‘Faster Pastor’ shaking up Oakville church
October 20, 2017 By: David Lea Oakville Beaver
Glen Abbey United Church’s “Faster Pastor” is shaking up the congregation and changing many preconceived notions about ministers.
Minister Reverend Ted Vance came to Oakville in February 2017 and quickly became known in the Glen Abbey community not only for his love of the gospel, but also for his love of fast cars, golf, Buffalo Bills football, rock music and travel.
The “Faster Pastor,” a moniker that comes from the fast vehicles he drives, says his love of both God and cars began at a young age.
“I’ve been a car guy all my life from playing with hot wheels when I was little to learning to drive when I was 12,” said Vance.
“Throughout the years I’ve always had a real affection for high performance cars. I raced for eight years at Dragway Park in Cayuga and I got to do the opening prayer in Bristol, Tennessee for the NASCAR race. There were 165,000 people in the stands and 3 million watching on TV. That was quite the day.”
While rock ’n’ roll and the church have not always gone well together Vance has made room for both in his life.
Some of his favourite musicians include Bruce Springsteen, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, and AC/DC.
While Vance said he has always been a spiritual person, his journey to the ministry was not a straightforward one.
The Hamilton resident initially attempted to conquer the corporate world serving as a marketing director for various corporations.
By 1999, despite having a successful career, Vance wanted something more.
“I thought, ‘Have I really done anything that matters.’ That’s when I recognized the call,” said Vance.
“I put together a seven-year plan for completing my Masters of Divinity and started moving in that direction.”
Vance said it is important for his sermons to connect with people with topics that are relevant and relate to their lives.
He said his time in the corporate world has helped him understand the day-to-day stresses many Oakville residents face.
“I’ve been there and can help to relate God’s word to their lives,” he said.
“If it is just a book than it doesn’t really mean anything, but if you can see how it is still applicable today so often and how we can live out some of these teachings instead of just talking about them I think that is really important.”
Vance provided the example of Jesus’ meeting with the sisters Mary and Martha.
In that story, Mary listened to Jesus’ teachings while Martha was so determined to make his visit a pleasant one that she rushed around trying to accommodate his every need and missed what he was saying.
“That’s the way it is a lot in our lives,” said Vance.
“We get so busy that we kind of forget to spend the time with people, with God and to really absorb all these good things. There are people who are addicted to busyness and it can be a real problem.”
Vance said his goal is that when the sermon is over people leaving the church feel better than they did coming in no matter what is going on in their lives.
Whether it is because of the welcome or the music or the message Vance says he wants people who attend the church to say, ‘You know that was a great use of my time and I want more of that.’
The Faster Pastor noted he is a strong believer in the importance to not just talk about the gospel, but turning these words into actions.
He said Glen Abbey United Church’s record of outreach achievements was a major reason he decided to come to Oakville.
The church is located at 1469 Nottinghill Gate.
Sunday services begin at 10 a.m., however, coffee and cookies and conversations begin at 9:30 a.m.
For more information visit glenabbeyunitedchurch.com.