Canadian Baptist of Western Canada

Farewell Jeremy Bell

At the end of June, we will say goodbye to the irreplaceable Reverend Jeremy Bell at the completion of his term as CBWC’s Executive Minister, a position he filled, invigorated and strengthened for 12 years. His leadership and loquaciousness are legendary. His humour and deep love of people are cherished. His historian’s mind that effuses daily activity with a long sense of belonging is admired.

He will be missed. Yet we wish him well in the many varied endeavours he will immerse himself in. And we thank him for the many accomplishments and memories he leaves.

To give a glimpse of the man we’re saying goodbye to, here are some thoughts, memories and thank you’s from three of the many people who worked with Jeremy.

Jeremy, 

You are a man of many talents, who wears many hats.

You have been my boss. You have challenged me to speak up when I have an idea, you have encouraged me to pursue more, you have modelled for me how to appreciate people in meaningful ways to them, you have taught me so many new words and phrases.

You have been a leader of this denomination, of this family of churches. You have shown me what leadership truly is; to step out in faith, to listen to others, to seek advice and counsel from wiser people, and to hold steadfast to those things that are worth holding to. You have modelled for me someone who has a deep love for God, for His people, and who seeks to deepen that on a daily basis. 

You have been a colleague. We have laughed, we have railed against things we have perceived as injustices, we have been awed by people’s reactions to things, we have had great discussions as a staff in this Vancouver office, we have laughed even more. 

You are a friend. You are someone who I respect, whom I value, and whom I look forward to sharing many stories with in the coming years. 

Peace and joy be with you as you move into all the great things to come. May you eagerly engage what’s to come, and be delighted with where God calls you to.

With warmth and affection, 

Shelby 

What a privilege it has been to serve alongside Jeremy Bell within our Canadian Baptist family. Jeremy has provided joy, guidance, care, wisdom and friendship to me as I have served Canadian Baptists here in Ontario and Quebec. I hold in highest regard Jeremy Bell, this leader of great knowledge, understanding and purpose toward the mission of God in Canada and beyond. Great Canadian Tommy Douglas once said: “Courage, my friends; ’tis not too late to build a better world.” Jeremy, your Christ-like, servant leadership, your articulate vision for churches in Western Canada, your support of our military chaplains and your faithfulness to God’s calling on your life has taken courage and strength…and you’ve changed the world along the way! Thank you.

Enjoy this next season of mission. 

Fondly, Rev. Tim McCoy, Executive Minister, Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec.

Farewell to a man whose knowledge and life experiences have been something that I’ve come to appreciate in the many years we’ve been colleagues and friends. 

There’s never been a dull moment or conversation with you Jeremy.  We can be talking about one specific thing and the next thing I know ~ we are talking about something else!  You keep me on my toes.  You have such a good memory in recalling stories, dates and special occasions.  Not everyone can tell and recall a story like you do.  It is a gift.

You’ve lead the troops well over the years you have served as our Executive Minister.  Many times over you have been creative in your thinking as well as your actions.  For this I am very grateful.

On a more personal note though ~ you’ve walked along side me in some of the most difficult times of my life such as my divorce, death of my dad, loss of a colleague.  You’ve cared deeply and it is something I will always hold dear to.  We’ve also shared in stories of our grandchildren and of how they have changed our lives. 

On a professional level ~ it is noted though that there have been some stressful times in your 12 years as Executive Minister but that comes with the territory of the position.  You now leave us with funny stories, crazy banter, smiles and laughter and will leave with nothing but memories that will hold close to our hearts.

It’s been a real pleasure being part of ‘your team’ Jeremy.

Thanks be to our loving God for you, Kerry and your growing family.

Dawn Johannesson

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