Exit Student Profile: Jesse Walz
Both my wife Bec and I grew up in Geelong. I originally studied commerce at Deakin University's Geelong campus (2006-2009), after which I spent some time in administration in a building company, also in Geelong (2010-2011). I then undertook a ministry apprenticeship with the Christian Union at Geelong (2012-2013), followed by studies at the Presbyterian Theological College (2014-2017).
Bec began studying occupational therapy at Charles Sturt University in Albury, then came to Deakin in 2008 to finish her degree (which is when we met). However, she decided not to complete the degree in favour of doing a ministry apprenticeship with the Geelong Christian Union (2010-11).
I'm blessed to have grown up knowing Christ as Lord. My story of conversion includes changing from being a Charismatic Baptist to Presbyterian, which occurred during my time at university; hearing clear Bible teaching which went sequentially through books of the Bible; and being discipled. As the Bible was taught clearly, I was able to see where various theological positions I had grown up with were in conflict. I am thankful that my Charismatic Baptist church instilled in me that the Bible is God's Word and is to be believed and trusted so that when I was taught well at university I could accept it reasonably easily.
Ministry was always a possibility for me since high school. However, it wasn't until university that the desire burst into flame as I was taught the Reformed faith, and as I began to experience teaching, preaching and evangelism. Being discipled by, and under the ministry of Dave Martin at university was key for me in ministering the gospel.
At the Presbyterian Theological College I gained a deeper understanding that I am weak, sinful and helpless, but that our God is glorious, using even unworthy sinners like me to proclaim His gospel which brings about new creation. There is always something else to explore in the Bible, always more to learn about people, always new weaknesses and sins to battle against; but God will always achieve His purposes.
Bec grew up with an Anglican mother and father, attending both an Anglican church and a Catholic school, which made her quite confused. She became a Christian in her late teens, primarily deciding to follow the teaching in her mother's Anglican church, because the people there actually lived what they proclaimed. She grew in her faith exponentially through the teachings at Campus Bible Study (in Albury) and Christian Union (in Geelong). As her knowledge of the Bible - and of the God who authored it - grew, so did her passion for serving Christ and telling others about Him.
Bec and I are really excited to be at Eaglehawk Presbyterian Church (near Bendigo). Initially, I intend to get to know the people, understand the congregation, and try to make some contacts with other people in the community. In the first term I'll be preaching through John chapters 1-3, in order to lift our vision to the glorious reality of who Jesus is. I will be praying for God to soften the hearts in this place that so desperately needs the gospel.
Jesse Walz was exited to Eaglehawk Presbyterian Church this year, and was recently ordained as a Minister of the Word and Sacraments.
This article was first published in the Fellow Workers Magazine Winter 2018 Edition.