Vol 5 No. 29 Our New Team Leader and Director of Church Planting

This family of churches has long had a deep and consistent commitment to starting new churches. Established in the 1860’s-1880’s, churches like Emerson, First in Winnipeg, First in Vancouver and First in Calgary have helped establish new churches in the communities around them. In the more recent years we have seen New Life in Duncan, B.C. and Westview in Calgary established, along with the re-vitalization of Grandview-Calvary and Kitsilano in Vancouver and Southside in Surrey.  In the last five years, Southport in Surrey, Southgate in Calgary, New Friends in Christ in Regina and the Myanmar Baptist Church and Vancouver Chin Baptist Church in the B. C. Lower Mainland began meeting.  This mentions only a few of our church family.  In the Fall we will list a more comprehensive accounting.

We have, by necessity, focused in the last three years on church health and resourcing and will continue to do so with even greater effort and courage in the years ahead.  The time has come to once again (Dan Watt’s work was so appreciated by many in this area) to staff, emphasize and strengthen with gifted called out folk new work in this area.  Few are more suited and gifted in this area than Tom Lavigne; he has lived in cities and villages, urban and rural, planted, renewed and celebrated God’s story in His people, the Bride of Christ, His Church.  See the announcement following for Tom’s story.

Some new structures are emerging in this area.  We’ll talk about those in the fall.  God be thanked for He is fruitful.



In Christ,





July 8, 2009


Jeremy Bell, Executive Minister of Canadian Baptists of Western Canada is pleased to announce that Rev. Tom Lavigne has been appointed to a two year term as Director of Church Planting effective August 15, 2009. This new position is responsible for providing the prime leadership in designing and implementing a plan which will realize a significant increase in new CBWC churches.  The new Director will work with a Church Planting Team which will articulate the vision of local believers reproducing new believers and local churches reproducing new churches to realize God’s mission for the world.  The Director and his team will launch a church multiplication movement that will be undergirded by prayer, leadership, partnership and financial resources. The Director and the team will provide leadership in the recruitment, assessment, selection, supervision and encouragement of new congregations, affiliations, church plants, and churches planting new congregations and “seeds” within their areas.  Specific metrics and growth targets will be set for new churches to be established during the Director of Church Planting’s tenure.  No new financial resources are required to support this position as the two year term Director of Church Health position now has been concluded with Rev. Ken Nettleton now serving as CBWC’s Interim Alberta Regional Minister prior to beginning his new ministry as Senior Pastor at First Baptist Church Calgary.  

Born in Ottawa and raised on Vancouver Island and the Fraser Valley, Rev. Tom Lavigne has had a variety of experiences in the secular world including military service, oilfield worker, businessman, business consultant, and responsibilities in accounting, purchasing and human resources.  Educated at Temple Bible College in Edmonton and at Briarcrest Bible College in Caronport, Saskatchewan, Tom and his wife, Chris, led a church planting team in 1994 in the Peace country of BC which resulted in Peace Community Church in Taylor, BC affiliating as a new church in our denomination. During his time in the Peace Country, Tom was a catalyst in developing several local ministries including a pregnancy care center, counselling service and church and municipal partnerships.  Rev. Lavigne became Lead Pastor at First Baptist Church Prince George in 2006 and had recently concluded his ministry there to wait on the Lord for further direction.  Tom is well-know in much of the CBWC constituency as he has served as a member and past chair of the Alberta Regional Church Health and Planting team.  He feels that his call from God is to be a church planter and is excited about the opportunity to lead and work as the new Director.  In his word’s, ”With several churches and ministries in the new, early and developing stages and with the creative direction of the Holy Spirit and the giftedness and prayers of people around Western Canada the future for the CBWC is a very exciting one. The ministry of Church Planting is ‘OPEN FOR BUSINESS’ – all creative entrepreneurs and people excited about the kingdom mission are welcome!!”

Jeremy comments that “Tom has a proven track record of personally planting new churches and ministries and mentoring and encouraging other church planters. He has a real passion to develop new churches and ministries for service in the Kingdom of God.  He is results oriented and we look forward to a significant increase in new CBWC congregations and churches during his tenure in this position.  We welcome Tom as our new Director of Church Planting, to this family of churches, pray every encouragement for he and Chris in this new challenge, and satisfaction as he leads in this key position for the future of our denomination.”