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.
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.
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 still works with 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.
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."
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.
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 two elementary schools in the local school division
as an Educational Assistant. She enjoys working with many special needs
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. "I look forward to the new direction that God has given us
as a church and I am excited to be in the position that the Lord wants
me to be in."
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 is just
starting, very slowly, to work on his Masters of Divinity degree and is
enjoying being back in the classroom on occasion. Being able to learn,
and relearn some things is refreshing. At the current pace, Dave should
finish this degree sometime in the next decade.
Dave and Jessica are looking forward to a trip to Israel in February of
2010. This trip is an exciting opportunity to see many of the places
that he has been preaching about.