MY RANT- MINISTRY 1977-2022
The Newfoundland Journey
Thursday June 16,2022
Norris Arm South
We arrived in Norris Arm South in July 1979.
The cosy parsonage was spotless thanks to the
previous Pastor’s wife . The carpentry skills of
the Pastor were evident in the parsonage and
church. Garfield and Florence Pinksen
transformed the Assembly during their tenure.
We were blessed as a result of their work.
Shortly after arriving we welcomed our second
son into the family and our family was
welcomed into the Church family. This family
ambiance continued throughout our tenure
there. This was my first time having a church
board and ministry leaders. The church reached
self governing status after the first year. The
faithful and dedicated congregation progressed
over the years and moved into a larger building
and purchased a new parsonage.
In our first year,Dena and I canvassed the
entire community for the CNIB. It gave us an
opportunity to introduce ourselves and the
CNIB was grateful for a record campaign
When we started our ministry there, we had two
new converts in the congregation. Both were
recovering alcoholics. Melvin, one of the two
men had developed cirrhosis of the liver and
wasn’t expected to survive. I anticipated it
would be my lot to bury him. I did get the
opportunity to bury him but not in the ground.
Melvin was buried in waters of baptism and
rose to newness of life. God gave him a new
liver, a wife and a happy family! He is still living
We witnessed a period of spiritual renewal in
the faith community. It started with our youth
who would get together for seasons of prayer
after Sunday School. Many of the youth
became Spirit filled. A coming together of the
U.C. , Salvation Army and Pentecostal
Churches resulted in a number of conversions.
Rev. Edgar Williams and Major Lorne Hiscock
joined us in joint services. It was a time of
refreshing and powerful services. I recall two
brothers bowed their knees before God in their
homes and were converted. One was
Pentecostal the other a member of the United
Church. Uncle Gilbert, who had never bowed a
knee in his life was in his 70’s. There was such
a transformation in his life he would never miss
an opportunity to share his experience and
would begin or conclude by quoting these
words from a hymn: “this is my story, this is my
song, praising my Saviour all the day long.”
I have not experienced pentecostal services so
powerful over a significant period of time since
our time in Norris Arm South.
I grew up in Bishop’s Falls and as a boy I would
pedal my bike along with my buddy to a fishing
hole on the Norris Arm Road. I found that
fishing spot again while living in Norris Arm
South and took my son with me to fish there.
Last summer we went back with his son to fish,
three generations. My grandson, Harrison,
caught his first trout there.
I enjoyed shooting grouse and duck hunting
during my stay. I was in much better shape then
and walked the railway line from Norris Arm
South to Bishop’s Falls. “Those were the days”!
In 1981 we accepted an invitation to pastor
Salem Pentecostal Church in Cottlesville,
formerly Cottle’s Island.
It was a painful farewell to a congregation we
dearly loved and one that made us feel loved.
“All Aboard”, for our next stop.
Be well , Be safe, Be blessed!