Aaron and Rebecca Roorda have the task of running the Prince Rupert Pentecostal Tabernacle church, with plenty of help from their kids Sammy and Bella. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

Aaron and Rebecca Roorda have the task of running the Prince Rupert Pentecostal Tabernacle church, with plenty of help from their kids Sammy and Bella. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

Called Home: New Ministers in Prince Rupert

Pentecostal Tabernacle has new life within its walls

The Prince Rupert Pentecostal Tabernacle is saying hello to a pair of new ministers this month as husband and wife Aaron and Rebecca Roorda assume their new roles at the church.

For Rebecca the building on the corner of Portage Rd. and Prince Rupert Blvd. is a familiar locale – it was her home church growing up in Prince Rupert.

“I grew up in this church, went to Sunday school here and had a part time job when I was older,” Rebecca said. “It’s been a big part of my life, so it’s cool coming full circle.”

Aaron was born in Ontario, moving just north of Victoria to Sidney when he was 12. The pair met while attending Summit Pacific College, a Bible college in Abbotsford.

“Christian ministry was always something I knew I’d want to do, whether it was through business and the lifestyle I live and how I build relationships, or whether it’s formal Christian ministry like working in a church,” Aaron explained.

READ MORE: The last service of Prince Rupert’s First Presbyterian Church

Prince Rupert was far from the starting point for the couple however. In fact, after finishing college they quickly headed to the other side of the world to pursue their passions.

“We realized pretty quick that we wanted to see the world and go overseas, so we lived in China for 10 years,” Rebecca said. “We did a number of things there: teaching english was our main profession, but we also had the opportunity to dabble in business and humanitarian projects.”

The Roorda’s have spent the last decade living and working in China, but felt that with two young children the time was now right to come back to Canada. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

The Roorda’s spent their time overseas in both Xi’an in central China, and later Zhanjiang in the south. While they enjoyed their time there – becoming semi-fluent in the language, absorbing the arts and culture, and even giving birth to their son Sammy in Hong Kong – now that it was time to raise children the time seemed right to return to Canada.

“We wanted our kids to grow up experiencing Canada and being closer to family,” Rebecca said. The couple have since had a girl as well, Bella. “We felt like it was a good time to come home, and there was a position open here.”

As for being fortunate enough to find a role at the same church? “We’re splitting a full time job,” the couple explained. “We both have very different skill sets, so it allowed us to do more.”

READ MORE: First Presbyterian Church of Prince Rupert named on at-risk heritage list

Both Rebecca and Aaron are ordained ministers. Rebecca identifies her strengths as interacting with people and the community – possessing an advantage as she grew up in town and still has family here. Aaron meanwhile will handle the majority of the organizational structure of the church.

“We’re here to serve the community. We’re here to help in whatever ways possible,” Aaron said. “We want people to know the church, we want them to feel comfortable coming to the church, everyone is welcome.”

“We’re excited to be part of the community and to be able to raise our kids here, and invest in the community and invest in Prince Rupert,” Rebecca said.

The Roorda’s can currently be found working away dutifully on the inside of the church to make sure things are ready for when services get into full swing in September.

Alex Kurial | Journalist
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