About Us


LEAD PASTOR: KEVIN SHEPHERD
ON TWITTER: @KCSHEP

We are an inter-generational & multi-cultural family church in Burlington, Ontario, Canada. We want to make meaningful connections and grow together for a greater good and purpose.

Glad Tidings Church is a family church in Burlington, Ontario, Canada. The GT family is a diverse group of people and we place a high value on being a intercultural church (currently celebrating over 50 nations represented in our church family). We also place a high value on being an intergenerational church with ministries that give opportunity for each person to grow in their relationship with God and other people.

Everyone at some point is confronted with the question... “What is the meaning of life?” We have realized that it was never God’s intention for that to be a difficult question to answer. Our hope is that people wouldn’t have to keep trying other things to realize the meaning and purpose for their life but that they would realize that the purpose of life is as simple as LIVING FOR GOD and LIVING FOR PEOPLE.

This focus for our life comes from Jesus Christ himself when a man asked him about life on this earth and eternal life beyond. Jesus said:

You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself. The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.

Matthew 22:37-40

In the same story told by Luke, Jesus makes another statement connected with the one that we just read above, Jesus said:

Do this and you will live.
Luke 10:28

In other words; the meaning of life, truly living, is to have a growing relationship with God through Jesus Christ. We are also called to a growing relationship with other people so that they come to experience and understand the purposes of God for their life as well.

We look forward to meeting you, hearing your story and walking together as we strive to go further in our relationship with God.

Our Core Values are the principles that guide our daily lives.

We are Living for God

EXPERIENCING TRANSFORMATION

Creating atmospheres and opportunities where people can experience God's love in a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.

NURTURING BELONGING

Inviting everyone to become an active part of authentic Christ Centered relationships.

PURSUING TRUTH

Continually growing in our understanding, and communicating of the gospel of Jesus Christ as we partner with His mission in the world.

We are Living for People

INSPIRING LEADERSHIP

Inspiring each person to continually grow towards their capacity and develop in their influence of others with a servant heart because God most often cares for people through people.

ENGAGING COMPASSION

Intentionally becoming part of the culture that we desire to impact through the uncompromising principles of the love of Jesus.

DISCOVERING PURPOSE

Equipping and releasing people to live out their Holy Spirit inspired dreams, ideas, and concepts with passion and purpose.

The Team

Kevin Shepherd

Lead Pastor.

Hi I’m Kevin Shepherd, Lead Pastor here at Glad Tidings. I was born in Parry Sound and I grew up in Mt. Hope which is a small town just outside of Hamilton, Ontario. I am married to my amazing wife Sherri and we have two great kids, Caleb and Sadie.
Our family is so very thankful to be called to serve Glad Tidings Church. For four years I served GT as the associate pastor and then moved on to another community as a lead pastor. In 2008 the Lord provided a way for me to come back to Glad Tidings as the Lead Pastor and my family and I have been thrilled to be part of the excitement and growth here since.

I love the fact that our church is filled with gracious and loving people who are continually learning and growing together in our understanding of what it means to life out the beauty of our faith with joy.

My hope and prayer is that you would experience the joy and grace of Jesus in a fresh way today and that you would know that the Kingdom and work of God is not the same without you! I look forward to meeting you sometime.

Jeremy Bates

Aldershot Site Pastor

Hi I’m Jeremy Bates and I am the Pastor of our Aldershot site. Born in Ottawa and growing up all over eastern Ontario, I eventually landed in Oshawa where I met and married my wife, Holly. We are the proud parents of two daughters; Madison and Mylah, and our son Jaden.
I joined the GT family in 2007, serving as the Youth Pastor before launching the church’s first multi-site location in 2014. It has been an incredible joy to see what God has done in those years to establish a healthy, vibrant, growing church and I can’t wait to see what else He has in store for the future as we continue to live for Him and for the people in our communities.
I Love coffee, good conversations and look forward to sharing one with you.

Jenni Colwell

Family Life Pastor

Hi I’m Jenni Colwell and I’m the Family Life Pastor here at GT. I grew up just outside of Windsor and I’ve been married for over two decades to my adventure junkie husband Mark. We have four beautiful children Samuel, Abigail, Moriah and Julia and they all love to come along for the adventure too!
I oversee all Family Life Ministries here at GT, including Sunday mornings Grade 1-5s, children with exceptionalities, Kidlead, a leadership program for Grade 6-8s and all Children’s Outreach. I also run the midweek program LIFT where we encourage parents to be the primary spiritual influence in their child’s life. We offer programs for ages 0-Grade 8 and also a Parenthood Café. We also resource parents to have a devotional night with their children, and we host monthly Family Worship and Serve Nights.
I am looking forward to meeting you and championing your family to be all God wants them to be. We love to provide ministry to children here at Glad but also ministry with children. Children are not only a great mission field; they are a great mission force!

Steve Swartwood

Community Life Pastor

Hi I’m Steve and I am the Community Life Pastor here at Glad Tidings. I was born in Parry Sound Ontario, and grew up in Stratford. That is where I met and married my wife, Carrie. We have been married for 15 years and have two have two incredible children. I grew up in a pastors home, and have had a front row seat to watch God move over the years! I joined the GT team in January of 2010, and have absolutely loved every moment of this amazing journey. As Community Life Pastor I am responsible for our Life Groups/Life Electives & Missions. I love to see people get connected in community and thrive in their relationship with God and people! I love life, sports, C-O-F-F-E-E, and can’t wait to meet you and hear about your journey.

Cheryl Ettinger-Neal

Family Life Pastor

Hi I’m Cheryl and I am one of the Family Life Pastors here at Glad Tidings.
I grew up in a pastor’s home in Nova Scotia and have been in ministry for over 25 years. Since I started at GT I have added a husband and 2 wonderfully curious boys to my family and wherever they are is my favourite place in the world to be. I currently work directly with the preschool children and team members, as well as organize the Parenthood Cafe and lots of other fun programs for families. I love the way our team strives for excellence in all that we do and how we try hard to maintain a “small church feel” while keeping momentum as we continue to grow. I get excited about the new families that God is giving us the privilege to serve and enjoy helping them live out their passions and giftings. Like Margaret Feinberg, I encourage us to “always remain suspicious that God is up to something good!”

Salem Faraj

Care, Seniors & Intercultural Ministries

Hi I’m Salem ( but you can call me Sal!), and I am the Care, Seniors, New Comers & Intercultural Ministries Pastor here at Glad Tidings.I grew up in Jordan , where I met my beautiful wife Randa, and had our two children Farah & Jamal.My background is in Banking & Finance, and I worked at a bank for 22 years, but for many years Randa & I were always involved in ministry as volunteers in the A.O.G. church in Jordan, until we moved here to Canada. After a couple of years of attending GT, I felt the calling to join the amazing GT team. I’m currently in Pastoral care, along with overseeing the Seniors , New comers & Intercultural ministry, where we celebrate more than 60 nationalities worshipping together every Sunday. I love the fact that I get to meet with people who come to church for the first time, or are new to Burlington or even to Canada, and I have enjoyed creating life long relationships with many here at GT.I hope to meet you next time you’re coming to check out GT…You cant’t miss me, I’m always in the lobby unless I’m on vacation. But rest assured that the Welcome team will take extra care of you! We are a Family church, and would love for you and your family to join our big GT Family!!

Holly Bates

Flipside Junior High

HI, I am Holly Bates and I am the Junior High Pastor. I grew up in Whitby On, where I met my husband Jeremy. We have pastored in Elmira On for three years and have been at Glad for over nine years! We have three incredible kids, Maddie, Jaden and Mylah.
Here at Glad I serve the junior highs and their families by creating environments where students can experience Jesus for themselves and begin personal steps of discipleship. I love seeing the faith of young students in action as they realize there is no junior Holy Spirit, and the same Spirit that was at work in the Bible is at work in their lives! I look forward to seeing you at Glad and meeting you in person!

Isaias Zarazua

Director of Worship & Creative Arts

Hi I’m Isaias Zarazua and I am the Director of Worship and Creative Arts here at GT. I was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico were I served as a worship leader for 8 years and I am now settled in Hamilton, where I live with my wife Nicole. Being part of the Glad Tidings Family has been such joy. The leadership and staff have cultivated a love and care culture that welcomes you from the very first second you come in! I believe people were created to worship and live in relationship with God. Musical worship is one of the places where we can connect with and find expression of His purpose. I believe the Spirit of God transforms lives and gives people a fresh encounter with His faithfulness, love, and power through worship. So I look forward to meeting you as you join this great Glad Tidings familia!

Rick Zuidersma

Student & Young Adult Ministries

Hi my name is Rick and I am the Youth and Young Adults Pastor. My wife and I got married in July of 2010 after meeting each other while attending school out west.
I love to see students and young adults encounter God, discovering purpose and the abundant life they can have in Christ. I believe that the church’s best days are still to come and hope to meet you as you join in the journey with us to reach this world.

Kelvin Honsinger

Executive Pastor

Hi my name is Kelvin and I have joined the GT team as an executive consultant. I have experience working inside the church in Pastoral roles and in Not For Profit leadership at both national and international levels.

Louise Potstra

Admin Assistant to the Lead Pastor

Hi I’m Louise Potstra, Administrative Assistant to Pastor Kevin.
I am originally from South Africa and from the age of 9 mostly grew up in Burlington. I am now settled in Hamilton with my husband Brian and our two cute and energetic boys Liam and Myles.
I currently serve on the Meals for Moms team as well as being a small group leader for Kids Church. I love working and serving at Glad Tidings because of the amazing leadership and community of people I get to spend my days with!

I am excited to see many new families becoming part of the Glad Tidings family and I really look forward to meeting you one day soon!

Janine Van Nus

Reception & Communications Facilitator

Hi, I'm Janine. If you call the church, chances are I'll be the one to pick up the phone.
I grew up in the Kawarthas (in a tiny town surrounded by farms) and have moved around quite a bit over the last 10 years, settling in Burlington in 2012. After bouncing from place to place during school and at the start of my career, I am really enjoying putting down roots.
Here at Glad, I serve on the worship team regularly and am a proud member of GT Aldershot.

Diane Beard

Facilities Coordinator

Hi I’m Diane Beard and I am the Facilities Coordinator. I grew up in Halifax Nova Scotia. I have a husband, Glen, two wonderful children, and four fantastic grandchildren.
Here at Glad I serve with LeadWell, Share Noel and other Ministries in the church, often as an “as required” basis. I am Regional Logistics Coordinator with Operation Christmas Child, Samaritan’s Purse. I love working at Glad Tidings because we have a staff that genuinely likes each other, loves our vision and enjoys working here. I love that I work with such caring, full of grace people. I love the church because of the anointed leadership, the approach to worship, children, youth, and messages which inspire me to make changes in my life. It is a God centered environment.
I hope to meet you some Sunday morning, or at one of our GT events.

Val Chrissley

Administration

My Name is Val Chrissley and I have been an Administrative Assistant at GT since 2013.
I grew up in Kitchener and attended a small church there until moving to Burlington in 1986. I have had the privilege of raising 3 wonderful daughters, Rachel, Meagan & Madison in this church and am thankful for the ministry opportunities that my girls and I have had over the years.
I am blessed to be able to work with such an amazing staff here at Glad Tidings. On Sundays I attend the Aldershot site where I get to serve on the Hospitality Team and work along side a wonderful group of people that desire to make a difference in that community.

Graham Paulsen

Media Producer

Hi there! My wife, kids and I have been a part of the GT family since 2009. I have the priveledge in serving Jesus by taking care of various Media/Creative projects on a part-time basis at GT. There nothing more fulfilling to me than hearing about the change in hearts and lives when they turn and surrender to him. It is also exciting to see how we as church can connect to our community and other believers by means of the "inter-web" and other various Apple toys.

  • Having a sense of family is really important to us. Let's celebrate together all the great things God is doing in the GT family. Pastor Kevin Shepherd

  • It's one thing to ACT like Jesus when thing are going smoothly, but how do you REACT when life catches you by surprise? Pastor Jeremy Bates - DEEPER SERIES

  • Postures of prayer: desperation, repentance & humility. We know this brings joy, release & purpose. Pastor Steve Swartwood

  • We can be so connected online and yet feel so lonely and we don't really have anyone to talk to.
    Without connecting with eachother we can miss God's calling on our life. Pastor Rick Zuidersma - CELEBRATE ONE ANOTHER

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