No, this is not a stage company, or a high quality brand of pots, or even an accounting firm.
These are just a couple of the pastors that have helped shape our faith early in our walk.It’s normal to miss people who have grown your faith, but it’s not always common to keep in touch with them once you and they have moved on from that church.
When Cynthia and I were just starting out in our Christian faith we attended College Park Church in Oshawa. It was a big church, easy to get lost in and blend into. We liked that because we were new and we were shy.
Pastor Dave Schwinghammer was the head pastor at that time and on our first few visits we did not like his preaching style.
We were church shopping at the time, trying to find a place we can belong, and seeing if any pastor “spoke” to us. Although we were willing to give this guy a try, how many times can we come back before we say “enough” and move on to another church?
Let me explain first what I mean by “enough”. Pastor Dave’s messages were not the problem, it was the way he delivered them that we didn’t buy into.
No one can be this excited about God, we thought.
After about 4 visits we came to realize that this guys was the real deal. It wasn’t pretend. This wasn’t for the audience. Our guard was put down and we let his preaching of the Word seep in. We met him in person after a few weeks and we instantly got along. We had many similar interests and he as so willing to be active in our lives.
We expressed an interest to be baptized and he helped us realize many important things about our relationship with each other and with God, and what had to be set right before he could baptize us according to the Word. He was always gentle with us and led us with a kind hand.
Our new found convictions led us to be get married that spring so that we could live right in our relationship. He married us in a private ceremony and even wrote a special song for us he performed right there on the church piano. Oh yeah, he does that by the way; where he will play background music while preaching and then break into a song. This guy was amazing!
Pastor Dave lead us through many of life’s journeys and when the time was right, he reconfirmed our marriage before our whole family and friends a year and a half later.
He dedicated 2 or our 3 children as well. By the time we had Lincoln he was no longer pastor at that church and we had moved on to a closer church in our home town of Brooklin.
We miss him dearly and I always look forward to our lunches when we make it back into town. He will always be a special part of our lives.
Pastor Rob Zama came into our lives when we were also attending College Park. He was a new youth pastor looking to stir things up. We instantly clicked. We would hang out together from time to time and he would help lead us in our walk with the Lord as well.
When Pastor Rob got married we got to spend time with his new, growing family.
Pastor Rob was a lot like Dave because he was also super excited about the Lord when he preached. One time I got to be part of the opening joke of his sermon when he accidentally walking into the wrong house and sat down while trying to visit our new house. It was his first time over and he didn’t know the neighbourhood well. It made for a funny story and we all had a good laugh. Pastor Rob also moved on from that church but we still keep in touch by meeting up for lunch. It’s always a pleasure to see him and his family. No matter what you tell him he is terribly excited to hear it. It makes you miss him more. I need more friends like this in my life!
There have been other pastors from College Park that were kind to us as we grew in our faith.
Pastor Oudri and pastor Nunez showed a passion for our faith, and Bonnie, the receptionist at the church, was always present for our most important life events. She was like part of our family. We miss that time when this group manned the wheel at College Park. It was a special time in our lives and in our faith.