Lois Miriam Wilson

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Lois Miriam Wilson

Moderator of the United Church of Canada
In office
Preceded byGeorge M. Tuttle
Succeeded byW. Clarke MacDonald
Senator from Toronto, Ontario
In office
Chancellor of Lakehead University
In office
Personal details
Lois Freeman

(1927-04-08) April 8, 1927 (age 93)
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Political partyIndependent

Lois Miriam Wilson CC OOnt (born Lois Freeman; April 8, 1927) was the first female Moderator of the United Church of Canada, from 1980 to 1982. She was ordained a United Church minister in 1965, her husband having previously been ordained a United Church minister. From 1983 to 1989 she served as co-director of the Ecumenical Forum of Canada and also served as a president of the Canadian Council of Churches (1976-1979) as well as the World Council of Churches (1983-1991). A close friend of the noted Canadian novelist Margaret Laurence, she participated in several public forums with Laurence and presided at Laurence's 1986 funeral.

Wilson is a graduate of the University of Winnipeg, completing a Bachelor of Arts degree (1947; United College) and a Masters of Divinity (1950). She served in team ministry with her husband in United Church pastoral charges in Winnipeg, (’54-’60), Thunder Bay, (’60-69), Hamilton (’69-’78) and Kingston (’78-’80). Wilson was a board member of First Place, Hamilton from 1969-1977.

Wilson was active in the Student Christian Movement of Canada, as Student President in Manitoba (1944–46) and on the national level, and continues to be active in the World Student Christian Federation today. From 1967-1968, Wilson was the director of Town Talk, Thunder Bay, an innovative ecumenically sponsored program, utilizing all media, inviting citizens to publicly discuss issues affecting the future of their city. In 1984, she was a commentator for CBC on the Pope's visit to Canada.

A Companion of the Order of Canada, she was the 1985 recipient of the Pearson Medal of Peace. She is also a member of the Order of Ontario and a director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, who honoured her in 2014 for her public engagement.

In 1998 she was appointed to the Senate of Canada upon the recommendation of Jean Chrétien. She served in the chamber as an Independent until her retirement in 2002. She has held several other Canadian government appointments, including as a panel member of Environmental Assessment of the Disposal of Nuclear Waste (1989-1997).

From 1990 to 2000, she was the Chancellor of Lakehead University.[1]

She currently serves as Distinguished Minister in Residence at Emmanuel College, Toronto at University of Toronto.

She has four children, twelve grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

She is the author of 9 books including, Turning the World Upside Down: A Memoir (Toronto: Doubleday Canada, 1989) and I Want to Be in That Number - Cool Saints I Have Known (Toronto: self-published, 2014). She also wrote the first chapter of Transforming the Faiths of our Fathers: Women who Changed American Religion (2004), edited by Ann Braude.[2]


  1. ^ Cathi Arola (December 11, 2003). "Lois Wilson promoted in Order". Archived from the original on September 21, 2004. Retrieved February 11, 2009.
  2. ^ "Table of Contents: Transforming the faiths of our fathers :". Catalog.lib.uchicago.edu. Retrieved 2015-04-14.

External links[edit]

Religious titles
Preceded by
George M. Tuttle
Moderator of the United Church of Canada
Succeeded by
W. Clarke MacDonald