Pastor Randy

Just after noon today, at 12:12 pm, Randy Jost received the “upward call” and traded earth for heaven (Phil 3:14). This afternoon Linda and I took a long walk in the country to shed tears and savour memories.

Where do I start to unpack what’s in my heart?

I had the joy of working alongside Randy at the Metropolitan Bible Church for almost 15 years–from 1998 through 2012. The first time I met Randy (during the infamous Ice Storm of 1998), he described himself as a “GP pastor”– a “general practitioner” in ministry. Indeed, he excelled in many different aspects of pastoral ministry: leading musical worship, overseeing Senior Adults, running Alpha courses, visiting the sick and hospitalized (including visiting me when I had cancer surgery). Beyond all this, Randy brought a seasoned, godly wisdom to staff and Board deliberations. When I faced a difficult decision in ministry, I would always seek out his insight and counsel.

So many memories flood my mind and heart today as I reflect on Randy’s life and legacy. My favourite recollections center on seeing Randy in front of the congregation. I can still see him warmly welcoming everyone and then leading the musical worship. When Randy sang, I sensed the presence of God. His heart, life, and rich baritone voice blended in a moving, memorable way.

I also remember all the Christmas Eve services where the Jost family (Randy, Ev, Heidi, Jared, Lyndon, and Nate) sang a family musical number (I called them “the Von Jost Family Singers”). Our family also would prepare a special song each Christmas. So during the multiple Christmas Eve services each year, our two families were present from start to finish. When the last service wrapped up, we all shared a mixture of exhaustion and elation.

What made it especially sweet to serve with Randy was his steady and strong friendship. One couple at the Met told me the story of their first Sunday at the church. They arrived at the Met one Sunday right before the start of the service. Randy and I were sitting together in the front row, covering final details before the service started. This couple had come from a church where relationships on the staff were tense and divided. They said they could tell from the way Randy and I interacted that we were friends. They were right.

I like to call Randy “the voice of the Met.” For 31 years, his voice was a calming, steady presence for the congregation. Five senior pastors have served over the last three decades, Randy was loved and respected by each one.

This morning, shortly before noon, I was able to speak to his dear wife Evelyn and pray over Randy. She was by his side, as she has been for their 41 years of marriage. A few minutes after we spoke, the Lord called Randy Home.

Along with the grief, I am left with a deep sense of gratitude for Pastor Randy’s life and lifelong ministry. I join with many others in thanking God for Randy’s impact on my life and those in my family.

Last August, on a picnic with Randy and Ev, Linda and I were able to express our affection and appreciation for them. As I told Randy then–and repeated to Evelyn today–serving with Randy will always remain one of my greatest joys in ministry.

27 comments

  1. So grateful for your words to express what our hearts are feeling. It’s hard to find then in times of emotion like this. Grateful with you for the years we experienced God’s blessing and direction through Randy. A good and faithful servant

  2. Dear Pastor Rick,
    This is Fion from The MET.
    It’s such a comfort to read your post at this difficult time. It warms my heart in the midst of grieving. You brought back lots of fond memories uniquely from The MET.
    Pastor Randy was a good and faithful servant!
    Pastor Rick and Linda, take care and stay safe!
    In Him,
    Fion

  3. We mourn the loss of a Godly man and friend. Randy dedicated our youngest daughter to the Lord. He will always be the voice of The Met. More than that, a one of a kind servant. 💔

  4. Randy was not just the voice of the Met but the heart. His journey to heaven this day will leave many sad hearts behind.

  5. Randy and I shared many wonderful times of ministry together. For many years Ottawa pastors shared together, under the banner of the Ottawa Evangelical Ministerium, the annual . Towards the end of that era, for a few years, most of the planning for that week of city-wide ministry fell into the hands of Randy and myself. What a joy it was to plan, pray, organize and fellowship together as those meetings were organized, speakers selected and participants chosen. Randy faithfully lived out his personal commitment to the Lord while at the same time holding a firm, biblical perspective on the wider Christian Church. Though Randy was well known and respected for his varied ministry throughout the city, he was faithful in so many ways that only eternity will reveal. After a friend leaves for Glory, it seems strange to remember little moments of friendship – yet I cherish a few simple times of shared together. That day will come when the Lord will bless Randy with . If I may be so bold, I would confirm his legacy with that same phrase now. Connie and I pray that Evelyn and family may know the peace and comfort of our Lord during this time of grief – which is tempered by hope and assurance! See you in Heaven, my friend. Wilf Wight

  6. Thank you Pastor Rick for your beautiful and poignant memoire of my father. I can’t believe how you summed it all up! I’m so blessed to know you prayed for my Dad just before he died. You and Linda are so special and I pray God continues to give you a long and fruitful ministry together. God bless you, Heidi

    1. Heidi, I am so sorry for your loss. Your dad was such a man of God and a gift to all of us. He will be greatly missed. We will be praying for you and your family in this season of loss.

  7. I was Pastor Randy’s secretary at the Met when it was still on Bank St. My favorite memory of that time was hearing him and Pastor Lyle singing in the stairways. The acoustics were perfect for singing. He also served at my grandmother’s funeral with such tenderness and care for my family. The earth will miss Pastor Randy but the heavens are rejoicing. We surround his family in loving prayer.

  8. I have great memories of Pastor Randy. Dr. Rick Reed and Pastor Randy were the first men to mentor me at The Met. I loved being led in worship by Pastor Randy with his deep voice echoing in the sanctuary. I spent time with him in Alpha and the Fight Club as well. I thank God for men like Pastor Randy who were placed in my life. Heavens reunion will be amazing!

  9. Thank you for your tribute to Pastor Randy – you summed up Randy’s ministry perfectly – thank you.

  10. Thank-you so much Rick for your post. It was a wonderful tribute to Randy, who served so faithfully for those 31 years. We have so many sweet memories flooding our minds. One of them i just remembered this morning was when Wendy and I were having our 20th anniversary trip out near Banff after the AGC Conference in Calgary. We were standing at Lake Louise during one of those moments we wished could last forever, when all of a sudden we heard a familiar deep voice behind us. It was Randy and Evelyn, who were also taking a few days of vacation after conference! It was so fun to see them both. That scene gives me a little glimpse of heaven … except when we all get together on that glorious day, and as we bask in the glow of our Saviour, it will never end!

  11. Randy touch our life through his warm heart and smiling face. We will continue to treasure his memory.

  12. I had the chance to know Pastor closely; he is a man of God who served the Lord with a humble and Big Heart.
    Revelation 21: 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. ”

  13. Thank you Pastor Reed for your kind words. I knew Randy as a young man growing up at the Met and had the joy of seeing him become a wonderful, much loved Pastor. His ministry touched and changed many lives. He will be missed. Our loss andHeaven’s gain.

  14. Thank you Rick and Linda for a beautiful tribute to Randy a man that we all loved and had NO enemies. I remember when coming to the Met how Rick you introduced me to Randy in March of 2000 as a man with no guile, a man who is pure and upstanding. And that was so true of this friend. He has been a blessing to so many and a loving friend to so many of us. The tears have flown steadily since hearing the news yesterday. He loved his family so well and was so proud of his grandkids. Everyone of them were announced on the Sunday morning after they arrived, I have to admit I was a little jealous that he could always share his good news of a grandchild being born with the congregation and I didn’t have that priviledge. But he always was full of joy. Even in his last days his prayers were so focused on the Met family and leadership as I know his family as well. We were all humbled by Randy and his faithful life living for Jesus. Love you and Linda, Ron Rudd

  15. Thank you Pastor Rick for your words and tribute for Pastor Randy. He was always so gracious and kind in every interaction and his smile and joy filled the room. His impact for the Kingdom is more than any of us can imagine and continues to live on even in his absence. It’s so hard to believe that he’s gone but I rejoice in the fact that he received the heavenly call and know with confidence that he’s now in glory. Until we meet again,

  16. Thanks pastor Rick for summing up what so many are feeling.
    All of our hearts are broken for his family but we rejoice that he is with our Lord.
    May you continue to be a blessing to many as you always have been.

  17. I never had the pleasure of meeting Pastor Randy, but I take great joy in having his daughter, Heidi, as a musical colleague. In reading this account, and the tributes so many have offered to this holy man, I can tell that the world is a poorer place without him. Keep watch, for we know not the hour.

  18. Thank you for describing Pastor Randy so beautifully. He was such a loving, caring and godly man and truly loved by all. He married both of our daughters of which we have fond memories. Bob enjoyed working with him on the board over the years and will miss his friendship as well. We are saddened but know he is no longer suffering and with the One whom he loved. Our prayers will continue for Ev and the family.

  19. A kind and compassionate man who walked with God. God’s Spirit shone through him. It was a privilege to have known Randy. My love and prayers go out to all who grieve his passing, especially his beautiful wife Evelyn and his precious children and grandchildren.

  20. I was twelve years old when Pastor Jost Sr and his family arrived at The Met. My Sunday School teacher, Irene Williams, asked me to sit beside Brenda, Randy’s eldest sister, and help her to feel welcomed. Evelyn, Irene’s daughter and eventually Randy’s wife, sat in the same row of chairs with us. I didn’t know that day that these two families would change my life.

    Irene taught us from a Bible that was worn from use. Occasionally the pages would fall on to the floor and we’d help to gather them for her. When I asked why she didn’t purchase a new Bible, she responded that she was so familiar with that version she was able to locate whatever verse she needed.

    I thought of our Youth Group as “the best ever”. Those five unique years had their own special rythm with summer retreats held at Fair Havens and winters’ at Word of Life. Wednesday nights we met to study scripture with John Gowling and then rendez voused at McDonalds. Friday nights the girls sat on the steel bleachers to watch our brothers and friends challenge other local churches at hockey. Saturdays found us together enjoying the simple pastimes of teenagers: minature golf, soft ball games at Landsdown Park, bowling, ice skating, or entertaining one another at talent nights in Fellowship Hall. On Sunday afternoons, Pastor Jost practiced with the Youth Choir with Randy singing barratone along with his close friends Fred Tanner and Ray Moberg, Evelyn with the sopranos, and Brenda with the altos. Our rendition of “Come Holy Spirit” still echoes in my memory.

    Innumerable days and evenings were spent at the Jost’s home in Pinecrest. Those times were filled with laughter, bowls of popcorn, charades, and board games. The friendships forged in those formative years remain firm. Randy was already quietly distinguished by his kindness, loyalty to friends, integrity, and leadership. Even then it was obvious that Randy had accepted God’s call to His service. He worked with Ward Tresham in the sound room to tape the services, and participated in producing The Met’s t.v. show “Share”.

    Randy and Evelyn soon became high school sweet hearts. Their love for one another neither waned nor waivered. After high school many from our group headed to Bible Colleges. Randy was among those who went west to Briarcrest, others of us headed south to Washington Bible College, while Evelyn and Brenda departed to Francis Shaeffer’s teaching ministry L’Abri in Sweden. In 1979 Randy and Evelyn married at The Met with Pastor Jost officiating. Then life took our Youth Group friends to multiple professions and locations.

    Whenever holidays came and we were “home” for Easters, Christmas, and one another’s weddings, our reunions were filled with fond reminiscing. Randy grew in wisdom, but retained his boundless humour. Who can forget Randy, Barbara, Beth and friends performing a spontaneous flash dance at Brenda and Daryl’s wedding reception? Without any hint of self consciousness, Randy sported a pink flag, waving it back and forth as he sang.

    Years passed and we introduced our children to one another. Time fast forwarded and we began sharing photographs of our children’s weddings and then the births of our grandchildren. No one was a prouder Dad or Grandpa than Randy. The bond Randy and Evelyn had sown within their family resounded from those images of Jared, Heidi and Lyndon.

    In time, our beloved parents, the cornerstones of The Met, left this life and entered heaven. For both my Father and Mother, Randy officiated at their memorial services. Shared with compassion and gentle humour, Randy recounted times he and Evelyn shared with them. And then he stood with us at their gravesides to commit their bodies to the earth. Following his benediction, Randy walked to me, each of my seven siblings, our spouses, and children to express his sympathy and to embrace us. His genuine care helped ease the sorrow of those solemn moments.

    And now the time has come for Randy to join the saints that have gone before him. We have memories of times shared, wisdom and grace imparted, his example of how to genuinely follow Christ, love one’s spouse and family, honour both parents and in-laws, and selflessly serve others.

    Thank you, Lord Jesus, for giving us the friendship and leadership of our brother Randy.

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