We bring a wide-range of experiences and backgrounds that all come together to create a dynamic team ready to respond to the emerging needs of our Christian community in the ever-changing world. We work as a team, combining our calls and gifts to serve Leamington and make Jesus known.
Favorite Book of the Bible: The Gospel of Mark – because he gets right to the heart of the good news – with both excitement and urgency.
Hobbies: Gym workouts, cycling, camping, hiking, canoeing, reading, cheering on the Oilers (sigh)
Movie Recommendation: The Matrix and Hacksaw Ridge – both with powerful themes of the Kingdom of God and faithful witness.
Favorite Food: East Indian curry – can’t get enough of spicy food.
My Story: Both of my parents came to Canada as Mennonite refugees in the 1920’s, having lost everything in the Russian revolution. I’m a Baby Boomer, and the youngest of 3 children in my family. All of my formal education was in Kitchener Waterloo, and soon after graduation I became a high school teacher, first in northern Ontario and then in Cambridge. Music was a big part of my life growing up and it was through music that I found my first teaching job and how I met my wife Nancy. After we were married we accepted a mission assignment in India, serving the Mennonite church in youth and music ministry. It was there that I sensed God calling me to a new vocation in pastoral ministry. All 3 of our boys (Andrew, Samuel, Joel) were born in Edmonton where I served as a pastor for 15 years in the Lendrum Mennonite Church. Our address changed to Leamington when I accepted a call to pastor the Leamington United Mennonite Church. Over all these years I have grown in my love for Christ and for His church because I see them both as the heart of the good news and the hope for the world.
Favorite thing about Leamington: It would have to be Point Pelee National Park in all 4 seasons of the year. Whether cycling, walking, swimming or skiing, the Point has become a sanctuary for my wife and me. In close second place would be a nearly endless supply of tomatoes.
Mike Williamson, BRE, MTS
Hometown: Stratford, Ontario
Favorite Book of the Bible: I like 1 Corinthians because its all about how God uses the weak, small and foolish things of the world to overcome the strong.
Hobbies: I have small children – I have no hobbies. I like reading and I love TV.
Movie Recommendation: Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Anything by Christopher Nolan. I also love horror movies.
Favorite Food: Pizza – any pizza.
A bit of your story: I am a dad to two daughters, Petra and Rebekah and married to Brandy.
I grew up in Stratford where I became a Christian as a teenager through a local youth ministry. From there I fell in love with theology and have served in ministry for the last 18 years. My hope for the church is that it would rediscover who it is, drawing deep from ancient roots to recover a sense of enchantment, awe and mystery.
Favorite thing about Leamington: I love taking drives in Essex country along the lake or along dusty country roads at sunrise or sunset.
Favorite Book of the Bible: I like Isaiah because it reminds me that there is hope.
Hobbies: Gardening, Swimming, Crocheting, Creating digital photo albums
Movie Recommendation: Soul Surfer, The Greatest Showman, and Moana
Favorite Food: sushi
A bit of your story:
I am a mom of two beautiful children Delilah and Samuel and the wife of Herman Heide. I live on my family farm in a home that was built by my Opa. When my fingers dig in the dirt in our garden I feel the presence of my grandparents. As a child my grandparents forested an acre of farmland that I named Serendipity. It restores my soul to walk through these mature trees and breathe in the decades of hard work and love it took to create this home.
I studied Journalism in college and have taken additional courses in marketing and mental health. This year I begin my degree in Psychology. My journey in life has taken me to 22 different countries around the world, however, it should be noted, that I now reside on the same small side road where I grew up.
My hope for the Children’s Ministry at LUMC is to create a place where children truly feel a part of God’s story, where they don’t just learn information but live it. My goal is to create a space where community thrives for the families in our church.
Favorite thing about Leamington: The lake and the trees.
Born and raised in Mexico, Esther has been in Canada for nearly 30 years now. She loves the Leamington area and has enjoyed raising her three children here with her husband, David. Presently, her children are all married, living in various Ontario locations.
Church has always been a part of her life. Esther grew up on a farm and was nurtured in a Mennonite church. In young adulthood she was baptized and married in Mexico. Esther and her family have attended LUMC for many years. In 2020, she took on the task of LUMC custodian.
Family is important to Esther. She has one younger brother (Manitoba) and one younger sister (Mexico). If you ask her about her favourite past times she will list - reading, crocheting and baking, but her smile grows largest when she talks about taking care of her grandchildren. They warm her heart thoroughly.
Esther is pleased to be on the staff at LUMC.