South Abbotsford Church
Following hard after Jesus, becoming like Him, turning people to God,
and engaging in the extraordinary life He gives
Sundays at 10am
- Next Gen
- Next Gen
Matt Ewert - Lead Pastor
I’ve had the incredible privilege of being part of the South Abbotsford Church family for all but four years of my life, and have been honored to serve as part of the pastoral staff team since 2003.
In my role here I get to be involved in a variety of different things including oversight of our staff team, working with council on issues of vision, direction, and strategy, and teaching occasionally in our Sunday morning gatherings.
My incredible wife, Dawn, is also a South Abbotsford “lifer” and we have four amazing kids.
On those occasions when I have some gaps in my schedule I enjoy fishing and the occasional round of golf. I have a deep love for biblical history and archaeology and take great delight whenever the latest edition of the Biblical Archaeology Review shows up!
Having been a part of South Abbotsford Church for nearly all my life, I have a deep passion to see God’s transformative work take place in and through this particular body of believers. While I want God to be honored and glorified in every corner of the globe, my hearts cry is, “Let it happen here too, God!”
My dream is that South Abbotsford Church, through the power of the Holy Spirit in us, be a people who are different and make a difference to the glory of God and the building of His kingdom!
Connie Siebert - Associate Pastor of Care
I am serving as Pastor of Caring Ministries. I am privileged to act as a liaison with the many and varied resources in our city, referring as needed and looking for opportunities for our church to be involved in our community. I enjoy the opportunities to meet with people personally (and often over the phone) to pray with and encourage those who are struggling. I oversee the Deacon Ministry (Baptism, Membership, Communion, Care for Ill & Shut-in, Benevolent Funds) and visit and coordinate visitation for people in hospital and care homes. I enjoy meeting those who are new to South Abbotsford Church and work with our teams to ensure people are offered a place in a life group or other support networks. We offer a healing and discipleship course, Freedom Session at South Abbotsford Church, and I have the privilege of directing this ministry that runs from September to April. I love to meet with people to help find out if this ministry could be a fit for them.
I was born in Abbotsford and have attended South Abbotsford Church my whole life apart from seven years when my family lived on a farm outside of Dawson Creek.
I have been married to my best friend, Rob since 1981. Yes – I was a child bride (kidding!) We have four wonderful adult children – two daughters, Emily (married to Joel) and Alison (married to Duncan), two sons, Robbie and David, and two grandchildren.
I enjoy riding my motorcycle, walking, reading, gardening and hosting people in our home. I am inspired by the writings of Oswald Chambers and A.W. Tozer. I also enjoy reading historical fiction.
My heart resonates with the goals of our church to foster an ongoing sense of belonging at South Abbotsford and to encourage, equip and inspire our congregation for involvement in our community. Relationships, risking and investment of time are key to "following hard after Jesus, becoming like Him and turning hearts to God."
David Manuel - Pastor of IECM
Originally from India, I came to Canada in 1977 and have been on staff since 1980. Presently my area of responsibility is Evangelism (Preaching on Radio, TV, Skype and personal meetings) Leadership Training. I have received my Bachelor of Arts, Master of Theology as well as an honorary doctorate in Biblical Seminary.
I have been married to my wife Stella since 1960. We have four married children who have blessed us with twelve delightful grandchildren.
I enjoy fishing, gardening and gleaning "dust in touch with dust" (Ps. 113:7 He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap) and "gleaning gems from the life stories of people who knew they were paupers but for the Lord."
Some scriptures which are meaningful to me are:
John 12:26 If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.
John 15:16 You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.
David Song - Associate Pastor of Worship Arts
I was born and raised in South Korea. In grade eight, I moved to Windsor, Ontario, and in grade 10, I moved to Vancouver, BC. During this time, my mother and I became Canadian citizens while my dad worked in Korea. I studied at UBC (Psychology and Philosophy), and later transferred to Columbia Bible College where I completed a Bachelor of Arts in Worship Arts. It was a privilege to have had the opportunity to make CBC my home, and to meet plenty of good people there, including Jenna, my wife!
I really enjoy reading theology books, watching movies, playing sports, and grabbing coffee with people.
As Pastor of Worship Arts, I, with the Lead Pastor and the service design team, oversee the weekend worship gatherings and its various features. Moreover, I get to come alongside other ministry leaders to create an intentional and safe atmosphere of worship of Jesus, and to explore various expressions of worship that will minister Him to His people. I also oversee audio and visual equipment.
But that's not all! I have a privilege of sharing what I've learned with emerging worship team members and doing life with many other precious people: volunteers with much to teach me about life, faith, servant-hood, and many have pretty cool gifts (i.e. in the areas of arts, sound, lighting, and media, etc.).
My heart's desire for South Abbotsford Church is for us to both corporately and individually respond to the Holy Spirit in ways that He desires and empowers us to! Personally, a part of what that means is for us to be a people energized by Christian hope of the resurrection and the New Creation, and to grow in maturity and in our commitment to God, to our fellow image bearers, and to the rest of the creation.
Ed Balzer - Associate Pastor
It’s my joy to serve at South Abbotsford as a coach; to encourage and support leaders. Most specifically my focus is on Life Group leaders, as they exercise their spiritual gifts, their innate abilities and their passion so that their Life Group will grow and become “fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ.” (Ephesians 4:13 MSG) We are designed for community. To live authentically in community is essential if we expect to flourish as Jesus’ followers whose vocation is to be God-reflecting image bearers of our Creator God.
Professionally, I spent twelve years as a secondary school teacher and coach until the fall of 1984. Following that I began my ministry at South Abbotsford Church, beginning as a Worship Pastor, and later as an Administrative Pastor until 2009. I then studied at ACTS in Langley for two years. In 2013/14 and in 2015/16 I had the privilege of serving in two local churches as a Transition Pastor.
Ev, my wife, and I were born in Abbotsford and have lived here throughout our lives. We have three wonderful, accomplished married daughters and have six grandchildren who are the joy of our lives. I enjoy sports of almost any kind, but have been most involved with coaching basketball over some 35 years. I play golf, but sadly, rather badly! My daily routine is to get in a brisk walk with Ev around Fishtrap Creek Park near our home to clear the cobwebs and keep in some kind of physical condition.
Jen Cucheran - KidsQuest Director
I am blessed to be coordinating the KidsQuest program on Sunday mornings. My background and training is in educating children and adults and teaching English as a second language.
I am passionate about seeing kids' lives transformed by the gospel, partnering with families in teaching our kids to know and worship Jesus, and supporting and praying for volunteers who are actively serving where God has gifted them.
I am married to Tim and we have four crazy kids! We love to travel, play games and spend time with our amazing family and friends!
Jeremia Radvanszky - Associate Pastor of Family Ministries
I am the director of Family Ministries, with direct leadership over those that join us in our ministries from birth to 25 years old. I have great joy in shepherding all the volunteers that work with and impact these children, students, young adults and their families.
I grew up on a petting zoo, where I fell in love with llamas on the edge of the southern Alberta Mennonite mecca of Coaldale. Since the petting zoo days, I met and have been married to my beautiful and stylish wife Anya since 2006, and love coming home and playing with our three wonderful children, Niko, born in 2010; Adrianna, born in 2012; and Lillian, born in 2015.
I have many loves but really most of them can be encompassed in two words: the outdoors. I love being fit and spending time doing activities where I can adventure, explore, try difficult things and enjoy nature with others. If you really knew me, you would know I love creation.
I have been privileged to attend some great educational institutions. I began my post secondary endeavors at Rocky Mountain Bible College in 1999 and received my BSC at the University of Lethbridge in Agricultural Biotechnology in 2006. In the last few years you may have seen me slowly working on my Graduate studies at ACTS Seminary on the TWU campus.
My hopes for South Abbotsford Church and all the people that it reaches is to move hearts to Jesus Christ, providing a safe environment where children, families, attenders and leaders can experience the life changing love of Jesus Christ.
Mike Olynyk - Associate Pastor of Student Ministries
I am the director of Student Ministries here at South Abby and have the extreme privilege of working alongside and building into an amazing team of youth volunteers. Together we have the task of loving students and raising the spiritual bar for students to go deeper in their (or enter into) faith and widen their impact in the lives of their friends, neighbours and to those in need. Seeing this happens excites me!
God has done an amazing work in my life. I grew up in a broken home where I didn't see my dad very much. Not being a Christian at the time, I found out in my teenage years that God is my Father that will never leave me nor forsake me and loves me despite what the world throws at me or the things I do; for that I am eternally grateful.
God has blessed me with my beautiful, talented wife Kim, my gorgeous girls Raelyn and Makenna, and our handsome son, Grayson. I am an avid board-gamer and you can often find me playing hide-and-seek or going to the park with my kids. I love to play all things sports, but my passion is ice hockey (both playing and watching). I am a huge Canucks fan, I'm addicted to Coca-Cola and love be outdoors or camping.
I had the privilege to attend Ambrose University College where, in 2007, I graduated with a Bachelor of Religious Education with a concentration in youth studies. I am a life-long learner and anticipate working on my masters in the coming years.
I see a generation of student rising up in missions field ripe for the harvest (schools). I see youth leaders loving students and diving head-first into relationships with them and allowing God to use them and their small group in a mighty way. I see students serving their neighbours, friends, people in need and see many come to know Jesus. My hope and certainty is that God will do a mighty work in and through the student ministries here at South Abbotsford Church.
Steve Berg - Senior Associate Pastor
I am delighted to serve Christ in Abbotsford with the people of South Abbotsford Church. My key pastoral contributions on the team are in preaching and leadership mentoring. I am currently serving one quarter of my time here at South Abbotsford Church, and the remaining three quarters of my time with the Canadian Conference of MB Churches, as the interim Executive Director. I will be serving in this position for up to 18 months, ending in August 2018.
I have been married to a remarkable woman and my best friend, Karen, since 1974. We have four wonderful married children and a soccer size team of fabulous grandchildren.
I began in pastoral leadership in 1974 and have led churches in Alberta and BC - happily leading South Abbotsford Church from 1997 to 2004. That year I was privileged to become the Executive Minister for the BC Mennonite Brethren Churches and following in 2011, I joined the team of Power To Change as the National Director of the Christian Embassy of Canada.
As you know me I trust that what you see is the evidence of my daily prayer, "Dear Jesus, I want you to be the center of my life and through your power I commit to serve and obey you anytime, anywhere at any cost, to do anything." I hope that when we are together, joy and laughter will abound. You can count on seeing me smile when I'm with Karen and the family, driving my VW convertible, singing great music, working in my yard, riding my "roadie" bike, or playing golf (which should make you laugh out loud!).
I was born and raised in Abbotsford, and began attending South Abbotsford Church in my grade 12 year. I married Sheralyn in 1996 and we now have four children. I began on staff in June of 2016 as the Production & Communications Lead.
I was studying and working as an accountant until 2005, when God called our family to attend Hillsong International Leadership College in Sydney, Australia where I studied Worship & Creative Arts and Church Leadership. We spent four years overseas, deepening our faith and understanding of God and the full and abundant life He has called us to lead. I felt called to ministry but didn't know what that looked like for our family, and so upon returning to Canada I found myself back in the accounting and business world until starting at South Abbotsford Church.
My family and I returned to South Abbotsford Church in 2014 and have enjoyed getting involved in various ministries here. I am passionate about expressing and encouraging authentic worship using music, media and the creative arts. I strive to bring excellence in all we do to glorify God and build His Church.
I enjoy going to movies, camping, biking, kayaking and writing music.
Susan Schlaak - Office Manager & Bookkeeper
I joined the South Abbotsford Church team in 2008. Currently, I serve as the Bookkeeper, Office Manager and provide support for Matt, our Lead Pastor . . . or at least try to keep up to his busy schedule.
I am a prairie girl at heart, having grown up on a dairy farm outside of Edmonton, but have now spent over half my life in BC and feel so blessed to call it home.
Kelly Ens - Administrative Assistant
My position is administrative assistant to two of our pastors: our Senior Associate Pastor and Children’s Ministry Pastor. I have been at South Abbotsford Church since the beginning of 2014 performing general administrative duties and and stepped into graphic design in the spring of 2016.
I married the most wonderful man for me in 2003, and have since been blessed with a daughter and a son. I am known to be a bit patriotic to running, photography, dark chocolate and Starbucks coffee.
Michelle Park - Reception/Administrative Assistant
I am the receptionist and administrative assistant to the Worship Pastor and Student Ministries Pastor. I am a Columbia Bible College graduate as of April 2016. I graduated with a BA degree in Youth Work and a minor in Caregiving and Counselling. I am excited to see what God has in store for me here at South Abbotsford Church!
In my free time I love watching movies, reading, and drinking tea. I am a bit of a homebody, but I do enjoy a good hike once in awhile, or spending some time in the sun!
Sylvia Pauls - Administrative Assistant
I have had the joy of serving on staff since 1999 as an Administrative Assistant (currently primarily to Caring Ministries). I am also the administrator of the South Poplar Cemetery, manage the church database as well as perform “all other related duties”. My responsibilities also include working with the bookkeeper assisting with delegated finance tasks.
I enjoy golfing (didn't say I was good at it), vacationing (beaches are the best!), going to movies, spending time with family and friends but conversely, I also like spending time alone.
I have been given the pleasure of keeping this facility running like a watch. Please feel free to introduce yourself to me, as it would be a pleasure to meet you. I am married to my wonderful wife MaryAnn for 33 years and we are actively involved with the church in the Beyond Hello team. We have two sons and one grandson. We are also part of a Life Group and I feel very blessed in being part of this wonderful group. I look forward to becoming even more involved as the years go by.
This summer I have the privilege of being the Student Ministries Intern, where I get to work alongside Pastor Mike to help organize events and trips, come alongside youth to build relationship with them, and organize and plan some events independently. I’m very excited for God to grow and stretch me this summer so that I can grow deeper in my relationship with Him.
My journey to where I am now has been a long one. I was born and raised on Vancouver Island into a non-Christian family, however my parents have always been open minded people. I started attending a Bible Camp on the Island when I was ten years old, and I haven’t missed a summer since. However it wasn’t until I was 17 that I made the decision to dedicate my life to Jesus and to live my life as a Christ follower. That decision set me on a path of discovery, healing, and growth. Part of the discovery was realizing my passion for youth, a passion to come alongside people where they are at, but loving them too much to leave them there. This passion is what drove me to pursue Youth Ministry as a career and attend Columbia Bible College, where I have just completed my first year of my BA Degree in Youth Work.
When I’m not working or doing school work I love reading, knitting, and drinking coffee. I love hanging out with people and being in conversation. I also love doing things outdoors like hiking, swimming, and camping.
This summer, I am serving as the intern of Summer Children’s Ministry, which provides a wonderful opportunity to lead the SummerBlast Maker Fun Factory program and help lead summer KidsQuest. I am very excited to have this opportunity to see young lives transformed by the power of Jesus Christ.
I have spent a majority of my life living in a small town in Southern Alberta and more recently attended Columbia Bible College; graduated with a diploma in Youth Ministries in 2016. I have recently been in pursuit of my emergency medical technician through the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Edmonton, Alberta.
I have five brothers and four sisters who are very dear to my heart as well as a mixed breed dog named Eddie. I enjoy coffee, traveling, reading history books, photography, being outdoors and hanging out with friends. My hope is that in the next few months, children and youth will understand how huge God’s love is for them and grow deeper in relationship with Him.