An Historic, Different, and Important Night, Part I

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Ordination service at Cedar Crest BFC

At the 2020 one-day Fall BFC Conference, twelve men were approved for ordination to the ministry in the Bible Fellowship Church. A special ordination service on April 27, 2021, was held at Cedar Crest BFC, Allentown, PA, for those who wanted to participate rather than wait until the 2021 BFC Conference in October. Historic, because as far as anyone can remember, it was the largest ordination service ever held by the BFC. Ten men were ordained or had their prior ordinations recognized. Different? Well, it was the first ordination to be attended both in person and live online.

The following are the testimonies of these newly ordained men. Remember to read with prayer for their service to God’s church and for their families.

Jarrod J. Cruise, Assistant Pastor

Lebanon BFC, Lebanon, PA

Jarrod and Jen Cruise

When I was 3½ years old, I placed my faith in Jesus Christ. I was blessed by God to be born into a family that valued the church, so I began going to Lebanon BFC as a baby. It was only when I got into youth group that I remember really beginning to take my faith seriously and seeking to serve within the church.

The Lebanon church gave me excellent opportunities at a young age to serve – like teaching Sunday School to elementary school kids while I was in 10th grade – from then on I taught many quarters of Sunday School during high school. There were also opportunities to serve and specifically teach through our youth group. One defining moment was teaching at an Easter Sunrise Service. I was very nervous and not thrilled to speak. Afterwards the congregation was so encouraging; several told me that they could see me being a pastor. That affirmation made me seriously consider being a pastor.

In the years to come, I served at Victory Valley for three summers. It was after these summers that I came home and spoke with Pastor Calvin Reed (my senior pastor since I was born) about my desire to be either a missionary or a pastor. He spoke to me about my gifts and what he saw in me and encouraged me to become a pastor. Lebanon’s training did not stop there! They gave me an internship while I was still in high school (that my public school allowed!). An internship and practicum in the summers were provided before my 2nd and last years at Lancaster Bible College. Then, they brought me on part time for a year as I transitioned to assistant pastor.

As I reflect over my life and calling I cannot thank God enough for the people at Lebanon BFC that He used to train me up, influence me, encourage me, correct me and support me. Another of His blessings is my wife Jen. We are expecting our first child this July. Jen is a 4th grade teacher at a local elementary school. She has been an excellent support to me in ministry. We truly enjoy serving at Lebanon BFC together.

Larry Davies, TEAM

Bethel BFC, Emmaus, PA

Michelle and Larry Davies

I grew up in a Christian home with a rich Christian heritage. At the age of 5, my grandmother explained to my siblings and me our need for Christ, to accept Him as Lord and Savior. That night we all accepted Christ. Around the time I was in 5th grade, my siblings and I were baptized. I grew in understanding of God, but did not really deepen in my faith. There was a time in college that I ignored my walk with God and grew distant from Him. Between my Junior and Senior years of college I realized that I had drifted and God turned my walk back to Him. It was around this time that God sent me an awesome gift, my wife Michelle. She challenged and encouraged me in my walk with Him for which I am extremely appreciative.

I am very grateful for the many faithful believers who have invested their time in my life and have diligently prayed for me and my family. That encouragement was instrumental in leading Michelle and me to serve as missionaries with TEAM in the Czech Republic. Our desire was to open our hearts to God, to see the world through His eyes, to see where He was working and join Him there. From March 2006 until July 2014, we served in two church plants in Prague. I also had the opportunity to serve as an Elder in our partnering Czech church, and as TEAM’s ministry area leader for all of their work in Czech. Since returning in 2014, I have primarily been serving as a mentor for new missionaries with TEAM.

About 3 years ago, I began the ordination process. I didn’t have a particular church calling me into a pastoral role; just a true sense that the Spirit was asking me to step in faith. Under the supervision of the Board of Missions through my work with TEAM, I worked through the requirements for ordination. I am excited to see how the Lord will continue to shape me to be more like Christ and to use me for His purposes.

Sean A. Fox, World Team

Calvary BFC, Sinking Spring, PA

Sean and Sunny Fox

Despite my Christian upbringing in Springfield, OH, I started walking down a prodigal path in high school, which became more pronounced as I transitioned into a small liberal arts college in Columbus, OH. After failing out of college in my second year, I moved to the Colorado Rockies where I was surrounded by the marvels of God’s Creation. I made it through one ski season before having to move back home, but not before beginning to ask the great metaphysical question, “Why?”

Two years later, I met my future wife, Sunny. We were married in September, 1998, and our daughter, Sidney, was born shortly after in January, 1999. The next five years were very difficult, but God used Sidney in remarkable ways to bring Sunny and I back to faith in 2002 and 2003, respectively. God then moved us to Reading, PA, due to a job change. While attending a UMC church in the area, I went on a mission trip to Gulfport, MS, to help with Hurricane Katrina relief. It was there that I began to sense a call to ministry, which intensified when we started attending Calvary BFC in Sinking Spring, PA, in 2005.

During a trip to Israel, I began discussing with Pastor Bob Sloan about how to follow through on this sense of calling. God provided in some astounding ways to wipe away my defaulted college debt, enabling me to go back to school to complete my BS in Business Administration from Albright College in 2010. I then proceeded to complete an MDiv from Westminster Theological Seminary in 2014.

From that first trip to Mississippi to completing seminary, I served on the missions committee and elder board at Calvary BFC. In 2009, while attending World Team’s Paris Prayer Conference in France, Sunny and I began conversations with Jerry and Carolyn Moyer about possibilities of serving there. However, our move to France did not pan out.

For several years, we have been working through World Team as missionaries to the Muslim refugees. Beginning in 2016, we helped to institute the International Neighborhood Network (INN) reaching the diaspora here in the US. Through April 2017- February 2021, we worked in the resettlement community of West Ridge in Chicago. It was our desire to continue full time Muslim ministry once we moved to Lancaster, PA. However, family obligations precipitated an unforeseeable change in track. We continue to volunteer our time with the diaspora in Lancaster while we seek the Lord’s next steps for our family.

John Hanner, Pastor

Living BFC, Gettysburg, PA

Lisa and John Hanner

My parents were not attending church while I was growing up. It was through the invitation of a friend that I began to attend a Lutheran Church at the age of 12. And it was in the youth group and confirmation class I began to learn about Jesus. God used a David Wilkerson Crusade in Bethlehem, PA, to lead me to Christ. It was an early June night in 1976 when I asked Jesus to forgive my sins and I submitted my life to him.

By the time I left high school, I felt called to go into ministry, starting college with a major in Old Testament in Tulsa, OK. I ran out of funds and came home and began working at Crayola. I finished my BA in Business at Muhlenberg. I joined the Army National Guard, ultimately became an officer, spending six months in Saudi Arabia during Desert Storm. I left the National Guard as a Captain, and returned to school, receiving my MBA at Lehigh. I acquired my MDiv at Biblical Theological Seminary.

I was an elder at a previous church for about 20 years, and became an elder at Saucon Community Church when it graduated as a particular church in 2011. I was on the board of Church Extension for a few years before stepping down to serve at the church plant. I am married to my high school sweetheart, Lisa, and we have four adult children, all married, and we are blessed with six grandchildren. I left Crayola after 36 years to serve the church plant.

The work at Gettysburg is much different and more difficult than anything else I have experienced. I find myself trusting God more. I see the Lord working on the lives of our people. We are making connections with others. In Acts, the Word tells us that God adds to our number. So our team focuses on making connections, teaching and preaching God’s Word, building the body and trusting the Lord with the rest. Our mission vision is to simply live and love as Jesus to see others live and love as Jesus. Pray that the Lord would establish this work for His glory and for His purposes.

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