GTSL CONVENTION, 2015
Stuart & Jill Briscoe
Known for his logic and wit, Stuart Briscoe has been preaching since he was just 17 years old. Now, more than 80 years young, he shows no sign of slowing down. In fact, he continues teaching the Bible on nearly every continent.
Stuart was born to a believing family in Millom, Cumbria, England in 1930, and began working in banking right after high school and eventually became personal assistant to chief inspector of the bank.
In 1959, a year after he married Jill, a school teacher, they felt a call to leave their careers and serve in full-time ministry. They joined Torchbearers, an international Christian ministry organization involved in evangelism and Bible teaching. Stuart traveled extensively, and Jill remained in England with their three children and was involved in local street ministry.
On a trip to the United States, Stuart was introduced to members of Elmbrook Church, a growing church in Brookfield, Wisconsin. They were seeking a pastor; Stuart was feeling led to find a home church that would value outreach, but also reduce the traveling that kept him away from his family for many months at a time. When Elmbrook invited Stuart to lead them, he accepted, with Jill's blessing.
That was in 1970. For the next 30 years, Stuart served as senior pastor of Elmbrook, and the church experienced explosive growth. There was an overwhelming hunger in the community to hear expositional Christian teaching. Weekly attendance grew from 300 to 7,000 and numerous sister churches were planted.
In 2000, Stuart decided to step down as pastor; however, it was not a retirement, but a retooling of his mission back into global outreach. He and Jill began serving as Elmbrook's ministers-at-large, going where they were most needed to support under-resourced churches and missionaries.
Today, the Briscoes spend most of their year away from home, bringing encouragement to God's servants throughout the world.
Stuart has written more than forty books, preached in over 100 countries, and has received honorary doctorates from a number of schools and universities.
Stuart and Jill have been asked why they don't slow down but instead keep going so much and so far. Stuart's reply? "Because we're invited."
Jill Briscoe was born in England and found Christ when she was 18 years old. She never looked back. Upon graduating from Cambridge University, she began working as a teacher by day and had a vigorous street ministry to the youths of Liverpool by night.
She met Stuart at a youth conference and they married in 1958. In the 50 years since, Jill has become a highly sought-after Bible teacher and author who travels around the world ministering to under-resourced churches and speaking at international seminars and conferences. Since 2000, she and Stuart, who was formerly senior pastor of Elmbrook Church for 30 years, have had the joy of equipping and encouraging believers across the globe in their roles as ministers-at-large for Elmbrook.
Jill has authored more than 40 books including devotionals, study guides, poetry and children's books. Her vivid, relational teaching style touches the emotions and stirs the heart. She serves as Executive Editor of Just Between Us, a magazine of encouragement for ministry wives and women in leadership, and served on the board of World Relief and Christianity Today, Inc., for over 20 years.
Jill and Stuart call suburban Milwaukee, Wisconsin their home. When they are not traveling, they spend time with their three children, David, Judy and Peter, and thirteen grandchildren.
2015 Worship Leader
Curtis Legiehn is a travelling worship leader who has the privilege of leading worship throughout the year for a multitude of congregations in the GTA and beyond. He and his wife Michelle and newborn girl Payton currently live in North York and attend Upper Room Community Church when they are not travelling.
GTSL CONVENTION, 2014
Rev. Sunder Krishnan
Sunder Krishnan was born into an orthodox Hindu family in India and grew up in the capital city of New Delhi.
He came to know Jesus Christ as his Saviour through the ministry of Youth For Christ in New Delhi during his first year of undergraduate studies.
Since arriving in Toronto, Sunder and his family have worshipped at Rexdale Alliance Church, where he ministered as an adult Christian Education teacher, a member of the Executive Committee and then on the Board of Elders.
Sunder worked at Atomic Energy of Canada for eleven years until, in 1980, he resigned his position there to become the Associate Pastor of Rexdale Alliance Church. He was responsible for preaching at all services. In 1982 he was ordained to the Christian ministry. When the Senior Pastor retired, Rev. Sunder Krishnan accepted that position in 1997 and has continued to serve in that capacity.
Rev. Krishnan has been the featured speaker at the General Assembly of the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada, the General Council for the Christian and Missionary Alliance in the United States, Urbana 2009, and in several Bible Colleges, and numerous missionary conferences. In addition he has ministered to many missionaries and pastors overseas.
Rev. Krishnan is married to Shyamala and has two children and six grandchildren.
GTSL CONVENTION, 2013
The Greater Toronto Spiritual Life Convention began in 1961, when some evangelical leaders of the city met to plan an inter-church event. It was designed to deepen the spiritual life of Christian believers.
In 2013, the Convention hosted its 52nd event. It continued to give Christians, from various churches, the opportunity to listen to world-renowned speakers expound the word of God and to grasp the knowledge of Jesus Christ as Saviour, Lord, Strength, and Life.
The subject of each Convention varies, but its object remains focused on the fact that everything of lasting value is derived from the fullness of Christ in the life of the believer: it is expressed by the working of the Holy Spirit, in and through His church, to reach the world with the life changing gospel.
The 2013 speaker, Mark Buchanan, and his wife Cheryl have three children.
Mark is a pastor and the author of seven books (Your God is Too Safe, Things Unseen, The Holy Wild, The Rest of God, Hidden in Plain Sight, Spiritual Rhythm and Your Church is Too Safe) as well as numerous articles for Christianity Today, Leadership Journal, Discipleship Journal, Conversations, Seven and several other magazines.
He has accepted a position this fall as faculty in Calgary at Ambrose University College as an Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology.
He enjoys scuba diving, fishing, and - especially - motorcycles.