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David Hayward Sr., founding pastor

Joy Fellowship began in November 1974 because of Gordie Hilderman and his dad and two Baptist missionary friends, Rev. David and Ruby Hayward, who were waiting for God to show them the next step. They had been missionaries in India for 13 years and found themselves unable to return because the Indian government refused to issue the visas they needed. After waiting on God for several years, they were approached by Fred Hilderman, who asked them to consider working with people like his mentally handicapped son, Gordie. Gordie had grown up attending church but didn’t want to go to church any more because of the way people looked at him and treated him. Dave and Ruby began gathering about 10 mentally handicapped adults for a Sunday school with the help of some young people in the church. We have been gathering ever since.

Some of these original Sunday school members are still at the core of Joy Fellowship. For 15 years, the group met in a basement room at Trinity Baptist Church, but then became too large for that space and moved to a 7th Day Adventist church building at 43rd and Oak in Vancouver. Over the years there have been many leaders, volunteers and pastors, and members that have come and gone, and many thousands of lives have been changed and blessed by this ministry

Now, 38 years later, the Sunday morning church service draws between 100 and 130 people. We also have a number of well-attended weekly Bible studies in various locations and a well-developed pastoral ministry to people who are mentally and or physically disabled.

sparkle cross

Jesus said to them,
“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.

Mark 10:14-16

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