Forty-three years ago I had a lot of hair and some experience. Now I have almost no hair and a bit more experience. That’s all because Rev. Bruce Fisher invited me to serve on his pastoral team at Central Tabernacle in Edmonton. I said, “Yes.”
Isolation To Congregation
Its quite important to remember when you came from and what you went through to make you the person you are today. It’s now 43 years that Jocelyn and I have served in pastoral ministry. It never gets old. You can take the pastor out of a congregation but you can’t take the congregation out of a pastor.
Being a pastor was not my childhood dream. My aspiration was to become a hermit – to live a tranquil life in isolation undisturbed by people. So how did I get from isolation to congregation?
I said, “Yes.”
God nudged me to follow His calling and be trained to become a pastor.
Ten years into my pastoral journey I accepted the role of Christian Education and Missions Pastor at Central – a storied church and one time flagship of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. Only two years previous a horrible congregational split had eviscerated this wonderful community of people. We worked hard to heal their heartache and despair.
Leading Through Relocation
Four years into our labour of love – February 1994 – Pastor Bruce’s health failed, disabling him and sending him to the sidelines. God called away all but me from our pastoral team. Four months later I was asked to be the next Lead Pastor at Central.
I said, “Yes.”
Fast forward six years to May 2000. Our congregation took a big risk, stepped out in faith and decided to relocate to the least churched area of Edmonton. We left an iconic facility in an urban location and began to look for land on the frontier of northwest Edmonton.
Three years later – April 2003, after multiple failed attempts to secure land – an opportunity arose to purchase 38 acres of a farmer’s field in the middle of nowhere.
We said, “Yes.”
A New Beginning
One month later after the snow melted we celebrated God’s provision by holding a party and “planting” a Bible on the property – prophetically declaring that our influence would be inspired by the Word of God.
$1.3 million in debt, and facing an $11 million building project, we also said “Yes” to raising an additional $1 million over the next ten years to support the dream of developing a Village of Hope in Harare, Zimbabwe for orphans of HIV/AIDS. To raise a million dollars, you need a million dollar idea. The VoH was a million dollar idea.
(It took us 15 years to achieve our goal but today there are homes for children, a nationally ranked school, a medical clinic, a feeding program, and a multi-purpose community facility.)
Come As You Are
Sunday July 16, 2006 was opening day at North Pointe Community Church. Our roadside sign offered the heartfelt invitation of “Come As You Are.” We meant it. People believed it.
They said, “Yes.”
The original 495 people now number 3716 – those who call NP home – from 85 nationalities, and 16 denominational backgrounds. And we’ve only just begun. Our roots go back 102 years to people meeting in a house church who started this whole endeavour.
North Pointe is a come as you are, life-giving, mission-driven church, devoted to Jesus, and His love for the world.
We exist to lead people into real hope, new life, and lasting purpose.
North Pointe is family. The facility is home. Jocelyn and I always knew that one day we would bless North Pointe by following God’s prompting – this time to leave home.
We said, “Yes.”
Our “yes” to God was never meant as a “no” to our church family. Our richest memories are coloured with North Pointe blue and the love shown to us.
And we will watch from a distance as people we love, see to it that North Pointe thrives as a community of people in process; where the curious, the unconvinced, the skeptical, and the used-to-believe, as well as the committed, informed and sold-out, come as they are together around the conviction that Jesus is the Saviour, the Son of the living God.
God bless North Pointe.
Yes and amen.
Rev. Bob and Rev. Jocelyn Jones (PB & J)
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Words cannot portray what Rick and I feel about the influence that Bob and Jocelyn have had on our lives. Our kids grew up together. They were both married by Bob. Bob and Jocelyn prayed with us through cancer, heart surgeries and many more tough times in our lives. Thankyou so much for saying yes to pastoring our church. We love you!
Thank you Pastor Bob & Pastor Jocelyn for saying “YES”. Your “Yes” changed our lives and the lives of people we love FOREVER! Keep saying “YES”…..there is so much more!!!
Thank you Laurie and Ricky Wallace. You have made the journey fun. I will miss seeing you come in to the auditorium with 3 Tim’s coffees or walking through the Conference Room on a Sunday morning before service and seeing Rick with a Tim Horton’s and getting ready to for the Sunday count. Forever friends.
Thank you Sharon and Tim for inspiring us with your love of the Village of Hope. You gave momentum to raising $1 million with your first team trip to the Village and a banquet and the WRR. You helped populate two rows of the front section on my left most every Sunday morning with friends who became followers.
Dear Pastor Bob and Jocelyn. Lorraine and I thank you for your faithful work at North Pointe. About 3 years ago we started attending NP and were very much in need of a spiritual oasis, we found that nourishment at North Pointe. It’s also heartwarming to us to see how our daughter Dale and grandson Zac have also taken on a much deeper commitment to the Lord and his calling on their lives. Zac is on fire for the Lord and is off to Bible college this fall and Dale has gotten involved in ministry. You will be dearly missed as you leave our fellowship but you have left us in good care as Pastor Mike takes the baton from you.
God bless you and Jocelyn as you serve our wonderful Lord Jesus and your next steps in this journey called life.
I feel privileged to have found North Pointe a short year and a half ago, and to have participated in services and Bible study with the two of you and many wonderful people here. May God continue to richly bless your future!
Praise God. I will never forget how we felt when God led you to another side of the world for us in Quebec.
I’m so happy for you but I dont want to lose you again. Selfish, yes. God knows my heart and I truly pray for you and Jocelyn. Wait until you see the glory of God as you continue on your journey with Him.
Love and prayer always wit joy.
I’m so glad you didn’t become a hermit Pastor Bob. Thank you for saying yes and for touching so many lives. Your example of saying YES (& throw me the ball, I’m open!) to God will forever be carried in my heart. You’ve changed my family, you’ve redirected our path, you’ve loved so well. Never forgotten. Always cherished . We love you.
Thank you Pastor Bob for being someone who says yes and accepts the challenge to move forward. Praying for a great new chapter ahead for you and Jocelyn.
PB+J…Gayle and I were drawn to North Pointe by your invitation of Come As You Are. But these were not just words on a sign, they were embodied by yourself, Jocelyn and the whole pastoral staff. It was a culture that was embraced by everyone who came through those doors with the willingness to accept and be accepted regardless of where they came from and what challenges they brought with them.
We are so grateful for the Love that we experienced and was given to us by North Pointe. Pastor Bob…you married our daughter and conducted the funeral of Gayle’s father, neither of whom were members of North Pointe, to which you gave the same energy and caring that we experienced weekly in your caring of the congregation.
Our congratulations to Pastor Voll in becoming the Senior Pastor of North Pointe knowing that he had an amazing mentor in preparing for this new chapter in his life. Congratulations also to you, Pastor Bob, and Jocelyn as you step in to a new chapter of your lives. I have no doubt that this new journey itself started with “Yes”.
Gayle and Ernie Pudwill
Dear Pastor Bob and Jocelyn,
I just came to North Point two years ago. I was lucky enough to be baptized by you at Easter 2017. Pastor Bob, I am so grateful. Needless to say, I am very sad you will be leaving.
I would like to take this opportunity, to wish you and your family all the best in your new path, with God guidance I am sure you will be blessed with the path the Lord has in store for you. Many blessings.
Pastor Bob, my heart is content in the fact that you said YES and that you continue to say YES allowing God to take you and Jocelyn on your next venture with him. I will never forget our initial connection, I was recently divorced with two young boys and my world was upside down. I was searching on line for a church to call home. I emailed you late Saturday night (in tears) and not only 10 minutes later I received your response. You kindly offered to say hello on Sunday, which we did. We then met the following Tuesday to get to know one another. That introduction led to co-facilitating Divorce Care, launching and facilitating Single & Parenting and starting our Singles group. All of these support groups are still going strong today (praise God). As you continued to say YES all of this came to life. You are a man that leads by example. Your love has touched all of our lives. You will be so dearly missed. Your sermons were unique and always hit the bullseye of my heart. Pastor Bob, we love you, celebrate you and thank you. God bless you both!!
My daughter and I have known North Pointe &lead by Pastor Bob since 2014 . We were in a turmoil and he understood and patiently and genuinely helped us pass through the tunnel. Our God is mighty and finds people who will survive and lead his sheep.Last but not least, I was always humbled when Pastor Bob knelt down to pray. It is a simple gesture, but means a lot and portraits his love for God and his humility .
Thank you Pastor Bob and Jocelyn for what you mean to us. Be blessed always <3
Sunday mornings felt best when I saw you were in the house. God bless you in saying you own “yeses” to God in the future.
Ah, Wendy. Your affirmations and reminders of that late night email have been like a pat on the back and the encouragement needed to continue to be ready to respond at all times. Your entrepreneurial spirit and ability to rally people to your cause is remarkable. I’ve learned so much from the way you apply yourself to making things happen. You brought hope to so many lives through DC and S&P and Singles Ministry. The ripple effect continues.
I remember the day you were baptized. Days like that for pastors are marvelous. They inspire the church family and are so rewarding to the person acting in obedience and devotion. God bless.
Thank you Ernie and Gayle. Words matter and your written words matter most because we will be able to reflect back on them in the future. Ernie, you helped behind the scenes in moments of crisis that no one other than you and I and those who were helped will know about. And God. You and Gayle made every Sunday at NP a good one when you were on campus. Such a pleasure to officiate Courtney and Darryl’s wedding. We’ll cross paths again. Soon I hope. God bless.
Thank you, Jord! So many memories from Central days and being in your family’s home. And the you out at Barrhead as a pastor. And the at Urban Bridge. And now with new, creative ministry initiatives in #yeg. God bless.
Pastor Bob and Pastor Jocelyn, thank you so much for your faithfulness and allowing the Holy Spirit to lead you on your journey. The growth came to be because you were faithful – may God richly bless you!!! As I write, tears are getting in the way – NP without you will not seem the same. It is remarkable that 19 years have passed since you first welcomed us.
Thank you for challenging, teaching and praying for us. You have positively influenced us and so many.
Please stay in touch as you continue to follow His leading.
We care for you. Much love!!
John & Myrna
Your words are like apples of gold in pictures of silver. Thank you for the words in your card. Words matter. It’s because of writers like you that Jocelyn and I will be launching our new site – REVWORDS.com this week. Just know that Run Burundi and Walk Run Ride For Hope and your friendship are priceless.
Lots of memories from la belle province and Lakeshore. The cool thing about the internet is the ability to stay in instant touch with people who matter but are so far away.
Thank you Bonnie. Keep on with your faith and your influence for God. Don’t keep the faith, share it.
Thank you so much Dave. Our “come-as-you-are” culture really has made a difference in lives of pe0ple like you. I know that will carry on. The Greater Edmonton area and the world need an oasis in community not isolation. So proud of Dale and Zac.
Thank you John and Myrna for reaching out. We go back a long, long way. Central, BBR, relocation, serving on the Board, dedications, grandkids. You have been true blue through it all. And Myrna has always been a cheerleader for us. Maybe we’ll see you on the golf course somewhere on a day that is above 15C. God bless.
Grateful for God’s faithfulness to NP Church and its congregation. The Lord is good all the time. Thank you Pastor Bob for sharing your amazing testimony to us – we are blessed by your display of your love and service to the God we serve.
To God be the glory! Praying for blessings in your next journey. You will be missed. Praying for Pastor Mike as well. May the Lord give him strength and wisdom as he leads NP.
Dear Pastor Bob,
It was your down to earth God presence that brought Susan and myself to NorthPointe 5 years ago. It’s both of your gifts of giving of your time and prayers and insight that’s kept us coming back for 5 years. We love and appreciate both of you very much and we will definitely miss you on the stage sharing your wisdom with everyone, I enjoyed how you could make the hard to understand and make it simple enough for even I could understand it and put it to use in my life. May God bless you both richly in heaven and on earth.
Thank you Brian and Susan. You are one who certainly knows the mercy of God. You are one of those faithful ones who show up Sunday after Sunday and always grateful and positive. Praying for healing in your body and complete restoration and long life.
Thank you for having my six.
We have traveled the world together. Great memories. Thank you.
You and Jocelyn lived your sermons. You lived the Teen Time motto ” Where love is felt, the message is heard” and I so enjoyed being” tuned up”by your presentation of The Word of God. Come as you are and be accepted and loved; has become my way of treating Teen Time kids and staff. What a great life!!! Thanks Bob and Jocelyn. Lets give God the glory!!
Thank you Lem and Karen. Love the motto and love what you do for teens at Teen Time. Keep it up.
Good Morning Pastor Bob! I used to enjoy taking my young children to see “The Singing Christmas Tree” at The Central Tabernacle downtown, many years ago. Fast forward…I went through my own trials & tribulations, and would drive past North Pointe Community Church on my way to see my chiropractor in St. Albert. One day I decided to stop in & get information about attending a service. (Saw that sign: “Come as you are”) Ev was the first person that I had the pleasure to talk to. I starting attending on Sundays with my youngest daughter. The rest is history. I became a choir member & started volunteering in “wrangling children” on Sundays with the Pastors, & volunteering with all the festivals, offered at the church. I have met wonderful people who have become part of my church family & I see them on a regular basis. Then I decided to be baptized. I was baptized by Pastor Bob on April 24, 2016. I became a Member of NP on April 1, 2019. I sing with John Cameron in his Crescendo & The ESCT choirs. Who would of thought that doors of opportunity would have opened like that? I am so blessed that I took that step to join NP, about 14 years ago. I always say…”If you look up the word PASTOR in the dictionary, you would find a picture of Pastor Bob”. Love you Pastor Bob & Jocelyn. ❤️ It has been quite the journey for me. I am blessed & grateful. Keep on, keeping on. ❣️
I’m not crying. Just something in my eye.
Experiences like yours, Julie, are precious.
Words create worlds.
Your words made our world brighten up today.
I’m so glad that I can give you words of encouragement, to carry on your journey in life. You have been blessed with a gift. Not too many people have found their “calling in life”. Sometimes, it takes a few attempts to get it right. But, you & Jocelyn are an extraordinary couple. Weathered storms & journeys, like all of us. Nobody said life was going to be easy. It is the struggles in our lives…that truly make us who we are. Decisions that we all make…that all have consequences. (Good & Bad) We can only hope to have the respect, that I know you 2 have. Just from being the kind, humble & wonderful people you are. Love you both ❤️ & I mean it from the bottom of my heart. Actions always speak louder than words. “Walk the walk….& talk the talk”. That is the way that I roll too.