Who Is Your Regional Ministry Leader?

Horizon Weekly | 19 November 2020

There are seven men across Canada that work tirelessly for our Canadian National Baptist Convention (CNBC) churches. These are the “go-to guys” that have the local churches’ health and best interests as their focus. They work hard to be in relationship with the leaders in their areas and to minister to those who are ministering to others. In essence, they are CNBC’s pastors to our pastors.

If you have a leadership question or need prayer or counsel, these guys are the ones to talk to. They also work to put on local events and retreats to equip and inspire local leaders. If you live in their region, you are already on their prayer list.

We want you to know more than the fact that they exist, so here are some fun details of who they are. If you don’t already know, take note of who it is that is working for you. Send them a note of encouragement or introduce yourself. They would love to hear from you.

Andaza Hezekiah—Manitoba

I am the founding pastor of Joy Fountain Church in Winnipeg. We live in East St Paul on the outskirts of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

My wife, Folusho, and I have been married for 24 years. We have three children: Faith (22), Samuel (20) and Philip (14).

This summer, our family rented a motor home and went camping for the first time since moving to Canada 15 years ago. We were quite unsure about it at first, but it turned out to be a fun experience!

Jacques AvakianQuebec

My wife Martine and I have been married for nearly 28 years. God has blessed us with Sabrina and Sébastien, our young adult children. We are a multicultural family. Martine is from Quebec and I was born in Lebanon and am of Armenian descent. We have lived in Cyprus and in the United States. I am currently the Church planting Catalyst for the province of Quebec and francophone Canada with the North American Mission Board (NAMB). My role is to discover, develop and deploy church planters and church replanters.

I would describe myself as a happy-go-lucky guy. I enjoy laughter and making lame jokes! My kids call them “Daddy Jokes.” I love watching documentaries. I also enjoy cooking, taking long walks, cycling and riding my motorcycle.



Jason McGibbon—Ontario

I am the lead pastor at The Hamilton Fellowships, a church plant in downtown Hamilton, Ontario. Historically a steel town, Hamilton is a growing, eclectic and arts-filled community which makes it a perfect match for my family.

I’m married to Kimberley, who also works with the CNBC to serve ministry wives and women in the region. We have three adult children—Daniel and Caroline, both of whom have left the nest, and Liam who currently studies Music Theatre at Sheridan College. Our fourth child, T.J., is a teenager who is also heavily involved in artistic endeavours including acting in film and television.

I am a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter as well as a painter and I love using those interests to further explore the crossroads of faith and culture.

Paul Johnson—Alberta North

My current area of ministry is as Associate Pastor at ROOTS, the English congregation at Truth (Mandarin) Baptist Church, Calgary.

I am married to Laura, who owns Legacy Studio, a fibre art supply store.

We have four children and eight grandkids.

I like to explore alternative gardening practices and am presently trying no-till gardening. I also like to do woodworking.


Gordon Grieve—Alberta South

I began ministry in 1978 as a minister of music, and then youth pastor. I have served for 30 years in lead pastor positions. Currently, I am Senior Pastor of Trinity Baptist in SE Calgary. Trinity is a warm, multicultural family, with a deep passion for Jesus, and the Scriptures, known for the best soup and bun lunches ever! 

I've been married 42 years to Arlene, and we have three children. Our daughter, and family (and our four grandsons!) live in England and serve with a missionary organization.

Arlene and I credit Beethoven (and the Lord of course) for getting us together! Our piano teacher teamed us up to play a four-hand version of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, and the rest is history. I play multiple instruments, and have a passion for worship music, classical, and jazz.


Hamish Buntain—Westcoast (BC)

I currently serve on the interim leadership team at Westlynn Baptist Church in North Vancouver. While observing all pandemic protocols, we hold three services each Sunday in English, Russian, and Farsi. We have been members there for over 20 years now.

I grew up in this region and so it is a great privilege to serve the churches and their pastors. Over the years I have travelled across BC and have been in many of our CNBC Westcoast churches.

Cindy and I have been married 35 years and throughout that time have been privileged to serve two churches: Mapes Baptist Church and Bow Valley Baptist Church; the CNBC as a Church Strengthener; and now the CNBC–Westcoast as its RML. We recently moved to our home on Salt Spring Island. It is the first time we have lived here full-time since we bought it 20 years ago. We have a wood stove that provides heat in the colder months, which also lowers the hydro bill. I enjoy cutting and splitting firewood. We live near an ecological reserve and enjoy exploring the many hiking trails and meeting the creatures that live there. We have also enjoyed getting to know all our neighbours. One thing you may not know about me is that I used to be a volunteer firefighter / chaplain while serving as the pastor at Bow Valley.


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
National Ministry Leader: Gerry Taillon 
Editor: Lynda Blazina
French Translation: Baker Hill    


CNBC Mission: We are churches in covenant giving ourselves away to advance the Kingdom.

CNBC Vision: 1000 healthy, Kingdom-focused churches.




* Note that all comments will be reviewed before appearing on this page.


On November 21, 2020 Bo Neal commented:
Great article about our RML’s! So thankful for these leaders and their families. Grateful to be part of a family of churches across Canada that really is better together!
On November 19, 2020 Wade Holmes commented:
It would appear that CNBC does not have a ministry leader for the north. That is a large part of Canada. What is one whom lives in the north to conclude? Cheers, Wade
On November 25, 2020 CNBC commented:
Thank you for raising this question, Wade. Gerry will be in touch to discuss what we can do that can better support our northern churches.