Editor’s note: The following is shared from the North River Church of Christ newsletter. “In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist” — 2 Timothy 4:1-5 An evangelist in Jesus’ church is characterized as one who:

  • Makes and equips disciples (Matt. 28:18-20, Eph 4:12)
  • Handles the Word of God correctly (2 Tim. 2:15)
  • Preaches boldly and effectively 2 Tim. 4:2, Acts 28:31)
  • Embraces the role of a servant (2 Cor. 4:5)
  • Raises up other leaders (2 Tim. 2:2)
  • Faithfully discharges his responsibilities in the church (2 Tim. 4:5)
  • Other church leaders have confidence in (2 Cor. 7:4)
  • Exhibits spiritual progress that is obvious to all (1 Tim. 4:15)
Jean Thomas McGuirk was born 28 years ago in Paris, France. His parents were missionaries, sent out from the Boston Church of Christ. Tom graduated from Boston University in 2011 and moved to Philadelphia to serve in the campus ministry and pursue his college sweetheart, who was finishing school there. Cortney Sue (Shanks) McGuirk was born in Columbus, Ohio, and graduated from Temple University. They were married December 22, 2012 and moved to Atlanta in January 2013. Tom and Cortney have led the Kennesaw State University campus ministry here at North River for the last five years and have led it to unprecedented growth and maturity. The KSU ministry has grown from 40 to over 115 students, with almost 100 baptized and dozens of leaders being raised up to serve the church here and around the Southeast. Under the leadership of the McGuirks and Masseys, North River’s campus ministry has grown to over 225 students and is recognized around the world. Tom’s mother, Carol, is an Italian citizen, and he and Cortney are also in the process of obtaining their Italian citizenship. They will be leaving for Paris in May to help establish and grow campus ministries around the continent of Europe, and an exciting new chapter in their lives (and ours) will begin. North River is a member of the European Missions Society (EMS), as well as the African Missions Association (AMA). We are looking forward to supporting the McGuirks in any way we can in the years ahead. Unfortunately, the continent of Europe has experienced centuries of traditional religion abusing and imprisoning others. Most view God as irrelevant and not the answer for the emptiness and frustration in their lives. Entire generations have grown up never acknowledging their need for God, much less Jesus and the Bible. However, looking through the eyes of faith, there is so much potential in Europe, and especially Paris. Over 600,000 students attend universities within the city limits. People from every race and background live there. As the Paris church experiences what North River has as a campus ministry, exciting doors will be opened to inspire faith around the rest of atheistic Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. While at North River, Tom and Cortney have continued year after year to lead summer mission teams to the countries of Europe, encouraging the small churches there. Over the past four years, they have visited and taught in the churches of Dublin, Ireland; Stockholm, Sweden; Milan, Italy; Geneva, Switzerland; Madrid, Spain; Berlin, Germany; Brussels, Belgium; London, England; Kiev, Ukraine; Amsterdam, Netherlands; and Paris and Lyon, France. Our North River family will miss Tom and Cortney greatly, but we are proud to send them off the “Aircraft North River” to continue to love God, love people and change the world. Tom preached at service on April 15, and he and Cortney were ordained as an evangelist and women’s ministry leader in God’s kingdom.