Dave and Jess Friesen
The date was 1972, and the place was Red Deer Alberta, Dave was born and on the 24th of December he met his adoptive parents for the first time. They raised him in Coaldale ('72-'79) and Calgary ('79-'90) AB. He is the second of four boys in his family and was given a good Christian foundation by his parents. Despite his parents best efforts Dave managed to stray away from God as a teenager, but through the grace of God he rededicated his life in early '90. He grew up in a variety of churches (Mennonite, Nazarene, and Baptist to name a few) and attended Briercrest Bible College ('90-'94) where he earned his B.A. in Pastoral Ministry.
Jessica was born in 1975 in Winnipeg, Manitoba to Pat and Monty Schneider. She is the youngest of three children. When Jessica was almost two, her parents began a house church where there were 16 adults and 12 other children in attendance. That church grew into what is now known as Maranatha Evangelical Free Church. After graduating from John Taylor Collegiate (1993) she ventured off to the Bible college that both of her older siblings went to - Briercrest Bible College.
It was during this time at Briercrest that Dave met his future wife Jessica, who found him a church to do his internship with, "Why not try my church, they could use someone." She had him convinced, not that it was a difficult thing to do. As Dave followed his heart into ministry he also had a good reason to stay around. During the summer of '94 Dave did an internship for Maranatha Evangelical Free Church as the Associate Pastor with the primary focus being on youth ministries.
The Alberta boy was really beginning to like the province of Manitoba and especially the friendly people. It wasn't long before Dave knew that God had a place for him in ministry at Maranatha. In October 1994, the church called Dave to the pastorate full time as the Associate Pastor. Dave has written and produced two dramas, which the youth group performed, and has helped out with, both technical and acting in, several others that the church has produced over the years. He enjoys the youth but has the pleasure of preaching and even seeing some of those youth grow up and get married (even being given the honour of performing some of the ceremonies). In 2003 Dave was ordained with the Evangelical Free Church of Canada.
Dave and Jessica were married in October 1995 and they have three boys Silas ('97), Levi ('99) and Solomon ('01). Both Dave and Jessica left their boys at home for the summer of 2004 to be a part of the Kenya Project Team. "It was an experience that I, Lord willing, hope someday to repeat, only next time with my whole family."
Besides working at the church, Dave enjoys many things, but the ones that top his list are: camping, cooking, reading, BBQing, football, potlucks, having a house full of friends, eating good food and listening to music.
Jessica has helped out in many areas of the church including, Sunday School, Jr. Church, nursery supervision, ushering, Lamplighters, women’s ministry and many other areas. Jessica worked as the caretaker at Maranatha from 2000 - 2006. Jessica enjoys crocheting, reading, scrap-booking, baking (especially cookies), spending time with her children and having a home that is open for socializing with church, friends and family. Jessica works full time in the local school division as an Educational Assistant. She enjoys working with many special needs children.
After 12 years of working with the youth of Maranatha, Dave's role of Associate Pastor has changed. On June 4, 2006 Maranatha called Dave to the role of Pastor. Over the past several years Dave has really enjoyed working with the community surrounding Maranatha. It has been a challenge and a blessing all at the same time. To see the growth of individuals over these many years is a blessing that many pastors miss out on.
Dave and Jessica took a tour of Israel in February of 2010. This trip was an exciting opportunity to see many of the places that he has been preaching about. It has enhanced his knowledge and ability to teach the Bible in a more vivid manor. Perhaps one day he will return to see the Holy Land once again.
Dave has enjoyed ministering to Maranatha over these past years. As his children get older it is a privilege to see Silas follow in his father’s footsteps and more importantly God’s calling as he takes on his first pastoral position as a youth pastor; and Levi and his wife Medori train for full time missions work with a heart to serve in Africa. Solomon has a passion for cooking and that is always a wonderful blessing.
Beyond all of this Dave hopes to continue to serve the Lord as long as he can. "If the Lord is willing to allow me 50+ years of ministry, I am more than willing to serve him." It is a personal goal of his to teach or preach every verse in the Word of God, at least once. “With just over 40 books already done, I am on pace to meet that goal…”