Grace Baptist of Essex has been privileged to have been shepherded by Richard Valade since 1979. In 1974, he and his wife, Sandy, felt a call on their life to enter the ministry. While originally planning to serve overseas, the Lord led them a little closer to home.
In 1979, he was called to be the pastor of the newly formed Berean Baptist Church in Windsor, ON. In 1990 the church purchased a building in Essex, and changed their name to Grace Baptist Church of Essex. He currently serves our congregation as an elder.
John Wakefied felt a strong desire for the ministry as a teenager and pursued training at Liberty University and Reformed Theological Seminary. He was blessed to be able to marry Cathy in 1980 and God has blessed them with four children and four grandchildren.
In 1983, John was called into the ministry and has been privileged to minister to God’s people since then. He has known Grace Baptist Church in Essex for several years and their relationship was strengthened with a call to be an elder in the summer of 2015. He was ordained to the office in October of 2015.
Our church is served by three deacons who help lead the church: Denis Raby, Don Shuttleworth, and Chad Vermeulen.