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Meet the Pastor: Charles Stone of West Park Church
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From the outside it would appear that the most significant thing that has happened in the last ten or so years at West Park Church here in London would be the transition from their much smaller location on Hyde Park Road to their new state of the art facility on Gainsborough Road a country mile or so away. Those involved in the church, however, would argue that the most significant steps occurred once the building was occupied.

One of those significant steps was the hiring of Charles Stone as lead pastor a couple of years ago. Hailing out of the Southern United States with around 35 years of pastoral experience, Stone brings a vision and depth of call that helps to assure that West Park is as cutting edge as its facility while maintaining the depth of relationship it has always been known for. These seemingly conflicting characteristics working well together is seen in the church’s commitment to Christians of all nationalities.

A few Sundays ago Pastor Stone announced the launch of a Spanish service at West Park. The culmination of years of a small Sunday school of Spanish speaking worshippers, Pastor Mario Vaquedano was brought into the role of associate pastor to lead this part of the church. The Spanish church joins a Chinese speaking Christian church that has been a part of West Park for a number of years.

"London has been becoming more and more multicultural for years," says Stone. "The Chinese Church at West Park has been amazing since it's been here, meeting in the gym at the same time as the larger service and averaging over100 people. Both fellowships started out as small groups that approached the church (about forming their own fellowships)."

Pastor Stone's calling to ministry didn't come to him until the end of university. Having studied industrial engineering as an under-grad and intending to attend the University of Georgia for law school and to go into politics, he sensed a deep vocational call from God to enter into ministry. His passion for learning and leading has stood him in good stead throughout his years in ministry, and positions him well to lead this time in West Park's history.

"We want to become a leadership training center, both for West Park and other churches. We also want to partner with global missions while reaching the local community as well."

Stone is also an accomplished author having published four books (at this time): "Daughters Gone Wild, Dads Gone Crazy," "5 Ministry Killers and How To Avoid Them," "People Pleasing Pastors," and his most recent work, "Brain Savvy Leaders". These can be found at his web site, charlesstone.com (charlesstone.com/csbooks/ ). West Park Church meets at 10:30 am Sunday mornings, with more information about the church at westpark.on.ca/wphome/.