By Steve Guntli
Blaine Christian Fellowship (BCF) has introduced a new lead pastor to its congregation.
Justin Long officially took over lead pastor duties on March 22. Long is replacing former lead pastor Ryoichi Takeda, who held the position for 17 years. Takeda will be staying on with the church as an assistant pastor and putting more effort into organizing global missions and teaching.
Long is originally from the small town of Archie, Missouri. His ministry work has taken him all over the world, from Peru to China. Prior to moving to Blaine in 2004, Long lived in Colorado Springs working as a camp counselor. He moved to Blaine so he could attend school at Trinity Western University in B.C., where he earned a bachelor’s degree in biblical studies and linguistics.
Long has been a member of the BCF congregation since he first arrived in town, and began leading youth services in 2006. While he has dedicated a large portion of his life to the church, he hadn’t intended on becoming a pastor.
“This was something that really started coming up in the last two years,” he said. “I had always planned on doing foreign ministry work, leading youth missions, things like that. It’s only after long talks with my wife that I decided to give this a shot.”
He has been training for the new position since last summer. Long said he wants to focus on community outreach and make sure everyone in his congregation feels heard and cared for.
In his free time, Long and his wife, Ann, like to go hiking with their three children.
Blaine Christian Fellowship is located at 902 Adelia Street. Weekly Sunday services start at 10:30 a.m.