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The Online Bridge
Issue 6
Winter, 2004

Rob Merrifield
Taking a Stand

Rob MerrifieldRob is a NABC graduate of 1973. He is currently the Member of Parliament for the Yellowhead riding and Senior Health Critic for the newly formed Conservative Party of Canada. As an MP and a Health Critic, Rob has a key role in preserving Christian ethics in government policy-making regarding healthcare.

Rob Merrifield was born and raised in the Whitecourt area. As he grew up, he lived and worked on his family dairy farm that had been passed down from his grandfather to his father. He attended high school in Whitecourt and enjoyed the stable childhood/youth that he led.

Family was important in many areas of Rob’s life. Rob’s eldest brother, Bruce, was the one who influenced him to have a relationship with Jesus. Bruce had gone to live in Camrose for a short time and became a Christian while living there. Upon returning, he shared the experiences he had with Rob. Rob’s increased thirst after God then led him to attend NABC.

Rob attended NABC in 1972-1973. As a new Christian with a sharp mind, he challenged the theology of many of his friends at NABC. He wanted to go deeper with God. He longed to know the answers to the “whys” that some of his peers had taken for granted all of their Christian lives. He participated in debates that lasted hours and appreciated the time that he had in a setting of religious study. Not only did he get to know God at NABC, Rob also met his bride of 29 years, Brenda Fillenberg. Rob and Brenda will celebrate their 30th anniversary on May 4, 2004! Rob’s time at NABC is valued because of the two most important relationships that he built there.

After NABC, Rob and Brenda moved back to the Whitecourt area to own and operate the family farm. They raised 2 sons (Chad and Scott) and were involved in many aspects of the community. Rob was Chairperson and a board member of the Whitecourt school district. He also served on Whitecourt/Fox Creek hospital board and the agricultural service board. Rob eventually was elected to sit on the council for the Woodland County. His passion grew for politics, for healthcare, and for seeing Christian morals being upheld in government.

Just over three years ago, Rob was elected as the Member of Parliament for the Yellowhead riding. Not long after, he was named Senior Health Critic for the Canadian Alliance party, he was appointed to the Leader’s Advisory Committee on Health Care, and he was elected Vice-Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health. His many years of experience in local government and his faithful service to his community paved the way for his entrance to and influence in federal government.

God is using Rob in tremendous ways in each of his roles. He is currently reviewing various health-related issues, most notably the recently proposed controversial legislation dealing with embryonic stem cell research. Rob and his fellow committee members have taken the opportunity to present the serious ethical and moral issues surrounding this issue. This proposed legislation has been stalled by the Health committee as Rob and the other committee members are not convinced it will best serve the interests of all Canadians.

Rob covets the prayers of the church as he makes decisions in regards to the ethical direction of our country. He desires to have wisdom as he deals with issues such as same-sex marriage and the attack on Scripture. He encourages the Christian body to unite in prayer and in action.
“Our potential as believers is significant, yet we are allowing others’ ethical decisions to affect us. It is time that we awake out of our slumber and take a stand.” (Rob Merrifield, Dec. 8, 2003)

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