Moncton Wesleyan Church is a well-known and re- spected congregation in
its community. Much of that good
reputation was earned over many
years of consistently positive impact across the city of Moncton.
Part of that consistency can be attributed to the previous pastor Dr.
L. D. Buckingham, who served
the congregation for 44 years, retiring last summer at the age of 73.
“I have a fire within me to see
the church move forward,” Buck-
ingham told the Moncton Times &
Transcript. His passion is consist-
ent with the church vision. “We
must use every available method,
in every available place, at every
available time, to reach every per-
son for Christ. Everything we do
and everything we are is for that
With such a vision, perhaps it should not be surprising that
the church during Buckingham’s years of leadership has still
changed dramatically. When he started, the church had less than
200 people, and now attendance is regularly over 1,400. There is
a large pastoral staff and a wide variety of programs, from Alpha
(a widely used program on the basics of Christianity) to Kids’
World to adult social groups. The worship style has changed as
well, moving from traditional hymns to a more contemporary
style with newer songs.
Buckingham’s own retirement was a major change in itself.
The church and its leaders have worked hard to make the transition as smooth as possible, allowing some overlap between
Buckingham and the new pastor Tim Guptill.
Guptill, age 45, was born just as Buckingham began at Moncton Wesleyan, and so perhaps it’s no surprise that despite their
age difference their vision for the church is the same. Guptill had
previously been part of the pastoral staff as an associate pastor
from 2000–2005 and returned as
lead pastor in July 2012.
Following a long-serving pastor
is not an obstacle for Guptill. “There
is a culture of change at Moncton
Wesleyan Church. People expect
change,” he says. This allows the
leaders to work towards shared goals in new ways according to
the changing culture.
One aspect of ministry Moncton Wesleyan has tried to keep
the same is a strong focus on outreach. The congregation has
worked hard over a long period of time to show care for the
“We don’t try to reproduce what other organizations are doing, but instead we come alongside them by supporting financially or sending volunteers,” says Guptill. “We have built trust
in the church and developed a good name in the community.”
The congregation keeps this goal in sight even in its approach
to renting out its 2,000-seat auditorium. The facility is one of
the best for major events in the area, and so the church reaches
out by making it available for rent
to the community, including secular concerts. Rentals are not aimed
primarily to make money, but for
“Bringing people in from the
community for nonchurch events
Steady Through the changes
achurch YouShouldKnow n BY STEPhEN BEDArD
pastor Tim guptill baptizes a new member at a large outdoor baptism where over
a hundred new members were baptized in one day.
After 44 years with a long-serving pastor, Moncton Wesleyan Church continues
to impact their community under new leadership.
about Moncton Wesleyan
•;Meets;at:;945 St. George Blvd., Moncton, N.B.
•;Denomination:;The Wesleyan Church