Clifford, a small rural town in Ontario. The hand writing seemed to be on the wall -
you take the Gospel and start a local church in those demographically right places
and a rural small town in Ontario is not one of those right places.
Yet, God had placed my wife and myself in rural Ontario. Brought us each to faith in His Son,
Jesus Christ and gave us a desire to love, serve and reach out in such a setting
as we had grown up in, rural Ontario.
In 1998 the opportunity opened up for us to seek out such a location for Christian ministry.
We moved to Clifford because of its close location to Harriston,
where a fellow pastor acquaintance was ministering.
As far as Clifford itself, we knew no one, had no ties or connections; yet we felt maybe God would allow us to be used by Him to help local people know and come to Christ.
About nine months after moving to Clifford God opened a door to be exposed to local individuals and families with a six week opportunity to preach at Knox United Church in town. The fall of 1999 we then began youth events out of our home and a local resident inquired about a Bible Study - if we started one she said she would come.
I'd have to admit we were fearful, lacked experience and had no sense of clear direction or motivation. Our children recognized that in us, and suggested we move to another area, to a church already established; our answer to them was, "we moved to Clifford with the idea to actually trust God for a ministry here in this town - we must at least stay and follow through on what we believed God desired of us."
So, that same fall we stepped out believing God had us here to do the work of the Gospel. We purchased a keyboard, our daughter was willing to play, our sons wanted to help, and went to the town office to see about renting the community hall for church services. We also enlisted several fellow believers, family and friends as an advisory team and prayer supporters to be our 'stand with us' family.
January 9, 2000 was our opening Sunday service and we had nine people from town, six of our own family, another twenty-three family and friends from out of town attended. Bible studies started, youth progressed and the story of God's grace has continually been written by God on our hearts and lives and on a good many others.