For Jordan Senécal, the study of church history has grabbed his heart in recent years. Over his time studying at Heritage Theological Seminary, he has come to appreciate and value the many stories of how God has been at work in his people and in the world.
Now, Senécal has the opportunity to be a part of telling one of those stories in the history of the Church in Canada.
Working with Dr. Michael A.G. Haykin, Professor of Church History at Heritage Theological Seminary, Senécal will be serving as a research assistant on a project that will recount the story of the Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches in Canada to mark the denomination’s upcoming 70th anniversary in 2023. This work will be a revision and expansion of the 2003 publication, A Glorious Fellowship of Churches, edited by Dr. Michael A.G. Haykin and Robert B. Lockey.
“I am looking forward to uncovering all that God has done through the Fellowship over the past 70 years, not only in Canada but internationally,” says Senécal. “I am especially looking forward to hearing the remarkable stories of God’s grace in the lives of his people.”
He says that, Lord willing, this project will see him travelling across Canada in order to visit different districts and institutions connected with the Fellowship in order to tell the history of this denomination starting with the Particular Baptists in England in the 17th Century and following the storyline through the Fellowship up to the present day.
As he begins to undertake this extensive project, Senécal has the understanding of just how important chronicling the history of the Fellowship is. He explains that it is not only valuable as a contribution to Canadian history in general, but it is especially beneficial for the Fellowship and other churches in Canada to look back into their history to be encouraged and learn as they carry the blazing torch of the gospel today and into the future.
“I think that by knowing our history, we can learn not only how God worked in the past, but also see the struggles and, in some cases, pitfalls of our forebears and learn from them today,” he explains. “Knowing our story helps us to understand, appreciate, and maintain our identity while at the same time seeking to work with other believers in bringing the gospel to the nations.”
Since his conversion at nineteen, Senécal says that he has had the sense that his place in the world would be in Christian scholarship. Since beginning his studies at Heritage, he says that he has not only been gripped by the study of church history but has also had the opportunity to gain a broad perspective on the past 2000 years of God’s work in the world through a diversity of history courses.
However, what has stood out prominently from his time at Heritage has been the opportunity to receive valuable mentorship from the professors at the Seminary, especially Dr. Haykin.
“He has become a great source of encouragement to me and has been investing in me and my growth both as a Christian and a historian,” says Senécal. “I cannot see how this opportunity would have been possible apart from my being at Heritage.”