Our Team
Pastor Philip & Beth Bryant
(Lead Pastor/ Community Groups2016-10-11-philip-bryant-profile-picture-facebook-edited
Philip grew up in the little town of Canton, Maine, where his mom was actively involved in their church. His father was a believer who didn’t go to church himself, but he never hindered or discouraged the family from participating. Beth was raised in Elkridge, Maryland, just south of Baltimore. Her father was a pastor, and both parents taught her about faithfulness, loving Jesus and loving His people.
 
Faith came very early for Beth – whose mother started her memorizing Scripture almost before she could talk. She was just 3 ½ when she realized that she was a sinner, and Jesus was the only One who could help her. One of her earliest memories is praying with her mom to ask Jesus to become her Saviour. Phil also came to faith as a young boy. His mom taught a weekly Bible class in their home. She taught the story of Noah and how God had made a way for people to be saved from the flood if they would get in the ark. Then, she went on to show how Jesus is like that ark and Philip understood that if he chose to believe, he could be saved from his sin and have a new life. He found it an amazing relief to know that his sin was forgiven because Jesus died for him.
 
After high school, Beth studied at Washington Bible College, majoring in Biblical Studies and minoring in Missions.  She planned to be doing Bible translation somewhere in a jungle. Philip enlisted in the US Army Reserve, and then attended Word of Life Bible Institute and Tennessee Temple University before transferring to Washington Bible College, in what was Beth’s third year. The two got to know each other performing in the school play (Beth played Philip’s mother in law!) They married in the WBC chapel in 1993 and became part of Grace Bible Church in Lanham, MD. They then spent 2 years interning at the Waldorf, MD Grace Brethren Church before Philip enrolled in seminary and returned to Grace Bible Church as the youth pastor. In May of 1997, they moved to Canada to start planting churches with Grace Brethren Canada.
 
In 2004/2005, God stirred their hearts to look beyond their ministry in Mississauga, Ontario.  Through an amazing set of events, they relocated to BC and partnered with Cedar Grove Church to launch Community of Hope. Philip is the lead pastor, serving the leadership team and church family. God has given him a deep love for people and a strong desire to help people in their relationship with Jesus. Philip and Beth find it amazing to see how God, in His grace, allows them to partner with Him in lives of people in the church and community, and can’t wait to see all that God wants to do in the months and years ahead.
 
When not busy keeping Philip and their five children mostly organized and serving in many capacities with Community of Hope, Beth works part-time as a caterer and in a tea room.  She enjoys quiet time with a book and a cup of tea by the fireplace. Philip is a life-long New England Patriots fan and enjoys playing basketball.  Both enjoy spending time with family and neighbours.
Pastor Isaac & Amber Whiting
Campus Pas2016-09-19-amber-and-isaac-profile-picture-full-version-editedtor
Pastor Isaac grew up in western Washington. His family was not religious and he lived a typical secular existence. He tried to deal with the emptiness of life by devoting himself to one pursuit or person after another.
In university he dove deep into the study of philosophy, thinking this would give some answers and meaning to life. The result was first depression and then a pursuit of world religions. Though many people were involved, especially through prayer, he gave his life to Christ one day while reading the Bible alone in his room. God showed him in a dramatic way that Jesus is the truth.
In his last year of university, during an all-night prayer meeting, Isaac felt a strong call to preach and to teach. The next year he married Amber and they moved to Vancouver to attend Regent College. They found a church home and true family at a Baptist church in Vancouver where Isaac worked as the Youth Pastor and then Associate pastor for over ten years. In September 2016 he began serving as Campus Pastor at Community of Hope.
 
Isaac likes to fix things, especially cars. He runs and sings a lot. Amber sings even more, homeschools their four boys and finds joy in practicing hospitality.
 
Pastor Jason & Dana Strain
(Creative Arts Pastor)strains-at-howe-sound-edited
Jason and Dana grew up in Coquitlam and attended Centennial Secondary – but not at the same time. Jason’s passion for music led him to study music at UBC. Dana’s love for children led her to study Early Childhood Education at Douglas College.
 
Dana came to faith as a child, but faith came later for Jason, who came to Christ through a Christian club at UBC. While initially drawn by the fun activities and cute girls, over time Jason gave his life, will, and heart to Christ’s Lordship. That decision significantly changed Jason’s direction. Initially studying to become a teacher, Jason decided instead to pursue a career in music ministry.  Ironically, after 15 years of full time ministry, he is now also a part-time high school music teacher!
 
It was love at first sight when Jason met Dana met at Calvary Baptist Church. They later got married in the same spot where they met. Jason had been serving in music ministry at Cedar Grove Baptist Church in Surrey, and Dana joined him there. They moved from Coquitlam to Surrey and had two boys together – Evan and Liam – who keep life busy and fun!
 
In 2007, the Strains joined the Community of Hope church plant in obedience to prayer when they felt God saying “Go.”  Since joining the Community of Hope team, Dana has served faithfully in the Preschool Sunday School. Jason has served as the Pastor of Creative Arts, but has stepped back from a paid position within the church to pursue his dream of recording Scripture memory songs to help encourage Christians in developing the critical discipline of Scripture memory.  He currently leads the worship team and writes and edits videos. They lead a Community Group. 
 
Dana works as a preschool teacher, while Jason teaches music and Bible studies at a Christian high school.  Both enjoy the outdoors – Dana particularly enjoys hiking, walking, and biking while Jason has the goal one day to snowboard, mountain bike, kayak, and snorkel, all in one day! 
Gord & Gail Klassen
(Lead Elder/ Finance/ Hospitality)
Gord and Gail both grew up in Christian homes in Vancouver, their families went to the same church, and they went to the same high school. They have known each other most of their lives.
 
Gord committed his life to following Jesus and was baptized when he was in Grade 12. God really began changing Gord in Bible School; he grew in his love for Him and he really committed his life to serving Him. Growing up, Gail thought she was always a Christian.  Because of her strong convictions to do what was right, she was baptized at age 14. In grade 10, she went to a nation-wide youth conference where she understood for the first time how to make her faith her own, and to have full assurance of her salvation. At this point, she re-committed her life to Christ and there has been no turning back.
 
After finishing high school, Gail did a year of Bible school and then spent a year working in a bank. She decided to do a year or two of Christian service and joined an inner city missions organization called World Impact. Gord came to the same organization two years later. He had not planned to be in the same city as Gail, but God somehow arranged it. They knew each other, but did not really know each other well. Working closely together, a friendship developed which led to their marriage in 1982, and their family grew to include four children: Chris in 1984; Alana in 1986; Tim and Lisa in 1988. What had been intended as a one- to two-year commitment lasted well over a decade. Gord and Gail served with World Impact in Portland, Oregon and Los Angeles before returning to the Lower Mainland, settling in Surrey.
 
The Klassens were active members at Cedar Grove Baptist Church in Surrey, when they met Pastor Philip and felt God calling them to join in the church plant. They became part of the core team for the Community of Hope launch and have stayed very involved. Currently, Gord is an elder, oversees the churches finances, and leads a community group.  He has gifts of serving and shepherding people, and a strong desire to help people grow in their love for God.  Gord and Gail together oversee our hospitality ministry.
 
When not kept busy by the church or by their day jobs, Gord and Gail enjoy playing games, the outdoors, and spending time with their family – particularily their new role as grandparents.
Norman & Claudia Schrock
(Teaching/ Children’s Ministry)
Norman was born and raised in Argentina. His parents were missionaries with the Grace Brethren Foreign Missionary Society [known today as Encompass World Partners]. Thus, he grew up both going to church and speaking Spanish! Claudia was born in Bremerton, Washington. At the age of seven her family moved to Los Angeles, CA, where her dad attended Biola University.
 
Claudia grew up in a Christian church-going home, but she personally came to realize her need for a Savior at the age of seven. She came to saving faith in Jesus at a Merv Rossell meeting in Washington. Norman received Jesus as his Savior at the age of seven during an evangelistic campaign in Rio Cuarto, Argentina, where his dad had invited Alfonzo Olmedo, an Argentine pastor, to preach at the church for those meetings.
 
Upon graduating from high school in Waterloo, Iowa, Norman went to Moody Bible Institute for a year. City life was too confining for him, so he transferred to Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana, where the small town life was more suitable. The summer before his Junior year at Grace College he was Supervisor of the Dorm’s Maintenance crew at which time he met a new worker, Claudia. She had just moved from California and was to be a Freshman at Grace College that fall. They were friends but did not date. Norman went on to Grace Theological Seminary and Claudia went back to Whittier, California and started teaching after graduation. During the summer of 1972, Claudia returned to Winona Lake, Indiana, for a friend’s wedding. While there, Norman noticed her at church, they talked, ended up going out on a date and the rest is history.
 
In July 1973 they married and Norman became the Pastor of the Bell Brethren Church shortly after. From there they moved to Simi Valley, CA, to become the associate pastor of the Grace Brethren Church. In 1978 they moved to Puerto Rico as missionaries with the Grace Brethren International Missions [known today as Encompass World Partners]. Upon returning to California, they were involved in several ministries in Southern California, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, etc. Forty plus years later, they are both now retired.
 
Both Norman and Claudia’s children live in the Northwest. Their son Peter and his family live in Kent, WA, and their daughter Caryn and her family live in Surrey, BC. So, Norman and Claudia moved to Blaine, WA, to be near their children and grandchildren. They commute to Community of Hope as their home church. Although retired, one never stops serving the Lord Jesus, so here they are wanting to be used wherever they are needed.
 
Their life consists of sightseeing, visiting children and grandchildren, and being involved in church life as teachers, directors, driving the pick-up to move church things, and leading a Community Group.
Einer & Laura Teng
(Outreach)
einerlaura(photo by Double Exposure Photography)
Einer was born in the Philippines and grew up in Richmond, BC. His parents helped to start the Evangelical Chinese Bible Church in 1972. Laura was born and raised in Vancouver, first attending the original Vancouver Chinese Presbyterian Church in Chinatown with her aunt, uncle and grandmother. Her parents, who received Jesus as their Savior much later in life, were not Christians during Laura’s childhood.
 
Einer and Laura both became Christians as preteens. Laura sought life’s truths through science, which led to her discover and appreciate God’s miraculous hand in all He created. Einer chose to follow Christ at a Billy Graham Crusade in Vancouver. They testify how only God brought them together… right down to the details (invite yourselves for dinner for the full story!) They were married in 2000, and their family now includes Catherine, Carl, and Noah.
 
After praying many years about whether to leave their wonderful, well-established but not-so-local church to find one where they could better connect to others in their own community, God led them to Community of Hope in 2009. They currently lead a Community Group, and enjoy hosting events in their home. Einer oversees Outreach Ministry (a fancy way of saying that we’d love you to join us as we learn to follow Jesus!) while Laura manages the church website, volunteers in the Nursery, and sometimes joins the Worship Team. Einer can work a crowd while Laura prefers smaller-scale connections, but both love meet others in any way He allows.
 
Einer teaches music at McCloskey Elementary in North Delta, and has recently taken up karate with their son Carl. Formerly working in environmental engineering, Laura is now a homeschooling mom, piano teacher, quilter, and knitter. They both enjoy having guests, gardening, and cooking; lots of music and activity fill their home.