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Meet The Pastor: Jude St. John From West London Alliance
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An interview by Mike Toth

1 Peter 4:8: Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.

Jude St. John is the lead pastor at West London Alliance church, having taken the reigns from long time pastor Mike Wilkins. Jude’s love for theology is readily apparent in the sermons he preaches, but it was an act of love by a church that began his walk to the pulpit at WLA.

When St. John was young his parents separated and his mother was left to raise five children on her own. One day when faced with the prospect of moving her large family on by herself the pastor and 4-5 members of Glad Tidings Assembly (now Gateway Church) showed up seemingly out of the blue to help. Those few hours of service to his family had a lasting impact, as they became regulars at church and youth group.

Another act of love by the church had eternal impact for St. John and his brother. A couple in the church paid the way for the boys to go to “Snow Camp,” a kind of winter vacation bible school. While at one of the services during the camp the kids were asked to bow their heads and close their eyes and raise their hands if they wished to receive Jesus.

“I raised my hand before I knew what I was doing,” says St. John. “It took a long time before I realized that it was God’s regenerative work prompting me to raise my hand. It was then that the gospel first came alive for me, and I was confronted with the reality of sin, and the remedy.” Unbeknownst to him at the time his brother also raised his hand to confirm his faith in Christ.

If you know of Jude St. John outside of the church setting you probably remember him from his football playing days with the University of Western Ontario or his long career in the Canadian Football League with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Toronto Argonauts. His biggest career highlight was winning the Grey Cup, the CFL championship, in 2004 with Toronto. While football may seem to be an odd career for a future pastor, St. John’s experience with the CFL was that it was quite accepting of Christianity, and many of his teammates participated in bible studies and chapel. It was during this time that the seeds of his ministerial calling were sown.

“About ten years into my career I developed an insatiable desire to study theology,” says St. John. “I didn’t have clarity as to why this passion had enveloped me, but a couple of years in I began to sense there might be a purpose. I just had no idea how it (becoming pastor) might happen.”

In fact, it didn’t happen right away. St. John went through some of the struggles that many professional athletes go through when faced with the end of their careers. Though he had scrupulously endeavoured to maintain his identity in Christ and not in football, the reality of “not being good enough” anymore was difficult, as was the loss of income. He got involved in teaching high school, but it took six years before he was able to get a full time contract.

Throughout this time St. John had a sense of his call by God, but didn’t have the faith to believe it would come. A coffee with Mike Wilkins, though, changed that and he joined West London as an apprentice pastor in 2013. Earlier this year he was ordained as the lead pastor, where he continues to learn and grow.

“Doctrine is very devotional for me,” says St. John, “but once you’re in the pulpit looking out at everyone your heart changes. Being a pastor is very much about His people as much as it is about doctrine.”

“I want to convey to people the surpassing worth of knowing Christ. At West London we are about the bible as it is His Word and His Spirit that build the church.”

To learn more about the ministries of West London Alliance church go to Jude St. John can be reached by calling the church at (519) 471-8716 or via email at