Pastor Paul Westerholm
Paul is passionate about communicating God’s grace, love, and hope in Christ. He longs to see Christians living together in love under Christ, united and filled with His Spirit, and sent out to live His mission.
He grew up in a faithful Christian home but it was as a teen that God got a hold of him. Paul’s since been motivated by what God has done for him and sought to live life in response to God’s gracious initiative in Jesus. God’s led Paul to serve Him through leading a worship ministry, serving those on the margins of society in various ways, spending three-months in a bush village in South Sudan, and the last four years as Pastor of Youth and Young Adults in Burlington, ON.
Children & Youth Ministry
I was born and raised in a small town just outside of Collingwood. When I was in grade 6 my family started attending a church and I got heavily involved in the youth group. While in high school I played a lot of sports and worked weekends at some of the local ski clubs as a lifty. After being encouraged by my pastors and family friends I attended Emmanuel Bible College where I graduated with my Bachelor’s of Religious Education. in 2007-08 I was a part of a YouthBuilder team that travelled Canada and also made a stop for 7 weeks in Ghana. From 2009-2016 I served in Port Colborne as a Youth Pastor. Rachel and I got married in September 2016 and we are now expecting two little ones to join us in summer 2018!
Worship Director / Ministry Support
Although raised in a Christian home I came to know who Jesus really is a little later in life than my Dutch Reformed mom would have liked. In His grace and mercy He seems to be doing a lot of work in me in a very short time. My conversion found me eagerly serving on a praise team early in my walk and I soon learned that God had much bigger plans for me. Three years of part-time studies at Master’s College and Seminary in the field of youth ministry and volunteering in a local church in Cambridge, Ontario saw me ready for the mission field. I served for four years with Youth for Christ in Selkirk, Manitoba, running drop-in and music programs and seeing to the administrative aspects of the mission. While there I furthered my education through the YFC credentialing program and through courses at Rocky Mountain Bible College.
After my third year in the field I found a man who shared my passion for music and missions and I walked down the aisle to commit to following Jesus together with Trevor Funk. It wasn’t long in our marriage when we felt God calling us to leave Manitoba and return to southern Ontario where I grew up. This call was substantiated when Trevor got accepted at Emmanuel Bible College and I got hired as Worship Director at Emmanuel Missionary Church. I was thrilled when this lovely church also needed someone to fulfill administrative duties and feel blessed that they saw me as a good fit.
In addition to dotting every “i and crossing every “t” administratively, my favourite thing in the world to do is to equip people – young and old – for musical worship. My dream is to one day (when Trevor is finished school) have the opportunity to do exactly that in some impoverished place where people may not otherwise have the opportunity. Until then I’m thrilled to call Emmanuel my home and my family.
A little about my family: I am married to Darlene. We have three children, Christa & Steve Wideman, Ryan & Monica from Emmanuel and Tyler & Amy who attend Listowel Missionary Church. They have blessed us with eight grandchildren.
Favourite things to do/places to visit: We live on a small broiler chicken farm near Glen Allan. In our spare time we love to spend time with our grandchildren and recently have enjoyed some time at Sight and Sound in Lancaster PA.
What makes Emmanuel a special place to worship and serve: We enjoy the fellowship at Emmanuel because of its multi generational makeup.
Prayer Request for my ministry: My prayer is that unity would be strong at Emmanuel through all of the transitions and changes in leadership.