Jac & Bonnie Perrin | Eden Prairie Assembly of God
Pastor Jac Perrin has been known as many things – hairdresser, husband, professor, father, police and fire chaplain, Greek and Hebrew scholar, Doctor of Theology, published author (“Family 13 in John’s Gospel”), and even Santa Claus. Behind that twinkle in his eye and his academic prowess, lies a faithful man of great depth with a lifetime of stories following the Holy Spirit.
Jac grew up in Des Moines, Iowa. He witnessed the effects of mental illness in his parents, traumatic situations, and ultimately the breakdown of their marriage. Family life was more stable when they were going to church, so he kept attending even after they stopped. In high school Jac surmised that youth group was not only good for his mental health, but also for his social life – the First AG youth group in town was the place to find a pretty girl! When his mother moved them out to San Jose, CA, he could think of little else than a certain sweetheart back home. At 16, he hitchhiked across the US back to his hometown and months later married the love of his life, Bonnie. They have two daughters, April and Aimee.
Jac and Bonnie operated their own hairdressing salon and gave out free haircuts to ministers. One day a new minister from his church, Roger Lane, sat down in Jac’s chair and tried to recruit him to join a new program called Evangelism Explosion, training people how to witness. Through their conversation Jac realized he wasn’t saved like he thought. He was devastated. He cancelled the rest of his appointments for the day and spent the next two weeks in prayer and studying the Scriptures. In January 1978 he fully surrendered his life to God and was baptized in the Holy Spirit
a few months later. This changed everything. After two years of discipleship and evangelism training in Iowa, they sold the salon and moved north to attend North Central Bible College (NCBC). God directed his steps from there, often taking over positions that had been unexpectedly vacated. When God opened a door, Jac said yes and faithfully picked up the pieces left behind, building a stronger foundation for the next leader to take the helm. He worked as a Greek teacher and Youth Pastor while in college, served in Associate and Lead Pastor roles in Illinois, and helped build the Youth Ministry Department at NCBC.
“God wires us for different things in life, rather than try and change your temperament, you’re better off discovering how God has wired you and then [serving] within that context. Pastoring is the way God made me.” – Jac Perrin
Restoration ministry isn’t necessarily the kind of ministry you would choose, but the Lord used these situations to prepare Jac for his long-standing role as Lead Pastor at Eden Prairie AG. “God wires us for different things in life,” says Jac. “Rather than try and change your temperament, you’re better off discovering how God has wired you and then [serving] within that context. Pastoring is the way God made me.”
This May marks the 20-year anniversary for Jac and Bonnie at Eden Prairie AG. They took on the church in 1999, after a decade of decline, when the congregation had dwindled from 700 to 40 people. The church has experienced steady, sustainable growth since that time and in 2017 averaged 467 people in Sunday morning attendance. Construction was just completed on a brand- new kids ministry wing (pictured above) and plans are being made for another addition in the near future. They hope these additions will set the church up for future growth. God directs the steps of the faithful, the seeker, and even the hitchhiker.