Lynn was born in Washington, D.C., grew up in California, married a Canadian and moved around Canada before settling in Montreal, Quebec where she now serves as pastor. That’s a short summary of a life filled with many moves, many life changes and a passion for serving God’s children.
“My mother became interested in the WCG/GCI in 1962. I was the oldest child so she explained all the changes she was making in our lives to me. My siblings and I went to Imperial School in Pasadena, California, and in 1966 my father became part of the WCG. He eventually wound up being the plant manager of the Ambassador College Press.”
Lynn’s early years included tennis and singing. “I think the things I remember the most from my teen years were my dad spending likely hundreds of hours coaching me in tennis. He had this great idea that it was a wonderful game. You only needed a racket, a couple of balls and one partner! Good idea in theory until we got moved to Canada! I also loved being in the Imperial Choraliers and later the Ambassador Chorale. I also loved being close to the beach.”
Lynn was baptized in 1971 while attending Ambassador College. It was there that she met Dennis Lawrence, a fellow student. After marriage they moved to Prince George, British Columbia in Canada. “He was ordained and we were transferred regularly like most GCI pastor families. We were moved to Montreal in 1999.
Lynn continued her education after Ambassador. “I loved the chance to get my masters in education from the University of Phoenix (getting it on-line was interesting in a number of ways), then a certificate as a document technician (I’m now a school librarian), and then my bachelor of education (I know, backwards, but what can you do?). I loved all this time in school.”
Lynn states that being ordained an elder resulted from her love for children and her involvement in Canada’s Eastern Canadian Camp. “My family has a history of being involved in youth ministry (my brother is Jeb Egbert) and I also had that love. Over time the elders that were involved with camp thought I should be ordained.” Lynn served as an elder for some time before becoming a pastor. “I became a pastor through a set of unfortunate circumstances. My husband, Dennis was diagnosed with cancer. For the two years he was sick I filled in and when it became clear that he would not survive, people started looking to me as the likely successor. This has been hard as I kind of think of myself in some ways as still filling in. I know I will find my place in this calling.”
Lynn thanks the congregation for helping her find that place. “Many in my church knew I felt uncomfortable with the title of pastor and so they used it all the time. I thought that was kind of sweet. They wanted me to feel okay with the place I was in.”
Lynn and Dennis were married for over 36 years. They have four daughters (Abbie, Erin, Judith and Erika) and two sons-in-law: Pierre (married to Abbie) and Nathan (married to Judith) and one grandson (Andrew) who is six and Abbie expecting in June—the projected day of delivery is her father’s birthday.
When asked what she loves most about GCI, Lynn said, “I have been a pastor’s wife for a long time, and being a pastor is a little different, but mostly I love the people. We have been in many amazing places. I think the thing I really love about GCI is its history. We have such an amazing worldwide family. When my husband was sick we heard from people around the world, some we knew and some we didn’t.”
As mentioned earlier, Lynn’s passion has always been church kids. “I love camp (I’m now the director) and the opportunity to love the campers but also challenge them to realize that someday the beliefs need to become their own. It is so amazing to watch what God does through each camp session.”
Lynn shared other passions, but noted that time has kept her from enjoying them. “This year has kind of taken the wind out of my sails, but before this I loved to read, cook, study history, take pictures, spin wool and a zillion other things. Now I have two jobs (I’m a bivocational pastor), so I don’t have much time for all of this, but we shall see what surfaces as a passion still, or perhaps some new ones.”
Lynn shared a recent highlight for her ministry. “I just got to help with the funeral for a grandmother of our church who died at 106. She was an amazing lady and I loved being part of the celebration of her life.”
Lynn says she feels closest to God in two ways: music and nature. “I love a wide variety of Christian music, all the way from Handel to contemporary and being near water is my best place for ‘God moments.’