Since the Middle Ages, Father’s Day has been celebrated as a holiday to honour fatherhood, paternal bonds, as well as the influence of fathers in society.
This Father’s day, Benjamin Barker celebrate and honour dads from different walks of life who shared their unique stories on living and leaving a legacy.
Jeremy Seaward, 42
Father of 4 children, 4th generation missionary, 5th generation pastor
Between raising four kids, maintaining an enduring marriage with his wife, Charissa since college, and being an all-around American missionary and pastor, Jeremy is definitely a super dad.
The Seaward Legacy
1919, USA to China
At the formation of Assemblies of God General Council with the original group of missionaries sent to China. Jeremy’s great-grandfather, Harold Hansen (front row, third from right) was home on furlough from China.
1938, China to USA
Jeremy’s great-grandfather, Harold, having been in China for 25 years since 1913 had to return to the USA during World War II as part of prisoners of war exchange. Harold’s son and Jeremy’s grandfather, Fred Seaward (left) with his sister Cleo and cousin Eleanor Seaward.
1968, USA to Singapore
Jeremy’s grandfather, Fred, together with his entire family, are the second generation of missionaries to set foot in Asia. The Seawards - Fred, Rick, Douglas, Pamela, Connie, Margaret and Debbie, together with Polly, a friend in Singapore (right to left).
Victory Family Centre (VFC) was founded by Rick Seaward in 1977 and has since planted over 10,000 churches in 93 countries. The torch was passed to his son, Jeremy, who carried on the legacy of building churches in all nations of the world.
Coming from an illustrious line of missionaries and pastors does not necessarily mean that Jeremy had to step into the big shoes of his forefathers. His parents didn't put him under any pressure. Rather, they were more concerned with laying a firm foundation and living by faith than with his line of work. It was the Word that convicted him at the age of 14 and gave him a sense of vocation and purpose.
“But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned to me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.”
2001, USA to Singapore
The same Word gave Jeremy the confidence to uproot from the United States, pack his bags, and fly to Singapore with Charissa, just two weeks after their wedding.
Four generations of Seaward - Fred, Rick, Jeremy and baby Caleb (left to right)
Rick & Jeremy Seaward, a year before Rick's passing.
"My father had been a source of inspiration to me. He lived out what he believed, set the pace and tone for my life, and was the role model of how to live a meaningful life of significance. In spite of all his travels and hectic schedule, he always made time for family moments. It was a devastating loss when he died four years ago. One of the most difficult things I had to do as a father was to tell my children about his death."
Jeremy is now the Senior Overseer of VFC, Singapore. Together with his wife, Charissa, they have served on the pastoral team for over 20 years, and have a strong desire to see people grow and fulfil their purpose.
The Seawards continue to live the legacy of serving people, whatever the role may be.
Caleb, 17, Jeremy's eldest son and biggest fan
“I’m telling you this straight. The Son can’t independently do a thing, only what He sees the Father doing. What the Father does, the Son does." John 5:19
“The Father loves the Son and includes Him in everything He is doing.” John 5:20
Singapore is where Jeremy and Charissa, who have been married for 21 years, call home. They have four children: Caleb, 17, Megan, 13, Ethan, 10, and Luke, 3.
Big get-togethers were rare, but family was always important.
"Pastoring is unique in that it involves elements of a ‘work' but also who you are, so it never truly stops. I make an effort to ensure we have intentional time just with the family so that it doesn't get lost in the shuffle."
“If I'm with my family, I can completely focus on them. We’d make time to create memories together, whether it's something fun to do locally or on vacation.”
“With 4 kids, I definitely love them all the same! It is amazing how different they all are though. We're still figuring out what is most important to each of them, and we come up with ideas on how to show our love to them."
Jeremy bonds with Caleb, 17 over soccer, social media or helping him with school projects.
Sharing a words of wisdom with Megan, 13.
Hanging out with Ethan, 10 by playing his favourite games or catching movies together.
Luke, 3, just loves any form of attention!