St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church

New minister welcomed at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church

 

 

By Jolene Perron

 

A local church has welcomed a new face to their clergy.

Reverend Dr. Tim Reddish, who was born in a coal-mining village in central England, has a diverse scientific background. He spent ages 9 through 16 in Nigeria, and attended Hillcrest Boarding School. His parents lived in the Gwoza area for three years, in the North-East, and were mainly involved with training pastors in the Hausa language and building programs for the bible school and missionary hospitals.

Reddish moved on to Manchester University to study physics, during which time he got married while studying for his PhD in experimental Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics.

After his research positions at Manchester and Vancouver, in 1989 Reddish became a lecturer at Newcastle University in the UK. He then moved with his wife Anne and their son Phillip to Canada in 2002 where Reddish was a professor at the University of Windsor.

Reverend Dr. Tim Reddish was welcomed as the new minister of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church during a special mass and ceremony Sunday night.

“I was able to come to the University of Windsor with all my equipment from Newcastle University, which was a key asset in establishing my research profile in Canada,” explained Reddish. “This was further enabled by regular NSERC funding and some truly amazing graduate students, along with my international collaborations with colleagues in France, Italy and Australia. I loved teaching undergraduate physics and engaging with students. I was promoted to a full professorship in physics in 2010, and was Head of Department for a short period of time.”

Reddish explained, he has been a Christian since his teenaged years. Being a physicist, he has always been interested in creation and to him, it seemed no major change to focus his studies on “the creator.” It was in 2011 when he resigned from his position at the University of Windsor to study theology at Knox College in Toronto.

“I also felt the call of God on my life to serve Christ’s church in a more involved way than only in my free time,’” said Reddish. “Although one of my passions was reading theology books, to switch disciplines requires more structured learning; in other words, going to seminary.”

Reddish explained he was raised in a Pentecostal family, but during his time in university he attended a “lively Anglican church,” where he said he found the formal liturgy to be “grounding” as he wrestled with his doubts. Later his year in Vancouver, he attended a Baptist church.

“Since graduating from Knox College I have been househusband, author, and a guest preacher at various Presbyterian churches in Essex-Kent,” said Reddish. “In seeking the next step in what I believe to be God’s call on my life in serving the Church, I wanted it to be the right place for me and my family and not simply the first available position. I discovered an affinity with St. Andrews, Amherstburg, during my visits as a guest preacher and was interested in exploring the possibility of being their minister once the position became vacant. My prayer for churches in such situations is that, “God will be preparing the church for the new minister, and the new minister for the church.” I believe that prayer has been answered in this situation and I’m very excited at the prospect of being St Andrew’s new minister.”

Reddish plans on focusing on getting to know the congregation in Amherstburg. Once that’s done, he plans on doing some strategic visioning for the church’s future. His overall hope is to help to congregants as well as the wider community to explore the Christian faith. He also hopes to partner with other churches in Amherstburg and work together to become “an effective Christian presence in the community.”

Windsor church finding home in Amherstburg

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A Windsor church has found that many people from Amherstburg make the trip to the city so the church is returning the favour.

The Pentecostal Church of Windsor, located at Wyandotte St. and Fairview in Windsor, use St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church every second and fourth Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. Assistant pastor Caleb Fallon said they are trying to find ways to reach out to the Amherstburg community.

“We’re starting to get a lot of followers who live in Amherstburg,” said Fallon.

By coming to Amherstburg, it allows local residents to celebrate their faith closer to home, he said, with a long-term plan for a permanent structure of their own not out of the question.

While the Pentecostal Church of Windsor has been meeting the last several months at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, they aren’t strangers to Amherstburg, Fallon indicated.

“We’ve been meeting in homes within Amherstburg and at the Libro Centre for the last year-and-a-half to two years,” he said. “We love it. Amherstburg is a wonderful place.”

Fallon said everyone is welcome to their services, which are usually followed by small receptions over coffee and treats afterward.

“We’re thankful to be here,” said Fallon.

Good Friday happenings in Amherstburg

 

By RTT Staff

There are a few events happening on Good Friday in Amherstburg.

St. John the Baptist Church is hosting its annual procession through the streets of town, weather permitting.

The route is expected to be similar to what has been used in the past. It is scheduled to start at approximately 10:30 a.m. so motorists are asked to be patient should they encounter it April 14.

St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church

St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church

St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church is also hosting a Good Friday breakfast. It starts at 9 a.m. in the church hall. A free will offering will be collected and there will be gluten-free options available.

St. Andrew’s church service will follow at 10 a.m.

First Baptist Church teams with other parishes on Black History Month event

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The crowd that filled St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Friday night got a chance to learn about black history and help another church at the same time.

First Baptist Church held the event in conjunction with St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, St. John the Baptist Church and Amherstburg Community Church with the evening starting with a tour of First Baptist Church before it headed to St. Andrew’s where the presentations and meal occurred.

“It’s amazing the reception we got from the community,” said Abiola Afolabi, director of outreach with First Baptist Church. “This is a great community.”

Irene Moore Davis was the guest speaker at a special Black History Month event Friday night.

Irene Moore Davis was the guest speaker at a special Black History Month event Friday night.

Afolabi, who was born in Nigeria, said she is very interested in black history and wanted to do something for Black History Month. She said it is not only about those of African-Canadian heritage, but those of other cultures who helped during the days of the Underground Railroad.

“It is your history, it is my history, it is everyone’s history that is part of this land,” she told the crowd.

Not only did she thank the churches that teamed together, she also thanked everyone who had a hand in presenting the event. She particularly thanked all of those who attended Friday night.

“It would not be what it is without you guys,” she told the crowd of nearly 100 people.

The evening’s guest speaker was Irene Moore Davis, who educated the crowd on the area’s black history. Among Davis’ many titles are her presidency of the Essex County Black History Society and she told the stories of courage of those who travelled the Underground Railroad and those who helped them along the way. She noted that there were laws in northern U.S. states in that era prohibiting people from helping slaves to escape.

“There were pretty serious legal consequences for people caught doing that,” said Davis.

There were eight readings from community members woven into Davis’ presentation to illustrate what was going on during the Underground Railroad period. Davis noted that slave catchers would cross into Canada to try and capture slaves and bring them back though many escaped slaves still chose to live near the Detroit River in places like Amherstburg.

It is said that 30,000 escaped slaves crossed into Canada, though Davis called that “a conservative estimate” as many didn’t want to let anyone know they were in Canada for fear of being caught.

With Canada celebrating its 150th birthday this year, Davis said there is no better time to reflect on lessons people can learn from the past.

“It is important to know the Canada we now have did not take place by accident,” she said, adding the decisions and actions taken years ago by people overcoming obstacles helped shape the country.

First Baptist Church director of outreach Abiola Afolabi, Pastor Olaniyi Afolabi, trustee Eric Buchholzer and Deacon Terry Simms are photographed after the Black History Month presentation and meal at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church Feb. 24. They also hosted an open house at First Baptist Church.

First Baptist Church director of outreach Abiola Afolabi, Pastor Olaniyi Afolabi, trustee Eric Buchholzer and Deacon Terry Simms are photographed after the Black History Month presentation and meal at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Feb. 24. They also hosted an open house at First Baptist Church.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo also brought greetings and said the stories of African-Canadians have shaped Amherstburg as well.

“We are so rich in history and part of our history is our belief in human rights and that we are all treated equally,” said DiCarlo.

First Baptist Church also held a free will offering to try and fundraise for their church. The George St. church is over 180 years old and sustained water damage about eight years ago. There have been some repairs but church members continue to appeal for funds as they want to further upgrade their church.

Local church organizing Black History Month event

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A local church is organizing a Black History Month event and is involving three other local churches in the process.

First Baptist Church is organizing the event with the support of St. John the Baptist Church, Amherstburg Community Church and St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. It is scheduled for Feb. 24 with an open house at First Baptist Church followed by presentations at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church.

“We’ve had this idea for years,” said Abiola Afolabi, director of outreach for First Baptist Church. “It’s not only Black history, it’s Canadian history.”

Afolabi said the story of the Underground Railroad not only involves African Canadian people, but white people as well as they not only helped African Canadian come to Canada but helped them integrate into society as well.

“The presentations will focus on that,” said Afolabi.

Afolabi added that Irene Moore Davis will be conducting the presentations with the topic being “Working Together to Make a Difference: African Canadians and Allies throughout History.”

“We hope it’s going to be stimulating,” said Afolabi.

Pastor Olaniyi Afolabi and his wife Abiola show a flyer for a Black History Month event that First Baptist Church is hosting in conjunction with other local churches Feb. 24. Abiola is the director of outreach for First Baptist Church.

Pastor Olaniyi Afolabi and his wife Abiola show a flyer for a Black History Month event that First Baptist Church is hosting in conjunction with other local churches Feb. 24. Abiola is the director of outreach for First Baptist Church.

The use of multiple churches in the Black History Month event is “a display of unity,” Afolabi explained.

“What better community to do it in?” she asked. “It’s the most peaceful community in Canada.”

Afolabi, whose husband Olaniyi is the pastor at First Baptist Church, said people should love, enjoy and embrace being together, even if they are of different cultures and races.

“We have to get to the point where we are happy being different,” said Afolabi.

The open house runs from 4-5 p.m. at First Baptist Church, located at 232 George St. The presentations run from 5:30-7 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, located at 129 Simcoe St. (at Bathurst St.). A Nigerian dinner will follow, catered by Eden’s Garden.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and $5 for children under 10. Afolabi said they are available at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, St. John the Baptist Church, the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission and First Baptist Church, with the latter being open Thursday evenings and before and after Sunday services.

For more information, please call 519-736-4646 or 519-988-6725.