Canadian Baptists of Western Canada

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Canadian Baptists of Western Canada
Classification Protestant
Polity Congregational
Region Western Canada
Origin 1860
Manitoba
Congregations 175
Members 20,000

The Canadian Baptists of Western Canada, formerly the Baptist Union of Western Canada, is a moderate Christian denomination with churches in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan,[1]Manitoba, Yukon Territories and the Northwest Territories. The group's theological positions are evangelical.[2]

History[edit]

Baptists in western Canada began in Manitoba in the 1860s, organizing formally in 1884 with the establishment of the Baptist Convention of Manitoba and the Northwest.[3] In 1897, British Columbian Baptists organized their own Convention.[4] These Conventions, and others, united to form the Baptist Convention of Western Canada in 1907,[5] representing 201 churches and 11,000 congregants.[6] The name was changed to the Baptist Union of Western Canada (BUWC) in 1909,[7] by which it was known until 2007. In 1944, the BUWC joined with the United Baptist Convention of the Maritimes and the Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec to form the Baptist Federation of Canada (BFC) as a national coordinating body.[8] It was joined by l'Union d'Eglises Baptistes Francaises au Canada in 1970.[9] These four bodies remained federated until 1995 when the federation, by now renamed Canadian Baptist Federation (CBF), merged with Canadian Baptist Ministries, which now functions as the shared outreach arm of all four associations.[10][11]

In 2007, the BUWC changed its name to the Canadian Baptists of Western Canada to better reflect its national identity and western focus.[12]

Key figures in CBWC history include: Tommy Douglas, a Baptist Minister in Weyburn Saskatchewan and healthcare reforming politician, William Aberhart (Bible Bill), an Albertan radio personality and Albertan Premier. Prime Minister John Diefenbaker was also a Canadian Baptist.[13]

Key beliefs[edit]

Key beliefs include:[14]

  • Christian faith arises from choosing a personal relationship with Christ
  • The priesthood of all believers
  • Believers baptism, usually by full immersion, rather than infant baptism
  • There are two ordinances: baptism and communion
  • Separation of church and state
  • Voluntary association of churches
  • Commitment to evangelism and social justice

They have ordained female pastors since 1959.[15]

Organization[edit]

The Canadian Baptists of Western Canada is organized into three regions: British Columbia and the Yukon, Alberta and the NWT, the Heartland of Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The work of the denomination is overseen by the Executive Minister, three Regional Ministers and various ministry and administrative staff. A Board of Directors elected from member churches at a bi-annual Assembly is responsible for the overall governance of the CBWC. The CBWC’s head offices are in Calgary, Alberta.

Affiliations and associated ministries[edit]

The Canadian Baptists of Western Canada belong to the Baptist World Alliance, a global fellowship of 214 Baptist conventions and unions sharing a common faith.

Sister denominations in Canada include the Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec, l'Union d'Églises Baptistes Françaises au Canada, and the Convention of Atlantic Baptist Churches.[16] With these sister denominations, the CBWC shares oversight of Canadian Baptist Ministries, an agency for international missions, relief and development.

Carey Theological College in Vancouver provides much of the denomination’s graduate level theological training for pastors and lay leaders.[17] The William Carey Institute in Vancouver provides undergraduate training.

The CBWC owns or is affiliated with six children’s camps across Western Canada: Keats Camps in BC, Gull Lake Centre, Mill Creek Baptist Camp and Camp Wapiti in Alberta, and The Quest at Christopher Lake and Katepwa Baptist Kamp in Saskatchewan.

Food banks and ministries to vulnerable or impoverished people operate under the auspices of Canadian Baptist churches known as the Mustard Seed in Calgary, Edmonton and Victoria. Many other CBWC churches run community outreach ministries in their communities.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Harry Renfree. Heritage and Horizon: The Baptist Story in Canada, p. 211.
  2. ^ Jones, William H. (1980). What Canadian Baptists Believe. Niagara Falls, Ont.: JBTS Publishing House. pp. 2–3. ISBN 0-919151-00-0. OCLC 8950808. 
  3. ^ J.E. Harris. The Baptist Union of Western Canada, St. John: Lingley Printing, 1976, p. 26
  4. ^ Margaret E. Thompson. The Baptist Story in Western Canada. Calgary: Baptist Union of Western Canada, pp. 107-110.
  5. ^ J.E. Harris, The Bpaits Union of Western Canada, p. 55.
  6. ^ Bentall, Shirley (1975). Buckboard to brotherhood : the Baptist churches in Calgary. Calgary, Alberta: Century Calgary Publications. p. 12. 
  7. ^ J.E. Harris. The Baptist Union of Western Canada, p. 56.
  8. ^ J.E. Harris, The Baptist Union of Western Canada, p. 116.
  9. ^ Harry Renfree. Heritage and Horizon. The Baptist Story in Canada. Mississauga: Canadian Baptist Federation, 1988. p. 275.
  10. ^ Wardin, Albert W. (1995). Baptists Around the World: A Comprehensive Handbook. Nashville, Tenn.: Broadman & Holman. ISBN 978-0-8054-1076-1. 
  11. ^ McBeth, H. Leon (1987). The Baptist Heritage: Four Century of Baptist Witness. Nashville, Tenn.: Broadman Press. ISBN 978-0-8054-6569-3. 
  12. ^ Annual Report to Biennial Assembly. Canadian Baptists of Western Canada. April 2007. p. 1. 
  13. ^ Renfree, Harry A. (1987). Heritage & Horizon: The Baptist Story in Canada. Mississauga, Ont.: Canadian Baptist Federation. pp. 229–300. ISBN 978-0-921796-00-8. 
  14. ^ Jones, William H. (1980). What Canadian Baptists Believe. Niagara Falls, Ont.: JBTS Publishing House. ISBN 0-919151-00-0. OCLC 8950808. 
  15. ^ Harris, Joseph Edwin (1977). The Baptist Union of Western Canada: A Centennial History, 1873–1973. Saint John, N.B: Lingley Print. Co. p. 135. OCLC 4857407. 
  16. ^ Harry Renfree. Heritage and HorizonA: The Baptist Story in Canada, p. 275.
  17. ^ Harry Renfree. Heritage and Horizon: The Baptist Story in Canada. pp.338-339.

External links[edit]