Bonners Ferry and Clark Fork Churches Welcome New Pastor

November 16, 2015 | Karen Drechsel

Gary Jon Gibson, who completed his Bachelor of Arts in theology this spring at Union College (Lincoln, Neb.), accepted God's call to pastor the Bonners Ferry and Clark Fork churches in Idaho.

Passionate about teaching people God's ways, Gibson began a series of training classes soon after his arrival for those in the Bonners Ferry church who want to learn how to reach out and share the gospel. He defines the “gospel” by the Bible story of the demon-possessed man found in Mark 5. Jesus comes, sets us free from sin, changes our lives and gives us the desire to share. The Bible study training class, with about 20 in attendance, is based on the training Gibson received at the Amazing Facts Center of Evangelism (AFCOE), which he attended in 2012.

Convinced that Christ's method alone is heaven's way of reaching lost souls, he teaches we are to mingle with people, desiring their good, show our sympathy, minister to their needs and win their confidence before inviting them to follow Jesus. Building relationships with people and friending them is the first priority in evangelism.

Gibson is married to Elizabeth, and they have three boys: Jonathan, 8; Jared, age 6; and Josiah, 4. They are expecting a girl in December.

Gibson worked 12 years as a systems engineer for Rockwell Collins Inc. in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Although he had been raised in the church and was a fifth-generation Adventist Christian, he discovered he had never really met God nor surrendered his heart to Him. Studying the book of Romans, he learned that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. He learned the wages of sin is death and was forced to reevaluate his life. At that moment, he confessed his sins and found that God is faithful to forgive and to cleanse. God became a personal Savior to him.

Gibson was convicted that God wanted him in full-time ministry. Following his convictions, he enrolled in the AFCOE training program for four months. After completing a stint as assistant dean of boys at Mount Vernon Academy in Ohio, the family prepared to serve the Celtic people with Adventist Frontier Missions and plant a church in either Scotland or Ireland. But God had another plan in mind for the family and brought them to Bonners Ferry and Clark Fork.

Karen Drechsel, Bonners Ferry Church communication leader