On Friday I lost a friend and mentor. Fred Stoesz was 60 years old and finally lost his battle with cancer but won his great reward: Jesus.
I met Fred when he was invited to present a church planting in the inner-city seminar at Elmwood MB Church 11 or 12 years ago. I was working with inner-city teens and seeing them grow in faith. I also recognized that they didn’t fit into any of the current church moulds – so I signed up. I wanted to do what Fred had been doing, and what he was mentoring others to do – plant a church with disenfranchised people in my neighbourhood.
A short time later Fred moved to town and we met regularly to talk about my efforts and directions in church planting. Fred was always so encouraging and helpful and he didn’t give up his frontline ministry to just oversee younger men – he was actively involved with guys living street lives. His was a messy life – in things up to his armpits.
I will miss Fred as a pastor, mentor, intercessor, evangelist, friend of the poor, encourager of the weary, prophet to the church and my friend.
Thank you Fred for your legacy.