Dorian Baxter

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The Reverend
Dorian Baxter
Christ the King Graceland Independent Anglican Church of Canada
Ordination 15 May 1983
Personal details
Birth name Dorian Baxter
Born (1950-04-03) 3 April 1950 (age 66)
Mombasa Island, Kenya
Nationality Canadian
Children 2
Alma mater York University, University of Toronto

Dorian Baxter (born 3 April 1950 in Mombasa Island, Kenya) is an Anglican priest in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada who uses the music of Elvis Presley in his services, using the name "The Reverend Elvis Priestly".


Baxter was baptized and confirmed by the first Black Bishop of Mombasa in Mombasa Cathedral. His father, Arthur Baxter, was a major in the British Army and his mother, Ena Baxter, was a corporal. From 1962 to 1967, he competed in the Amateur Boxer in Kenya National Championships, but failed to gain a medal. In 1966, he became the Kenya National Backstroke Champion.[1] Baxter came to Canada, landing on 28 March 1968, moving to Toronto.

Education and ministry[edit]

He obtained his B.A. from York University in humanities and his master's degree in divinity from the University of Toronto. He has been an educator for over 30 years, commencing his career as a classroom teacher with the York County Board of Education in 1970. In 1972, he was invited by the headmaster of St. George's College, Jack Wright, to join the staff. Baxter taught Grades 4 through to 10, coached the school swim teams, and ran the Independent Schools Athletic Association (Swimming) in Ontario.

In 1980 Baxter resigned after a quarrel with the headmaster, a Mr. Allen, who attempted to fire Baxter before the end of the school year. Over 400 parents protested and Baxter was immediately reinstated and an apology letter was written to him by Allen.[citation needed]

At the end of the school year, he resigned and entered Wycliffe College of the Toronto School of Theology at the University of Toronto. He was ordained at St. James' Cathedral on 15 May 1983 after serving as Head of Divinity, elected by the student body at the college. He served as a priest with the Anglican Church of Canada at St. Paul's Church in Thunder Bay, Ontario and as priest-in-charge of the Church of the Holy Spirit in Manitouwadge, Ontario. He then was an associate professor at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

In 1996 Baxter began incorporating the music and look of Elvis Presley into his services. That year, he won the Canadian Showstopper at the Collingwood Elvis Festival. In 1997 he won the Grand Champion of Showstoppers at that same festival. After that year, festival founder Billy Cann was ousted and control given to the town's business groups, a decision which Baxter objected to before Collingwood Town Council. Baxter joined Cann to establish a competing Elvis festival in Orillia and has since refused to return to the Collingwood festival.[2]

In 1998, Bishop Ronald Ferris of the Diocese of Algoma removed Baxter from his parish and revoked his license to perform Anglican weddings because of his use of Elvis in Anglican services, saying it was "in poor taste".[citation needed] In 2002, the church revoked his invitation to be the keynote preacher at a Masonic service in a Toronto Anglican church. Baxter has said he found this particularly difficult, as he has been a Freemason for more than 25 years and was Worshipful Master of his lodge in 1980. Baxter attended the service anyway.[3]

Baxter says that the controversy re: Collingwood originated when the media reported that Yvonne Prince had falsely told reporters he performed weddings and funerals dressed as Elvis, which he denies doing. Instead, he says, he performs the services in traditional clerical garb and changes into the Elvis clothes for the reception. He is now fully recognized federally and provincially as the Archbishop of the Federation of Independent Anglican Churches of North America. As the governing authority of this federation, Baxter legally performs weddings himself and licenses his own priests and bishops to perform such weddings.

In 2003, he set up an independent church, Christ the King Graceland Independent Anglican Church of Canada, in Newmarket, Ontario, where he continues to conduct services using Presley's music, with his signature Elvis pompadour and sideburns. Baxter was consecrated on 9 March 2003 in Newmarket by the Rt. Rev'd Christopher Andrew Jukes of Calgary, Alberta, who at that time was a bishop in the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches, using the traditional ordinal of the Book of Common Prayer (1962 Canada). He also established the Federation of Independent Anglican Churches of North America with himself as archbishop; this organisation was incorporated by Federal Canadian Letters Patent on 1 October 2003.[3]

Political Life[edit]

Baxter has run for federal Parliament four times in the riding of Newmarket-Aurora, under the Progressive Canadian Party banner. In the 2004 federal election, he received 1,079 votes, placing last out of five candidates. In the 2006 election he received 729 votes, and in the 2008 election he received 1,004 votes. He placed fifth out of six candidates in both 2006 and 2008. In the 2011 election, he received 1,001 votes, placing fifth out of six candidates, surpassing only Yvonne Mackie of the Animal Alliance Environment party. Baxter also ran in the 2010 byelection in the riding of Vaughan, finishing seventh of out eight candidates with 110 votes.

He founded NAPPA (The National Association for Public and Private Accountability)[4] after an 11-year battle with the Canada Children's Aid Society over custody of his two daughters.[5][6]

Baxter serves as official Padre to the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 426.

Electoral record[edit]

Canadian federal election, 2015
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Liberal Kyle Peterson 25,508 45.18 +21.47
Conservative Lois Brown 24,057 42.61 −11.45
New Democratic Yvonne Kelly 4,806 8.51 −7.28
Green Vanessa Long 1,331 2.36 −2.03
Progressive Canadian Dorian Baxter 762 1.35
Total valid votes/Expense limit 56,464 100.00   $219,391.75
Total rejected ballots 257 0.45
Turnout 56,721 68.25
Eligible voters 83,108
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing +16.46
Source: Elections Canada[7][8][9]
2014 Newmarket Mayoral Eelction [10] Vote[11]  %
Tony Van Bynen (X) 10,816 54.01
Chris Campbell 7,804 38.97
Dorian Baxter 1,407 7.03
Ontario general election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Liberal Chris Ballard 22,942 43.80 +8.18
Progressive Conservative Jane Twinney 19,510 37.25 -9.99
New Democratic Angus Duff 6,092 11.63 -2.73
Green Andrew Roblin 2,167 4.14 +1.37
Canadians' Choice Dorian Baxter 925 1.77
Libertarian Jason Jenkins 579 1.11
Trillium Party of Ontario Bob Yaciuk 164 0.31
Total valid votes 52,379 100.00
Liberal gain from Progressive Conservative Swing +9.09
Source: Elections Ontario[12]
Canadian federal by-election, November 25, 2013: Toronto Centre
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Liberal Chrystia Freeland 17,194 49.38 +8.37 $ 97,609.64
New Democratic Linda McQuaig 12,640 36.30 +6.09 99,230.30
Conservative Geoff Pollock 3,004 8.63 −14.01 75,557.39
Green John Deverell 1,034 2.97 −2.05 21,521.10
Progressive Canadian Dorian Baxter 453 1.30   –    
Libertarian Judi Falardeau 236 0.68 +0.18 –    
Independent Kevin Clarke 84 0.24   560.00
Independent John "The Engineer" Turmel 56 0.16   –    
Independent Leslie Bory 51 0.15   633.30
Online Party Michael Nicula 43 0.12   200.00
Independent Bahman Yazdanfar 26 0.07 −0.12 1,134.60
Total valid votes/Expense limit 34,821 100.0   –   $ 101,793.06
Total rejected ballots 177 0.51 +0.12
Turnout 34,998 38.20 −24.73
Eligible voters 91,612    
Liberal hold Swing +1.94
By-election due to the resignation of Bob Rae.

Canadian federal by-election, Toronto-Danforth: March 19, 2012
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
New Democratic Craig Scott 19,210 59.4
Liberal Grant Gordon 9,215 28.5
Conservative Andrew Keyes 1,736 5.4
Green Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu 1,517 4.7
Progressive Canadian Dorian Baxter 207 0.6
Libertarian John Christopher Recker 133 0.4
Canadian Action Christopher Porter 77 0.2
Independent Leslie Bory 76 0.2
Independent John Turmel 57 0.2
United Brian Jedan 54 0.2
Independent Bahman Yazdanfar 36 0.1
Total valid votes/Expense limit 32,318 100.00
Total rejected ballots
Turnout 32,318 43.4

Canadian federal election, 2011: Newmarket—Aurora
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Conservative Lois Brown 31,600 54.29 +7.56
Liberal Kyle Peterson 13,908 23.90 −10.39
New Democratic Kassandra Bidarian 8,886 15.27 +6.80
Green Vanessa Long 2,628 4.52 −3.71
Progressive Canadian Dorian Baxter 998 1.71 −0.18
Animal Alliance Yvonne Mackie 182 0.31  
Total valid votes 58,202 100.00
Total rejected ballots 219 0.37
Turnout 58,421 64.01
Eligible voters 91,275

Canadian federal election, 2008: Newmarket—Aurora
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Conservative Lois Brown 24,873 46.73 +8.68
Liberal Tim Jones 18,250 34.29 −11.93
New Democratic Mike Seaward 4,508 8.47 −1.12
Green Glenn Hubbers 4,381 8.23 +3.46
Progressive Canadian Dorian Baxter 1,004 1.89 +0.65
Christian Heritage Ray Luff 211 0.40  

Canadian federal election, 2006: Newmarket—Aurora
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Liberal Belinda Stronach 27,176 46.22 +5.14
Conservative Lois Brown 22,371 38.05 −4.37
New Democratic Ed Chudak 5,639 9.59 −0.34
Green Glenn Hubbers 2,805 4.77 +0.30
Progressive Canadian Dorian Baxter 729 1.24 −0.86
Canadian Action Peter Maloney 79 0.13  

Canadian federal election, 2004: Newmarket—Aurora
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Conservative Belinda Stronach 21,818 42.42 −2.43
Liberal Martha Hall Findlay 21,129 41.08 −9.48
New Democratic Ed Chudak 5,111 9.93 +6.18
Green Daryl Wyatt 2,298 4.47
Progressive Canadian Dorian Baxter 1,079 2.10
Total valid votes 51,435 100.00
Change is from redistributed 2000 results. Conservative change is from the total of Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative votes.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Connelly, Charlie (7 January 2007). "In Elvis we trust". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 6 June 2011. 
  2. ^ "Hail to the King: Elvis festival celebrates 15th anniversary". / Metroland Media Group. 22 July 2009. Retrieved 5 April 2011. 
  3. ^ a b [1][permanent dead link]
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ [3] Archived 28 January 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ [4]
  7. ^ Elections Canada – Confirmed candidates for Newmarket—Aurora, 30 September 2015
  8. ^ Elections Canada – Preliminary Election Expenses Limits for Candidates Archived 15 August 2015 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ "Election Night Results". Elections Canada. Retrieved 20 October 2015. 
  10. ^ "2014 Registered Candidates". Archived from the original on October 22, 2014. Retrieved 16 October 2014. 
  11. ^ Simon, Chris (27 October 2014). "Newmarket Mayor Tony Van Bynen, Regional Councillor John Taylor convincingly win re-election". Newmarket Era. Retrieved 29 October 2014. 
  12. ^ Elections Ontario. "General Election Results by District, 053 Newmarket-Aurora". Archived from the original on 14 June 2014. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 

External links[edit]