It was a journey that began in the late fall of 2017 when a faithful follower of Christ decided to take some courses for his own spiritual development. It was an innocent enough endeavour; he was simply looking to further his biblical knowledge and be of greater service to his church and community. Yet, at some point during his studies, the Spirit of God began to stir in his heart. What began as just a personal interest in and love for the Word of God cracked open a calling to full-time ministry.
For Alex Coonishish-Coon, being a pastor was the last thing on his mind when he embarked on his studies some four and a half years ago. At that time his home church already had a pastor and leadership in place. Although he had distant musings of being a minister, it was never an imminent thought; in his own mind, there was always someone else around who was “more qualified” or “more called.” So, he simply set his mind to engage with the Word through Aboriginal Bible Academy studies with the goal to grow spiritually.
Spiritual growth is precisely what happened. And slowly but surely, God began to tug at his heart, and his local church leadership began to take note of his growth in the Lord. Sensing the call of God on his life, he began earnestly seeking God’s will and the doors began to open! We fast forward to today and Alex is now the lead pastor of his local church in the Cree community of Mistissini, Quebec. He is not only actively pursuing his Recognition of Ministry credentials with The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada but is determined to complete his studies to qualify for full Licensed Minister standing within the Fellowship of the PAOC.
It is exactly this type of organic spiritual growth that we here at Aboriginal Bible Academy strive to see develop within every believer—be they a pastor or a person in the pew. That they would become not only lovers of the Word but doers as well, being transformed and used as instruments in God’s hands to become effective ministers of the Word to others. Studying His Word shapes us to share His Word.
Aboriginal Bible Academy in Napanee, Ont., exists to “serve all Indigenous people with the purpose of preparing the believer for effective Christian ministry.” This story was originally published in the Aboriginal Bible Academy Spring/Summer 2022 newsletter. Alex Coonishish-Coon serves as lead pastor of Living Water Assembly in Mistissini, Que.
Photo on the home page courtesy of Aboriginal Bible Academy.
Photo above by Aaron Burden on Unsplash.