One of Winnipeg's most well-known preachers says it's time for him and his wife to enter into a new season of life.
Pastor Bruce Martin of Calvary Temple, alongside his wife Miriam, announced today that he will be retiring later this year.
"I just want you to know that the same God that helped us 25 years ago when we came to this church, that same God is going to look after this church," Martin says while getting choked up in a video announcing his retirement. "So yes, there is a sense of sadness, but there's great joy that God has helped us for 25 years."
Pastor Martin and his family arrived in Winnipeg in 1997 following the retirement of the long-serving Pastor H. H. Barber. Martin points out that he's aware the 115-year-old church is not that experienced in looking for new pastors. Between the two faithful shepherds there was 69 years of ministry, Martin says.
Martin says it was a decision that he and Miriam came to together. While retirement is on the horizon, leaving Winnipeg is not. He says they both hope to remain in their Lindenwoods home for at least another 10-15 years.
Martin says it's simply time for them to transition to a new season of life. "We just feel that this is the time," he says. "I just want to encourage you that God loves you," lamenting the fact that it might not be possible to reminisce with everyone about the past.
"There are so many valleys and mountain peaks, and weddings and funerals, and all kinds of things that we've gone through together, but nothing can take that away from us. That was God's season; that was God's season for us to work together, to see God's Kingdom advanced, and see people come to faith."
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Always one to preach the good news of Jesus, Martin even uses his retirement announcement to make an invitation for people to follow Jesus.
"I just want to say, Miriam, here today who's listening: maybe you've been coming to the church for six months, or a year, or maybe you've come with your spouse, or your children, or whoever, I'd just like to give you an opportunity to receive the Lord. And you're listening to this, and you're saying 'this Martin guy is retiring,' I would encourage you to say yes to Jesus. To open your heart, and give him that full control of who you are."
Pastor Martin says that August 31, 2022 will be his retirement date.