Versteeg to move on from Brussels Community Bible Chapel - May 9, 2019
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
After eight years in Brussels, Pastor Andrew Versteeg of the Brussels Community Bible Church is moving on, taking a job in the Owen Sound area.
Versteeg has taken a full-time position at the head of the Strathaven Baptist Church in Chatsworth, a historic church with nearly 150 years of history.
The process began nearly a full year ago, when Versteeg began to feel a strong calling to be a pastor full-time after years of working part-time with the Brussels Community Bible Chapel. He said he would have loved to stay in Brussels and even suggested a full-time ministry at the church, but he said the church wasn’t quite in the position to commit to a full-time pastor.
Versteeg said that he and the Brussels Community Bible Chapel are separating on good terms, but he felt a pull towards full-time ministry and he had to follow that inclination.
Not only will it be difficult to leave the church and the congregation, Versteeg said, but he and his family had truly made a life for themselves in Brussels, so it will be hard to leave those relationships behind as well.
It was almost a year and a half ago that Versteeg said he felt the calling of full-time ministry and, after consulting with the Brussels Bible Chapel representatives as to their appetite for full-time pastoral care, he began a search on the internet, finding Strathaven Baptist Church.
Versteeg began meeting with the church representatives in Chatsworth and he was officially up for the job in the next few months. The vote, however, didn’t go through the first time and he was encouraged to spend some more time at the church, getting to know both the church and its congregation, as well as the surrounding community.
The area is very rural, he said, so it won’t have a “small town feeling” like Brussels, but the community has felt warm and welcoming in his visits there.
Versteeg has since preached at the church a number of times and feels it will be a good fit for him and his family as he transitions into full-time ministry.
When a vote to bring Versteeg to the church was retaken last fall, it was unanimous that the church wanted him.
Versteeg says he will truly look back on his time in Brussels with a smile, knowing that he learned so much at the church and made many friends in the community. A native of the Fordwich area, Versteeg said being a pastor at a Brussels church was truly a homecoming for him.
Over the years, he says he was pleased to see the Brussels Community Bible Chapel grow, especially when it came to involving young people in the church and creating opportunities for them, like the annual vacation Bible school and the kids’ club.
When Versteeg arrived at the church nearly a decade ago, it was still very new, so he says it was exciting to be part of building something almost from the ground up in Brussels.
Versteeg says there will be similar tasks waiting for him at Strathaven, where he hopes to engage the local youth and get them excited about and involved in their local church.