Friday, September 18, 2009

A Distant Greeting from a Former Resident

(I have sent the following letter to the local Record News newspaper in Smiths Falls Ontario, the first town in which I pastored)

"Forty years ago in the month of September I came to Smiths Falls to pastor Calvary Bible Church on Beech Street. Christine and I lived happily in town during a five year span from 1969-1974. Coming to town fresh from my pastoral training, I was certain about most theological subjects and was not timid about sharing these evangelical sureties. Maturity has not diminished my confidence but has tuned my discretion factor. At the time The Record News carried a weekly religious article stating opinions with which I often took issue. Christine and I were not in town long before I walked into the office of the Record News editor and told him that the regular religion article did not reflect the mind of many of the newspaper’s readers. He asked what I was prepared to do about it and I offered a column called ‘To the Point.’ For five years the column enjoyed an appreciative audience as well as drawing the ire of some who disagreed with me.

One of my memory highlights was organizing eight days of nightly meetings in 1972 with a young evangelist named Ravi Zacharias, who went on to become a prominent Christian apologist, spokesperson and best selling author with an international ministry. These meetings drew support from area churches and numerous local musical groups.

I myself went on to pastor three other churches in Peterborough, Toronto, and Cloverdale, B.C., where I continue to live. I concluded my career in July 2008 after serving six years as President of the denomination known as the Evangelical Free Church of Canada. Christine and I look back with fondness upon our time in Smiths Falls where our second child was born, where we made many friends and where I received my enriching ministry start. Thank you to the Record News for its early encouragement to me to write. In retirement I have picked up my palette and paint brushes and am painting pictures of God’s creation, landscapes and people."

With appreciation,
Dr. Ron Unruh

Photo credit: Smiths Falls Lock Panorama photo by: Ken Watson, 2003
See Ken's site on Digital Photos
Ravi Zacharias Video Statements on YouTube:
Why believe the Bible?
How do you know there is a God?

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