Pastor Joy Gregory — November 2, 1959 – June 9, 2007
CanadianChristianity would like to honor the memory and ministry of Joy Gregory, pastor of the Joy Fellowship for many years.
The Joy Fellowship is an interdenominational ministry in Vancouver, which has as its specific concern the needs of people with mental or physical disabilities.
In 2005, Joy began a battle with breast cancer, which later developed into a struggle with leukemia. Joy went through incredible obstacles and overcame unbelievable challenges with grace, courage, and dignity – an inspiration to all who knew her.
A common misunderstanding around Joy’s life was that the church was named after her. This mistake was excusable. Her name was synonymous with the church she served so tirelessly. Her own joy was found in supporting people and helping them grow to their potential. People that many in the world would dismiss, some with profound developmental disabilities.
She was involved in training interns from a variety of countries, and was encouraged to see some of them initiate similar ministries in other parts of the world. Joy also helped many other churches and groups improve the services they offered to people with disabilities.In 2001 she received her Master of Divinity from Vancouver’s Regent College/Carey Hall, and she was ordained by the Baptist Union of Western Canada in 2002. She continued studies at Carey Theological College and was awarded a Doctor of Ministry degree in a special Convocation in February 18, 2007.
Joy Gregory, with supporters at a special convocation in February where she received her doctorate.
A Memorial service was held for Joy Saturday, June 23, at Trinity Baptist Church, Vancouver with over 400 in attendance. With additional memorial services in New Zealand and Taiwan where Joy had taken teams to help them develop ministry among those with disability.
Only 10 days prior to her death, Joy’s father passed away, a grievous loss for her mother Elizabeth. Joy was an only child. Throughout her final days she held onto Isaiah 41 verse 10: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”