Jon have been blessed and privileged in having been called by Sovereign Grace Baptist Church as the congregation's pastor. He has now been the pastor there since January 2009.
After fruitful pastoral ministries to the Aleut people of the remote Alaskan fishing village of King Cove (King Cove Bible Chapel) and to the Yup'ik Eskimos of the remote Alaskan fishing village of Scammon Bay (Scammon Bay Covenant Church), he and his family had to leave Alaska on January 23, 2008 when symptoms that were once thought to be Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (aka ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease), began to manifest in 2006.
After extensive testing at Loma Linda University Medical Center, and continued testing at Jerry L. Pettis Memorial VA Medical Center in California and Birmingham VA Medical Center in Alabama, a diagnosis has been slow to come. When it did, it was rescinded. Finally, on June 3, 2010, though the symptoms are just like those of ALS, it has been determined that his ailments cannot be identified (see the article “My Light, Unidentified Affliction”). With the medication he have been prescribed, he has been able to continue to minister with only light affliction, by God's grace.
JON'S PERSONAL TESTIMONY...
He was born in San Diego, California to Ronald J. Cardwell and Leticia O. on August 25, 1960. His father, a navy man, passed away in 1963 while in military service. His mother married another sailor 3 years later. As a result, the family moved all over the country. By the time he graduated from high school in southern California, he wanted to travel again. He dropped out of Riverside Community College in the spring of 1979 and joined the navy with hopes of being a “frogman.”
Climbing the ranks quickly, Jon found favor with his superiors in the navy diving community; yet, he was empty and troubled. Assigned as a 2nd Class Diver onboard the U.S.S. McKee in 1984, God surrounded him with Christians who "loved me, prayed for me, and answered any questions that I had." For the entire month of May 1985 he was under conviction as a hopeless sinner doomed to eternal punishment. On June 3, 1985, after nine months of Christian witness and conviction from the Holy Spirit, he sought out one of the Christians, Electrician’s Mate 3rd Class Vincent Lawrence. He asked Vince to pray for him because if he didn't repent, "I knew that I was utterly and eternally lost; yet, I also knew that I couldn't possibly repent until God changed me and made me capable of repenting." Vince invited Jon to kneel and pray with him. As they knelt together in the divers’ berthing compartment, he supposed that he was repeating Vince's words; however, he know he didn't hear a word Vince said until the very last "amen." While kneeling with closed eyes, Jon KNEW that he was a totally depraved sinner with no hope; yet because God poured out His just and holy wrath upon Jesus Christ for his sins, and that Jesus lovingly and willingly paid that price for his sins, that God made him right with Himself by what He accomplished on the Cross of Calvary. From the depth of his soul Jon groaned for forgiveness by Christ's atoning blood, and in a moment, an indescribable peace came to him. Jon remembered saying, "amen," and opening my eyes, he stood up as a new man. He was different. He was transformed. It was noticeable to the other divers he worked with. Although he couldn't understand all of it, he had a love for God's Word and couldn't stop reading it. He also had a love for God's people and wanted to be around them whenever he could.
JON'S PREVIOUS PASTORATES...
Scammon Bay Covenant Church, Scammon Bay, Alaska
King Cove Bible Chapel, King Cove, Alaska
First Filipino Methodist Church, Riverside, California
For more information about Jon Cardwell, go to his personal blog, JustificationbyGrace.com. CLICK HERE to read more about his background and beliefs.