Jed Gorham, approved for Ordained Minister, Dec 6, 2022. Ordination service Feb 5, 2023
“In 2013, our family had been attending Callander Bay Church for two years. My day job was cook and dietary aid at a senior home. There were five area churches, and on Sundays, I often supply-preached. We started singing, ‘I have decided to Follow Jesus in family devotions.’ At the end of that summer, we felt God pushing specifically. My wife Sjana, who plays a huge part in who I am, said, ‘What is it that is really living for you—and why aren’t you doing it?’… I realized I wanted to serve the church. I wanted to be a pastor.”
Jed became a Christian when he was in sixth grade. “Walking with Jesus during my teen years was challenging because I had no one to disciple me.”
After high school, he worked in St. Catharines, but when his mother became gravely ill in 1997, he moved to Lindsay to care for her. “After my mom passed away, I wondered what to do next. I felt it was time to go to Bible school, but I had no idea for what reason.”
“I enrolled at World Impact Bible Institute in St Catharines in 1998 and graduated two years later with a Diploma in Christian Ministry. As part of my training, I went to Thailand to be part of a discipleship learning experience and discovered how important discipleship is in building the church. This has deeply shaped how I view ministry.” Jed met Sjana at school, and they married six days after graduation.
Still without a sense of call, Jed wanted a trade and enrolled at Canadore College in North Bay. He graduated with Honors in Culinary Management & Food & Nutrition Management. He spent the next 8 ½ years at his position in the Seniors’ Home, but it was a closing door. “I mulled over Sjana’s question and my subsequent realization that I wanted to be a pastor. I had previously met Claran Martin, EMCC Regional Minister for Callander Bay Church. I phoned him in August and asked if he thought there would be a place for a guy like me.” Jed preached a call at Eau Claire EMC in November. He and Sjana and their five children moved to Eau Claire, Ontario, and Jed has been Eau Claire’s Pastor since November 2013.
Services at Eau Claire have discipleship as their core. There is preaching and teaching, and they use huddles for sharing and learning together. Biblical literacy is another priority, and there is a strong emphasis on reading God’s Word and listening for Him. “I like to see my role as a coach leading a team, and I am passionate about seeing disciples built up so they can make disciples.”
The Gorham family lives holistically. Whether at the landfill or at church—any time is an opportunity to share Jesus. Jed is a regular at community baseball. He is a gourmet cook and teaches people classical cuisine. They raise chickens and ducks and grow and preserve produce. They invite others to join in. “Life on life—we teach. It is a tool to connect with people.”