of introduction and recommendation from the organization, we were able to begin full-time ministry the next summer. We have ministered either full or part-time ever since then, with our children joining us on the road from 1985-96.
I am the daughter of missionaries to Liberia, W. Africa. I was born in a mud brick house, 10 miles from the nearest road. Fortunately, my dad was a pilot, as evidenced by his book, “Jungle Pilot in Liberia”, (a collection of 139 short stories from their life there), available for $10 Canadian from us. They worked with BMM as missionaries there for 35 years, then spent 10 years as the Western Missions Representative.
Having heard the gospel story preached over and over, I gave my life to the Lord at the age of 3. One of my earliest memories is kneeling by the swing on our front porch to do just that. The furlough that I was 8, I also went forward at special meetings related to our church's girls’ club.
When I was 12, we came home on furlough, and settled in Maple Ridge so I could settle into the area while my parents were still there. My dad’s sister and husband, who pastored a Baptist church there (the one Wayne attended), had offered to let me stay with them for high school. That didn’t work out well, so I went to a home for missionaries’ kids in Wheaton, Illinois, where I fit in just fine and did well in high school and piano lessons. My teen years were somewhat turbulent, being away from my parents from 13-17, but I knew Whose I was, and always planned to go to Bible college.
I probably would have gone to a Baptist college in the US, but that last spring I felt led to donate all my savings to our pastor, who was starting up a Christian school. When I heard that the cost of Wayne’s college, Northwest Baptist Theological College in Canada, was only $600 a year (incl. room & board!), I decided to try it. The Lord allowed me to find a job and I made all I needed in the few weeks I had there before college began.
Wayne and I renewed our friendship, and, after 2 years of Bible college and some additional music training, we were married in 1972. For the rest, see Wayne’s background. It’s the same!