Prospective New Members: Barbara Gardiner and Immanuel Mathew
As a church, we are excited about how God is working among and through us. One aspect is seeing people excited to lock arms as they seek to partner with us in Church Membership.
Please read the testimonies of Barbara Gardiner and Immanuel Mathew. Take some time to get to know them over the next couple of weeks.
If you are curious about what it means to partner with Knollwood in Church Membership or just want to learn more about it, consider signing up for our upcoming Next Steps Class.
I was born into a family of 6 in Toronto. There was never enough money to get by, but mom kept the family together under difficult circumstances. At age 5, I had a friend that invited me to Sunday School and I went by myself. I loved it and it became a habit. At age 8, a Christian family from Molesworth invited me to their farm, where I learned more about Jesus. They talked to Jesus regularly and read from His word. I became part of their family, spending my holidays with them for many years. Eventually I married and had a family. I felt a need to belong and a desire to return to church. I attended regularly, taught Sunday School, was active in fellowship, attended Bible Studies and helped in Alpha. Eventually I became disillusioned with my church when the theology did not fall in line with the Bible. COVID hit and I was not able to attend. I met Donna Medel and we were talking about religion. We bonded and she invited me to come to church with them. My faith has grown. I feel accepted and that I belong at Knollwood.
I am an immigrant from India. I was born to Christian parents; my father was a Roman Catholic who became a Protestant during his twenties and my mother grew up at a Brethren Church. God blessed me and my brother with amazing parents who taught us to prioritize God above everything else. We worshipped, prayed, and read the Bible together every day. From the age of thirteen I attended a Pentecostal Church; my father is one of the elders and the principal of the Sunday school at the church. I grew up without doubting the Godhead and the divinity of Christ. I always believed that Jesus is God and only through Him, one can reach the Father. After attending a Baptism class at the church, I understood that my sins can be forgiven and I can be saved from eternal death only through Christ. That conviction led me to accept Jesus as my Lord and Saviour and I was baptized at the age of fourteen. Everything was not smooth after that, especially for a newly baptized guy who is just fourteen years old and doesn’t know what the world has to offer. As I grew up, it was difficult for me to overcome my sinful nature and I realized that I had left behind my first love of studying scriptures. Reading Philippians 1:6 gave me confidence. The urge to know the person of Christ revealed to me more of my sinful nature yet the Lord gave me strength to overcome my sins time and again. I understood that sanctification is an ongoing process and this fight with flesh will end only with my death. When Covid 19 happened, I had a lot of time to study the scriptures. I found it difficult to align with Arminianism, the ideology on which my church was based on. It was also prevalent in the circle in which I grew up, but my love and interest in Calvinism made me a Calvinist. In December 2022, the Lord brought me to this beautiful country. I am learning to trust in Him every moment as I have no family here. My journey with Christ is an amazing one. I just want to grow more and more closer to Him, speak to people about Christ and be useful for His kingdom.