Richard & Terry Long, Vineyard Ottawa

Tina-Marie Axenty, Apr 07, 2021, 5:12 AM
Tina-Marie Axenty Foundations Team
27.jpg

Richard and Terry Long live in Ottawa, Ontario and have been married for 37 years. They met when they were 14 and got married 10 years later in a Baptist Church in Burlington, which was Terry's home church and where Richard had been called to be the youth pastor.

Richard had the privilege of pastoring 3 Baptist Churches in the Greater Toronto area spanning over 20 years. Richard and Terry ministered together using the training they had received at Central Baptist Seminary, and London Baptist Seminary. (Now merged into Heritage Baptist Seminary).  Terry also worked as the Chief Medical Radiation Technologist, Diagnostic Radiology division in a downtown Toronto hospital spanning a 25-year career.

Richard's introduction to the Vineyard Movement came when a close Baptist pastor friend asked him to talk their son out of the experience he had at the Langley Vineyard in 1982.  Knowing nothing about "Vineyardites" Richard found himself reading books by John Wimber which began to resonate with what he was deeply longing for in his own ministry.

Over the next few years, Richard and Terry were stirred by the music coming out of the Anaheim Vineyard.  They, along with dozens of other evangelical pastors, attended monthly meetings at the Argonaut Rowing Club on the Toronto lakeshore to hear pivotal talks by people like Kenn Gulliksen, David Ravenhill, Wayne Coombs, and Ed McGlassen Jr, who were invited to help launch the Downtown Vineyard church in Toronto back in 1990/91.

The early Downtown Vineyard plant (Bob and Sue Buckley) met on Friday nights at Runnymede Baptist church where Richard and Terry were pastoring. This created some beautiful synergies for both congregations. David and Anita Ruis were some of the early special guests who helped this Baptist congregation begin to take early steps into the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

The arrival of "The Toronto Blessing" several years later meant a baptism of the love of the Father for so many Christians in the GTA and then beyond.  Richard found himself at large weekly meetings with pastors from all denominations, which deposited a passion for the unity of the Body of Christ.  The Long's were commissioned by their home church in 2001 to become ambassadors of unity for Canada with a focus on helping the churches work together to bring the gospel to their cities.  One of the key stops along the way was a 5-year season serving as Associate Directors at the new National House of Prayer in Ottawa.  This was an incredible opportunity to meet and collaborate with key prayer leaders from across the nation.

Richard was asked to lead the city-wide movement in Ottawa called Love Ottawa nine years ago and has been blessed to see God do an amazing work of collaborative unity in the national capital region over these years.  Terry was hired on Parliament Hill to work for a Member of Parliament.  This opened a door where various Member of Parliament would stop by her office and ask her to pray over them, which was a tremendous honour.

Along the way the Long's got to know Jason and Yvonne Parks and began a growing friendship.  They, along with some others, began monthly worship evenings called "The Well", and soon a core group of people began gathering around a longing for a deep presence of the Lord and a desire for "family".

In the fall of 2015, they began to pray into the vision of a new Vineyard church plant for Ottawa.  Their commitment was to truly make Jesus the leader of this new endeavour and let Him build what He wanted among them.  The Lord has surprised all of them with how strongly He wanted to establish this new congregation, even as they committed themselves to a shared leadership model where the two founding couples, (Parks and Longs), chose to adopt a co-vocational style of ministry.

They launched their first public service in January 2017 with 70 people and have seen God add people quite regularly to their growing church family. You may have heard the miraculous story of the provision of a free building on a major street, along with money in the bank to install air conditioning.  It is just one of their testimonies to how the Lord has been extraordinarily generous to Vineyard Ottawa.  The journey continues...to Him be the glory.