10 February 2022
Will Blackaby Leaves a Godly Legacy
By Janet Campell
“Well done, good and faithful servant. Welcome home!”
These words are how Will Blackaby defined success. On January 7, 2022, Will left this world and was ushered into the presence of the Lord to hear these very words.
Will was originally from northern BC. His father was a lay pastor, and their family planted a Baptist church in Prince Rupert. Work opportunities then moved the Blackaby family to Vancouver. God called him to teach. He was so convinced of this calling that he forfeited a commission to be a pilot with the Royal Canadian Air Force. Will spent the rest of his life in Vancouver, investing himself in his family, his church, and his calling as a teacher and school counsellor.
Margaret, Will’s wife of 58 years, remembers his passion for ‘passing on the faith baton’ to the next generations. In addition to discipling their own four children, they served together as youth leaders in a local church for over 30 years.
Will’s celebration of life was held at Towers Baptist Church on January 15th. His children and grandchildren expressed their gratefulness for his goldy influence in their lives.
“There is a ripple effect to Dad’s legacy,” wrote Rob Blackaby for the eulogy, that was read by Pastor Garrett Holmes. “He lived his life as if the span of his earthly existence was a spot on a prolonged spectrum. There was a persistent urgency in him to fill his role well. But he knew that by any measure his time on this earth would be brief.”
|Peter Blackaby and his wife Rosemarie with Peter's parents, Will and Margaret, at Peter and Rosemarie's wedding in 2015|
“As I think of Dad’s legacy,” wrote his son Peter, “it would be that he put God first in his marriage, family, career, ministry, in his everything, and that he discipled others—including his family—day by day and moment by moment, much like the apostle Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 11:1, where he says, ‘Imitate me as I imitate Christ.’ Dad let us watch his life and then would intentionally explain it, and he seized every teachable moment.”
Will’s two daughters, Shirley Neibel and Ruth Mitcham, have both followed in Will’s footsteps by discipling their children, using their gifts and talents in lifelong service in their local churches, and choosing careers in education.
Remembrances shared by family members pointed out Will’s intentional and loving investment in those in the next generation. They recalled how Will would ask “How do you spell ‘love’? T-I-M-E!” and how he consistently demonstrated this by giving whomever he was with his time and full attention.
“He loved me unconditionally as my father,” wrote Peter, “and he loved me sacrificially with the love of Christ. And the way he loved me helped me come to know and embrace the deep love of my heavenly Father… with whom he now rejoices.”
Those present in person and online could not fail to catch how greatly God used Will’s life, his joy in the Lord, and his faithfulness to his Saviour to influence multiple generations for Christ. And surely, we who remain have been inspired to live to hear those same words that greeted Will a short time ago: “Well done, good and faithful servant. Come and share in your Master’s joy!”
|Will and Margaret Blackaby||Will and Margaret Blackaby with their grandchildren plus one fiance!||
Will, with three of his four children, Shirley Neibel, Ruth Mitcham and Rob Blackaby
Statement on Recently Passed Federal Legislation — C-4
The following statement was read in churches across Canada as a statement of solidarity among evangelical churches across our nation. We agree with this statement and want to publish it as our stance on Bill C-4, in agreement with these churches:
Recently passed federal legislation marked a monumental change in Canadian law and society with the enactment of federal Bill C-4, which amends the Criminal Code.
The law’s stated purpose is to outlaw “conversion therapy”. We strongly oppose the coercive and unscientific therapeutic practices the Bill was introduced to address. We appreciate and affirm the desire of parliamentarians to protect the vulnerable. However, we are deeply concerned that the effective reach of the legislation could be extended far beyond its stated purpose. Because its definition of “conversion therapy” is vague, many are concerned that it could capture parents, pastors and counsellors who teach a biblical understanding of sexuality in a variety of situations. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees our freedoms of religion, conscience, thought, belief, expression and association. It is our prayer that the law will be applied—and clarified as needed—in such a way as to honour these Charter protections.
We recognize that the greatest danger facing the Canadian church is not that we might face criminal prosecution, but rather that we might compromise in our teaching of the Word of God or fall silent in our proclamation of the gospel. Along with church leaders of like conviction across Canada, we stand before you today to pledge that we are committed to obeying God above all others (Acts 5:29). With the Lord’s help, we will continue to proclaim the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27) without fear or favour. This includes God’s life-giving design for human beings, made in His image, male and female (Genesis 1:27), with sexual intimacy reserved for the covenantal union of a man and a woman (Genesis 2:24). We will continue to issue the call to repent of all kinds of sin and to believe the gospel, knowing that we all have sinned (Romans 3:23), and that salvation through Jesus is the one true hope for the world (Acts 4:12). We will continue to love and serve all people in our community, without distinction, in Jesus’ name. As we press on in the work of ministry, we will trust our heavenly Father to guard us and keep us, and to work out His greater purposes for our good and His glory.
We continue to pray for our government and to plead with the Lord to have mercy on our needy land.
For more info follow the links below:
Do you have a story you would like to share? Please contact Lynda Blazina and let her know. We would love to share your stories with our CNBC family of churches.
CNBC Weekly Horizon
CNBC Mission: We are churches in covenant giving ourselves away to advance the Kingdom.
CNBC Vision: We see a day when every man, woman, boy and girl has multiple opportunities to see, hear and respond to the Good News of Jesus Christ.