My name is Jon Bristow, and I serve as the Preaching Minister to our congregation.
I often describe myself as a "fellow
pilgrim," and "Jesus follower," as I believe we are all on a shared
journey in this life together, and on that journey I attempt to do the
same as Jesus' first disciples did and follow him.
I'm originally from a little town in southwest Washington called Battle Ground (it's not as infamous as the name sounds, trust me), and I've spent most of my adult years in various places throughout the Pacific Northwest - so I consider myself a "Northwest" guy through and through. Most recently, my wife, son, and I lived in Portland, OR, which is where I call home.
My wife, LeAnndra, and I met at Cascade College, which was formerly a branch campus of Oklahoma Christian University located in Portland (sadly, Cascade closed her doors in 2009.) We became fast friends and comrades traveling two summers together in a recruiting and singing group for the college, called Witness, and managed to fall in love with each other on our road trips, listening to Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles. We were married in 2008 and we'll celebrate our 10th anniversary this year! Life has thrown us an awful lot of twists and turns, but we continue to be blessed to fall more deeply in love as time passes. We welcomed our son, Jonah into the world in 2014, and he is our absolute joy and love, a truly beautiful soul.
My formal education began at Cascade, where I received a BA in Bible and Urban Ministry, and in 2017, I finished an MRE (Master's in Religious Education) in Missional Leadership from Rochester College. Up until this juncture, my ministry background has been in church-planting ministries, working first with the Renovatus Church of Christ, in Vancouver WA, then with the Pacific Crest Church of Christ in Wenatchee, WA, and then finally in a three-year endeavor to plant a church in east Portland, OR, which, unfortunately, came to a close in the Spring of 2017.
This ministry background has very much developed in me what I call a "missionary impulse" or "posture" toward ministry, in that I see and understand myself foremost as a missionary in whatever community to which I am led. And in this way, I believe God has called me to work with the members of this congregation to minister to, with, and for the beautiful community of Chico. For years, in fact, LeAnndra and I had wondered or imagined what it would be like to live in and work in Chico - LeAnndra is originally from Chester, CA and most of her family still lives here in the area. So it is very much exciting that God has brought this about for our lives!
I'm an avid music fan, and this is a passion both LeAnndra and I share. I love live music and I collect vinyl records. Many people speak fondly about the smell of old books, and that's the same fondness I have for flipping through old albums in a record store. I love the tactile experience of an album, the way it connects you in a felt way to the artist and their work. And, in my very biased opinion, there is no better, more pure listening experience than music on a good, clean vinyl pressing. LeAnndra and I also enjoy the outdoors, sports, and we are very much coffee people.
I hope you'll come and join myself and the congregation at one of our gathering times. I love nothing more than spending time with people and getting to know other's stories. It brings me great joy, and I hope I'll have the pleasure of getting to know you and your story sometime.