James Brian Vaughan

February 3, 1945November 3, 2018
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James “Brian” Vaughan entered fully into the presence of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on November 3, 2018.

He was husband and best friend to his beloved wife Cheryl (nee Trelenberg) for 37 years, and the father of five sons, Jason (Michelle), Jarrett (Ashley), Jamie (Nicole), Justin (Brenda), Joel (Tanesha) and the proud “Granddad” of twelve grandchildren. Brian was born in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. He grew up in Truro, Nova Scotia and he graduated from St Francis Xavier University with a degree in Commerce. He then moved to California and graduated from Long Beach State University with a degree in Business Administration.

During the Vietnam War he enlisted in the US Navy and was stationed in the Philippines. It was after he returned from a tour of duty that he felt compelled to attend a Billy Graham Crusade in Anaheim, California. Making his way from the top bleachers he surrendered his life to Christ. Forever changed, this tall soft-spoken man became a champion for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

He moved back to Canada and settled in Chilliwack, bringing the very first McDonalds Restaurant, which he owned and operated for 20 years, and is still located on Luckakuck Way. During this time he met and married the love of his life Cheryl. It was during this period while raising a family and managing a business that he also obtained a degree in Pastoral Theology from Summit Pacific Bible College (formerly Western Pentecostal Bible College).

In 1994 the Lord called Brian out of the business sector to establish the Jesus Film Project as a part of Campus Crusade for Christ Canada. Brian gave leadership to this ministry for 11 years. During this time he and his team successfully translated and distributed new JESUS films in 250 unreached languages, and raised millions of dollars with over 3 million people coming to Christ directly as a result of the films being shown globally. He then served as Vice President of Development for Global PartnerLink, a division of Wycliffe Bible Translators of Canada Inc., where they translated the bible to reach over 170 people groups. Until he passed, he served as CEO for Great Commission Media Ministries (GCM Ministries) raising money for city wide media campaigns and assisting in building evangelism and church-planting. These campaigns have reached over 207 million people, with thousands from each city responding to the Gospel message.

Little did he know when he stepped off the bleachers to accept Christ as his Lord and Savior in 1969 that he would be forever changed, forever challenged and forever grateful. Over his 50 years of ministry Brian has been committed to making Jesus’ last command, his first priority. (Matthew 28:18-20) He lived his life with passion, intention and purpose, and impacted millions of lives for the Gospel.

Visitation will be held on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 from 6:00 pm to 7 :00 pm at Woodlawn Mt. Cheam Funeral Home, 45865 Hocking Ave. Chilliwack.

A Celebration of Brian’s life will be held on Wednesday, November 14, 2018 at 1:00 pm, at First Ave Christian Assembly, 46510 First Avenue, Chilliwack.


  • Visitation Tuesday, November 13, 2018
  • Celebration of Life Service Wednesday, November 14, 2018

James Brian Vaughan

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Darin Latham

November 30, 2018

Cheryl (and family),

I just heard today of Brian’s passing weeks ago. If I had known, I would certainly have joined with you to celebrate his life and honour our Lord.

Brian was an incredible man. He was a rare breed: a true ‘statesman’ for Christ. I was privileged to call him a friend.

Know you are in the prayers of many.

Nancy Green

November 25, 2018

Dear Cheryl, I remember well meeting you! How wonderful to see the family photo! So glad you have your sons to care for you! Be assured of my continuing prayers for you as you adjust to life without your dear Brian.
Love in Jesus, Jim & Nan

Keith Wheeler

November 13, 2018

I had the privilege of meeting Brian & Cheryl on a visit to the Holy Land just over ten years ago. I was so blessed by their obvious love for Jesus and others! Over the years, though I never at the privilege of seeing Brian again, we continued our friendship over the telephone and through the Internet. I remember calling him a couple of times and catching him in his time of prayer down by the river. Oh, how he loved to pray and talk with Jesus! Every time we visited he would ask about my children and wife by name…I knew he was brilliant, but I was amazed at how many details he remembered. On our last phone call, I apologized that I wasn’t able to remember so many details and facts about him, his family and ministry. He laughed and explained that he kept all of this in his prayer journal. He was such a wonderful man – an encouragement and inspiration! Truly, a man after God’s own heart! I loved his humility and gentleness…just like Jesus! I’m so thankful for the example and gift Brian was to me and to so many around the world!

I know that Brian is rejoicing and worshiping our King Jesus in wonder at this moment, but my wife and I pray for you and your family, dear Cheryl. We pray that our precious Holy Spirit will comfort you & be near each of you like you've never known before! We pray that Jesus will be more real and His presence more near than you've ever imagined! May He guard you & your family's hearts and minds with His perfect peace! And may He carry you during this time in those big arms that He stretched out on the cross for us! I pray that this will be a special time as your family comes together and remembers & celebrates a life well lived! We love you! God bless you!

Gloria Olson

November 7, 2018

I worked with Brian at the Jesus Film Project and really enjoyed his sense of humor and his dedication to raising money for translations of the Jesus film all around the world! My life was enriched by knowing him and working as his Executive Assistant and Manager of Communications of the Jesus Film. My condolences to Cheryl and all his family. He will be missed!


Mother with Baby Brian


Brian & Dale


Brian in the US Navy