J. Michael Terrett
My family came to Canada from Zimbabwe in 1959 and we encountered many of the adjustment concerns most immigrants face. My parents quit attending church soon after we arrived and I grew up in a secular home with no religious guidance. I encountered all the confusion that young people experienced growing up in the sixties and by the time I entered high school, there were only two religious ideologies which interested me – Buddhism and Judaism. I could not find anyone willing to instruct in how to become Jewish, so I began practicing a form of Buddhism on my own.
At this point, I had no idea my mother was the daughter of an assimilated Jewish man and with all the family and personal problems we were encountering, it was enough just to try and finish my education, rather than try to figure out all the secrets my parents kept from us as we were growing up. I became a weekend hippy in high school and this experimentation with drugs continued into my first year of university.
It was at the University of Calgary that I encountered a Christian group which challenged my confused approach to religion and after a series of spiritual encounters with G-d, I surrendered my heart to the Messiah on March 28, 1972. I completed my university and went on to seminary and began my ministry in the province of Quebec in 1982. It was in Montreal that I began to attend a Reform synagogue and I first encountered the Messianic Movement.
My health began to fail at this time and in 1990, I returned to Alberta to try and recover. I became the leader of my first Messianic congregation in 1996 and began indulging my lifelong fascination with Judaism. It was around this time that I discovered that my grandfather was Jewish and I began to fully identify with my Hebrew heritage. I wanted to explore both what the Bible taught about Judaism and also how our people have experienced their Jewishness over the centuries. My return to Judaism as a Messianic Jew, with all of its ups and downs continues to bring great joy and satisfaction to my spiritual journey.
Now that my health is finally improving, I want to continue to explore how we can live as Messianic Jews and Gentiles in a spiritually darkening and morally conflicted world. There are two versions of the Gospel, one Jewish (the great nation) and one Gentile (the blessing to all nations). Have you discovered your place in the purposes of G-d? We would invite you to come and explore the Jewish context of the Gospel and personally discover the power of G-d to salvation which is both for the Jew and the Gentile.