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Alberta, Past and Present, Historical and Biographical
Vol 1 - Chapter XV
Church History (Continued)


In order to understand the growth of Anglican missions in Alberta it will be necessary to consider briefly the whole field of Western Canada prior to the founding of the first mission or parish in Alberta. The first Anglican church was established at Red River by the Hudson's Bay Company. In 1820 Rev. John West was sent out from England as chaplain to the Selkirk settlers by the Company. Mr. West also offered his services to the Church Missionary Society founded a few years earlier in England (1799) to promote "missions in Africa and the East" among the heathen.

The Society accepted the offer and granted one hundred pounds to support a mission and a school among the Indians of Red River, and soon afterwards undertook the establishment of schools and missions throughout the North-West. From the Red River the work spread to the Saskatchewan, the Athabaska, the Mackenzie and the Far North.

One of the first things Rev. John West did was to found a school in connection with St. John's Church, the progenitor of St. Johns' College of today. West returned to England in 1823, and was succeeded by Rev. David Jones, who remained until 1839. He was followed by Rev. William Cochran, who came out to assist Mr. Jones in 1825. When Mr. Jones left Cochran had four parishes to look after. He was associated with the formation of St. Peter's settlement for the Indians. Rev. J. Smithurst was the next missionary to come from England. He arrived in 1839. Henry Budd, one of the Indian boys, induced by West to enter St. John's School, was ordained as a missionary in 1840, and was sent to open a mission among the Crees at Cumberland House. Here he was visited by Smithhurst in 1842, the first Anglican white missionary to visit the Saskatchewan. Rev. Abram Cowley came out in 1841 and began work at Fairford House, and later among the natives on Lake Manitoba. Next year Rev. James Hunter arrived from England and took charge of the mission at Cumberland House, or The Pas, and Henry Budd moved farther up the Saskatchewan to Nepowewin.

Bishop Mountain of Montreal visited Red River in 1844 and confirmed 846 candidates, white and native. Owing to the generosity of James Lieth, a Hudson's Bay factor, an endowment was established in 1849 to support a bishop in Rupert's Land, and on May 29th, of that year, Rev. David Anderson was consecrated Bishop of Rupert's Land in Canterbury Cathedral. He arrived at Red River the same year. A year later Bishop Anderson ordained Henry Budd, who continued for a quarter of a century among his own people. With Bishop Anderson came Rev. John Chapman and Rev. Robert Hunt. Mr. Hunt was sent to superintend the work at Lac la Ronge, where Henry Settee, a companion of Rev. Henry Budd, and a graduate of St. John's College, was conducting a mission. When Settee was a very small child his father carried him in his arms to Rev. John West to train him for the service of the church. Here we may note that Charles Pratt and John Hope, natives, also graduated in the early days from St. John's College and for many years carried on missionary work on behalf of the Anglican Church among the natives of Red River and the Saskatchewan.

Under Bishop Anderson missionary work developed rapidly and several new men came out from England. During the next fifteen years there arrived in rapid succession John Horden, W. W. Kirkby, A. E. Watkins, W. Stagg, H. T. T. Smith and H. Phair. Walter Mason, a Wesleyan missionary, who came to the West with James Evans in 1840, received Anglican orders and joined the diocese in 1852. From St. John's College a number of native missionaries were ordained, namely: Robert McDonald, whose pathetic appeal brought the great Bompas to the wilds of the Mackenzie and the Yukon; Thomas Vincent, Thomas Cook, J. V. McKay, James Settee, H. Cochrane, Henry Budd Jr., Baptiste Spence and G. Brace.

In the year 1859 Archdeacon Hunter went to Fort Simpson and the following year W. W. Kirkby went as far as Fort Good Hope, where he was joined by Rev. Robt. Macdonald, and continued to Fort McPherson, La Pierre's House and to Fort Yukon. Meanwhile missions had been established at Touchwood hills in 1857, under Charles Pratt, an Indian catechist, and at Fort Ellice.

Bishop Anderson resigned in 1864 and returned to England. Next year two men arrived in the West whose labors and achievements will for all time redound to the glory of the Anglican Church in Canada. These were Rev. Robert Machray and Rev. William Carpenter Boinpas. Mach- ray was a great church statesman, Bompas an incomparable missionary. For forty years Machray led his people with wisdom and success. He created synodical government in his diocese and in his ecclestiastical province. He was largely instrumental in the formation of the General Synod for the Church of England in Canada, and became the first Primate. He was the faithful shepherd of his flock, the true "Father in God" to his clergy, the kind, but strict educator of youth, the trusted adviser of the civil power, the Joshua of the Church in the Great Lone Land.

For over forty years Bompas devoted his life to the Indians and Eskimos of the Athabaska, Mackenzie and the Yukon. As new dioceses were formed, the indefatigable missionary bishop moved into the new field, ever breaking new ground and blazing fresh trails in the Far North. Like Faraud and Grollier, his inveterate antagonists for the spiritual conquest of the natives of the North, he earned the title Pope Leo gave to the Oblates—"The Martyrs of the Cold."
Rev. Robert Macbray succeeded Bishop Anderson as the second bishop of Rupert's Land. He was consecrated in Canterbury June 24, 1865, and next day ordained Rev. William Carpenter Bompas, who had decided to come out to the Mackenzie District in response to a letter from Robert Macdonald, missionary to the Locheux Indians. In the letter Macdonald said he was dying and pleaded for some one to take his place. Bishop Anderson read the letter at the Church Missionary Society's anniversary service at St. Bride's Church May 1st of that year. "Shall no one come forward," cried the bishop, "to take up the standard of the Lord and occupy the ground ?" After the service Bompas walked into the vestry and offered to go at once. lie reached Fort Simpson on Christmas Eve, 1864, where he was welcomed by Mr. W. W. Kirkby, in charge of that mission, and thus began that career that shall long remain as a shining and inspiring example of heroic service and true missionary devotion.

Under Bishop Machray the missions of the Anglican Church grew rapidly, and it became necessary in 1872 to organize three dioceses within the original diocese of Rupert's Land—Moosonee under Bishop Horden, episcopal seat, Moose Factory; Saskatchewan under Bishop McLean, episcopal seat, Prince Albert; Athabaska, under Bishop Bompas, episcopal seat, Fort Simpson. The work in the dioceses of Athabaska and Moosonee, since it was wholly among Indians and Eskimos, was supported by the Church Missionary Society. In the diocese of Saskatchewan it was mainly under the protection of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel and the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge.

Bishop Bompas held his first diocesan synod September 4, 1876, at Fort Simpson. His clergy numbered only three—Archdeacon McDonald, A. Gari'ioch, both natives of the country, and Rev. W. D. Reeve, his single English comrade, in addition he had four active schoolmasters. He divided his diocese into four great divisions, viz.:

(a) Locheux Mission, under McDonald.
(b) McKenzie River Mission, under Reeve.
(c) Athabaska and Peace River, under Garrioch.
(d) Great Slave Lake Mission, under the schoolmasters.

By 1882 there were nine stations, viz.: Fort Simpson, Fort Vermilion, Dunvegan, Fort Rae, Fort Resolution, Fort Chipewyan, Fort Norman, Fort McPherson and Rampart House on the Porcupine River in the Yukon. In 1884 the diocese of Athabaska River was subdivided; the southern portion traversed by the Athabaska and Peace rivers became the diocese of Athabaska, under Bishop Young. The northern portion, extending from the 60th parallel of latitude to the Arctic Ocean became the diocese of Mackenzie River, Bishop Bompas electing of his own accord to become Bisho 'f Mackenzie River. When this diocese was divided into two in 1891, Bompas again chose the frontier diocese of Selkirk (since named the diocese of Yukon), leaving the Mackenzie River under Bishop Reeve. He did heroic service among the miners of the Yukon in the stirring days of the gold rush to that district. in 1905 the exacting labors of forty years compelled him to resign and on June 9, 1906, the "apostle of the North," as he was familiarly known, died at Carcross. He was succeeded by Bishop Stringer, who had come to the diocese in 1892, and had served several years at Herschell Island, the most northerly mission in the British Empire.

Bishop Reeve retired from the See of Mackenzie River in 1907. But it was not until six years later that Bishop Lucas, a Church Missionary Society missionary of the Far North, could be elected because there was no Endowment Fund for the maintenance of the bishopric. The work in this diocese is mostly among Indians—Chipewyan, Slavi, Mountain, Tukudh, Eskimos. A boarding school has been carried on at Hay River for a number of years. Encouraging work is being conducted among the Eskimos at Akiavik and along the Arctic Coast to Coronation Gulf. Services are held more or less regularly at all the forts along the Mackenzie for the white settlers and the Indians.

The whole Bible, Prayer Book and Hymn Book have been translated into the Tukudh language, while the Slavi Indians have the New Testament and Prayer Book. Work is in progress in translating these works in the Eskimo language.

In the Diocese of Athabaska Bishop Young was succeeded by Bishop Holmes in 1903, who continued until 1912, when Bishop Robins, formerly Church Missionary Society Organizing Secretary, was elected. Indian missions (Beaver, Chipewyan and Slavi tribes) have been conducted at Lesser Slave Lake since 1886, at Whitefish Lake since 1891, and Wabasca since 1894. For a number of years a mission was conducted near Peace River, in the Shaftesbury settlement, under Rev. T. Brick, and afterwards under Rev. Murdock Johnston and Rev. Robert Holmes. Mr. Johnston began the first Anglican services at Grand Prairie. In October, 1909, Rev. J. W. Moxhay became the first rector of Grand Prairie.

Following this summary of Anglican missions in Northern Alberta and the Far North, let us turn to the southern part of Alberta and review the development there. The Diocese of Saskatchewan, with its centre at Prince Albert, stretched eastward as far as Cumberland House, southward to the International Boundary, westward to the Rocky Mountains and northward to the watershed of the Athabaska River; thus it comprised all of what is now Central and Southern Alberta.

Owing to the rapid influx of settlers following the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway into the territory west of Winnipeg, the diocese of Qu'Appelle was erected in 1884, comprising a part of the diocese of Rupert's Land, and a part of the diocese of Saskatchewan. The first bishop of the new diocese was Bishop Anson. Four years later the diocese of Calgary was formed, comprising the then provisional district of Alberta. Bishop McLean died in 1886 and was succeeded by Bishop Pinkham, who also became Bishop of the new diocese of Calgary, continuing to hold the two Sees until a sufficient sum was raised to provide an adequate endowment fund for the Bishop of Calgary. By 1902 the sum of $12,000 had been raised for this purpose, mostly in England through the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, the Church Missionary Society, the Colonial Bishopric's Fund and the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge. On September 25, 1903, Bishop Pinkham resigned from the bishopric of Saskatchewan and in October of the same year the Provincial Synod elected Rev. J. A. Newnham, Bishop of Saskatchewan. Previous to this appointment, the Bishops of Western Canada had been appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Bishop Pinkham being the last to be so appointed. But in 1902 the union of the whole of the Church of England in Canada was consummated and increased autonomy bestowed upon the Union.

The work of uniting the Church in Canada had been in progress for twelve years. In 1890 a conference was held in Winnipeg, at which a basis of union was adopted. A General Synod was formed in 1893. From this date until 1902 time was spent in securing the consent of the Diocesan and Provincial Synods. In 1902 the union was confirmed by the General Synod of Canada. At the same time the Missionary Society of the Church of England in Canada was formed to carry on work in Canada analogous to the work of the great English Societies referred to above. This Society has given strong support to the Church of England in Alberta.

From 1902 to 1913 were years of great prosperity and increase in population in Alberta. The Diocese of Calgary, comprising an area of 110,000 square miles became too large, and in August, 1913, it was divided by the Provincial Synod of Rupert's Land, the northern portion, that North of township 42, forming the Diocese of Edmonton. The Right Reverend Henry Allan Gray, elected by the clergy of the diocese, consecrated March 25, 1914, became the first Bishop of Edmonton.

We are now in a position to give details of the progress of the Anglican Church in Alberta—in the dioceses of Calgary and Edmonton.

In. 1875 Rev. Canon Newton was sent to Edmonton by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. He established the first Anglican Mission in Edmonton and labored in the Saskatchewan for twenty years among the white settlers, going as far south as Red Deer, and including Bear Lake, Sturgeon and Fort Saskatchewan in his regular missionary visits.

The first parish of the Anglican Church in Alberta was established at Edmonton in 1876. That year Bishop McLean visited Edmonton and arranged for the building of a church. Mr. Malcolm Groat gave nine acres west of the Hudson's Bay Reserve and in 1877 the church was built. This was All Saints Parish. In 1890 a new building was erected in another part of the parish, and again in 1895 the site now occupied by All Saints Pro-cathedral was chosen. The first deacon of the parish was Rev. Charles Cunningham, 1891-1893; then Rev. Alfred Stunden, 1893-1897. Rev. Henry Allan Gray, now the beloved Bishop of Edmonton was transferred from Holy Trinity, South Edmonton, in 1897 and took charge of the parish. In 1909 Rev. G. H. Webb, who had spent some time as General Missionary for the Missionary Society for the Church of England in Canada in Alberta, was appointed associate pastor, and when Archdeacon Gray was raised to episcopal dignity Rev. Mr. Webb became Archdeacon and rector of the parish, and All Saints Church, a Pro-Cathedral. Archdeacon Webb resigned in 1918, and was succeeded by the present rector, Rev. E. Pierce-Goulding.

In 1883 Rev. J. W. Tims missionary to the Blackfeet at Blackfoot Crossing, began to hold services in Calgary at the request of the people of that place, until a regular missionary could be appointed. Next year, through the efforts of Bishop McLean, the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel sent out Rev. E. P. Smith, from Oxford, who arrived May 24, 1884. He frequently visited Red Deer and Fish Creek and remained in the diocese until 1887, and was succeeded by Rev. A. F. W. Cooper. The mission at Lethbridge began in 1886, Rev. J. F. Pritchard, first incumbent. Shortly afterward a mission was opened at Macleod under Rev. Ronald Hilton, and at the time of the first meeting of the diocese of Calgary, February, 1889, there were established additional missions to settlers at Pincher Creek and Banff. In 1889 Bishop Pinkham constituted the Rural Deaneries of Calgary under Rural Dean A. F. W. Cooper, and of Macleod, under Rural Dean J. F. Pritchard. When the latter left the diocese, Rev. Ronald Hilton was appointed Rural Dean of Macleod. Through gifts of the Colonial and Continental Missionary Society in England missions were opened at High River and Sheep Creek in 1891, and the next year Rev. H. B. Brashier, of Toronto, started a permanent mission at Red Deer. New missions sprang up along the Calgary and Edmonton Railway in the principal towns—Innisfail, Olds, Bowden, Lacombe, South Edmonton—with money supplied largely by the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge. In the early nineties a mission was opened at Beaver Lake, east of Edmonton, and soon after at Fort Saskatchewan, Rev. G. C. d'Easum in charge, where he remained for over twenty years. By the middle of 1894 the boundaries of twenty parishes had been fixed. The membership of the parishes and missions of the diocese was about 2,000, ministered to by 15 clergy. Two years later (1896) the clergy in the diocese numbered 23. In 1894 the Deanery of Edmonton was formed comprising all of the diocese north of township 37. Rev. Alfred Stunden was appointed the first rural dean.

In 1895 Bishop Pinkham divided the diocese into two Arch deaconries, appointing Dean Cooper and Rev. J. W. Tims Archdeacons of the White and Indian work respectively.

These were years of great difficulty in the matter of financing the schemes of the diocese. Only three of the parishes were self-supporting------ Edmonton, Calgary and Lethbridge. The English societies which were contributing the greater part of the burden of maintaining missions in the dioceses of the North-West began to retrench gradually after the consolidation of the Church of England in Canada. The Society for the propagation of the Gospel was paying annually at this time nearly 845,000 to the Canadian dioceses. In the diocese of Calgary this Society was contributing more than half of the total of the diocesan funds. In 1896 the Society gave notice of a reduction of 10 per cent and that after the year 1900 it desired to be relieved of all pecuniary responsibility in Canada, and pointed out that it was the duty of the older dioceses of Canada to support the younger dioceses of the Dominion. Finally, however, the bishops of the Western dioceses prevailed upon the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in 1902 to suspend its policy of reduction in view of the unprecedented increase in immigration from the Old Country to the West that followed the turn of the century, and in view of the danger of straining the loyalty of the adherents of the Anglican Church. Accordingly a grant of nearly $40,000 was made that year to be spent in the ecclesiastical province of Rupert's Land. To celebrate the 200th anniversary of the founding of the Society, a bi-century fund was raised, 1,800 pounds sterling of which was paid to the Diocese of Calgary, spread over a period of five years.

The conditions in Western Canada at this time prompted energetic action on the part of the Colonial and Continental Society. This Society has done for the white settlers what the Church Missionary Society has done for the Indians. It has supported lonely missionaries in remote settlements, camps, mines and fisheries. But its greatest work in Canada has been its success in sustaining the Barr Colony, established in 1903. This Colony lies within the civil Provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, but within the diocese of Saskatchewan. Rev. George E. Lloyd, now Bishop Lloyd of the Diocese of Saskatchewan since 1922, and principal of Emmanuel College, Saskatoon, under the aegis of this Society, led the colonists through many trials and misfortunes. The work of the Society in field will rank in days to come as one of the most striking ventures of faith and achievement in the history of any church in Canada. In one summer it sent out sixty missionaries in one ship, built sixty churches, popularly called "Canterbury Cathedrals," and sixty parsonages, similarly described as "Lambeth Palaces."

The threat of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel was not without value to the dioceses of the West, for in 1902 the people of the diocese of Calgary raised $14,000 of the $19,500 spent that year in the diocese. The consummation of the consolidation of the Church of England in Canada this year aroused the interest of the dioceses of Eastern Canada and especially of the Women's Auxiliaries, which was reflected in increased beneficence toward the poorer missions of the West.

The Deanery of Red Deer was formed in 1902, comprising that portion of Central Alberta between townships 30 and 44, with Rev. J. Hinchcliffe, rural dean.

In November, 1905, a general missionary, Rev. G. H. Webb, was appointed for the Missionary Society of the Church of England in Canada in the diocese. The demands taxed the financial resources of growing parishes. The growth of the church is clearly indicated by comparing the statistics of 1906 and 1907, the latter year being the one of the largest immigration previous to this time. The number of parishes and missions increased from twenty-three in 1906 to forty-one in 1907, and the number of congregations from seventy-nine to one hundred and fifty-nine in the same time.

St. Hilda's Ladies College, a girls' boarding school, was erected in Calgary in 1905, and opened in September of that year, and is still in operation.

In 1.908 Bishop Pinkham College was founded to provide a Boys' School on the model of the English schools, or those of Eastern Canada, and in time to provide a divinity school for the training of the young men of the diocese for the clergy of the Anglican Church.

The year 1910 was a memorable one in the history of the Church of England in Western Canada, because of the appeal of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to the Church and people of England to send fifty of the best clergy, annually for ten years, for the expansion of the Church of England in Western Canada. At the same time the Archbishops' Western Canada Fund was organized to maintain them. In May of that year the advance guard of this Army of the Cross arrived under Rev. W. G. Boyd, Chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and established head-quarters at Edmonton, and founded the Edmonton Mission of the Archbishops' Fund (St. Faith's). Another group of these workers established in Southern Alberta, under Rev. Canon Mowat, with a central mission house in Lethbridge.

Under the Archbishops' Alberta Mission four parishes were established in the City of Edmonton and six sites purchased and handed over to the Synod of the Diocese of Edmonton. Stations were opened at Wabamun, Stony Plain, Entwistle, Edson, Lac la Nonne, Paddle River, Clyde, and at several other points west and north of Edmonton. In the southern part of the Province, stations were opened at Cardston, Boundary Creek, Warner, Coutts, Hazelmere, Stand Off. In 1913 Archbishops' Western Canada Fund missions were started in the Diocese of Athabaska, under Rev. Hugh Speke. During ten years (1910-1920) over $900,000 was raised in England for the Archbishops' Western Canada Fund. Out of the total sum raised, it was the intention to give $50,000 to each of the three dioceses— Calgary, Edmonton and Qu'Appelle. But when the fund was closed, only 37,095 pounds sterling were available. At the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the first Anglican mission in the West, held in Winnipeg in 1920, this sum was delivered in trust for the three dioceses.
In 1910 the four deaneries of the diocese were cancelled, and the territory divided into seven deaneries, viz.: Calgary, under Rev. Canon Stocken ; Edmonton, Rural Dean Boyd; Lethbridge, Rural Dean Murrell Wright; Macleod, Rural Dean G. B. Hall; Red Deer, Rural Dean W. Whitehead; High River, Rural Dean R. D. Stamer. The rural dean of Wetaskiwin was not appointed until 1912, when Rev. W. W. Alexander was appointed to the office. in the meantime Wetaskiwin was under the rural deanery of Edmonton. In 1913, the Archdeaconry of Calgary was divided, one portion forming the Archdeaconry of Red Deer, under Archdeacon A. J. B. Dewdney.

The last meeting of the Diocese of Calgary before its division in 1913 was held in July of that year. This was the thirteenth meeting of the synod, and is a convenient date to measure the growth of the Church of England in Alberta. When the first synod of this diocese convened on February 21, 1889, there were ten priests and one deacon in the whole diocese. At the last meeting of the synod of the old diocese in July, 1913, there were one hundred and forty-nine parishes, thirty-two of which were self-supporting, and although some of the parishes were vacant at the time there were ninety-four priests, eight deacons and thirty lay readers.

The Diocese of Edmonton was incorporated by an Act of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta in 1914. Under Bishop Gray the diocese, notwithstanding the crippling effects of the war, has made steady progress. With Edmonton, the capital and the University City of the Province, as the episcopal centre of the diocese, an opportunity has been presented of recruiting the young men of the University for the clergy and thus solving one of the most difficult problems of the church. In 1920 steps were taken by the synod to establish a divinity school, St. Aidan's College, in Edmonton, in affiliation with the University of Alberta, and a Divinity Students' Fund is being raised for this purpose.


Indian missions appealed strongly to the leaders of the Church of England in the West. As soon as the tribes were settled on their respective reserves in the Province, missions and schools were established among them. In the early seventies, James Settee, and Wm. Stagg, native missionaries, worked intermittently among the Blackfeet of Southern Alberta, and since that time the Anglican Church has been particularly active among the Black feet-speaking people of Southern Alberta, leaving the Crees, in the North, to the Methodist and Roman Catholic Churches.

In 1879 Rev. Geo. McKay, of Prince Albert, opened a mission at Fort Macleod among the Peigans. The next year (1880) Rev. Samuel Trivett opened a mission among the Bloods, and in 1882 he was joined by Rev. H. T. Bourne, who opened a mission at Red Crow's Camp. In 1883 Rev. J. W. Tims was sent from England to Blackfoot Crossing by the Church Missionary Society. He was joined in 1885 by Rev. H. W. G. Stocken, who came out on the invitation of Mr. Tims. A mission among the Sarcecs was established in 1886 by Rev. R. Inkster, of Prince Albert. In the following year he was succeeded by Rev. H. W. G. Stocken. Other clergy who have been engaged in mission work on these Reserves have been: Rev. J. Hinch cliff e, Rev. F. Swainson, Rev. A de B. Owen, Rev. C. P. Owen, Rev. S. J. Stocken, Rev. C. P. H. Owen, Rev. G. E. Gale, Rev. W. R. Haynes and Rev. S. Middleton.

After mastering their language these devoted servants gave the Blackfeet-speaking people the Lord's Prayer, the Creed, the Ten Commandments, prayers for morning and evening, a dictionary, a grammar, the Gospel of St. Matthew, parts of St. John and other Gospels, and a number of hymns, printed in the Blackfoot language. This work was done mostly by Messrs. Tirns and Stocken, assisted by Rev. J. Hinchcliffe and others. At first Roman characters were used, but Mr. Tims adapted the syllabic system, and provided a system that is now in general use among all the tribes of the Blackfoot nation. The first sermon without the aid of an interpreter was preached in 1885 at the time of the Rebellion.

The Anglican Blackfeet missions have been supported mainly by the Church Missionary Society and the Missionary Society of the Church of England in Canada. The Women's Auxiliary Societies of Ontario took a great interest in this work. The Women's Auxiliary of the Diocese of Toronto supported a woman missionary (Miss Perkes) at the Blackfoot Reserve; the Woman's Auxiliary of Huron, a lady missionary (Miss Busby) at the Blood Reserve; the Women's Auxiliary of Ontario a lady missionary (Miss Brown) at the Peigan Reserve. The Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge assisted these missions by printing the books in the Blackfoot languages necessary for the intelligent and effective conduct of the work. In 1892 the Methodist Church abandoned its mission among the Bloods and the Anglican Church purchased the establishment for $1,000.

Missionary work was supplemented by schools In 1892 the Anglican Church maintained three day schools on the Blackfoot Reserve, three on the Blood Reserve, one on the Peigan Reserve and two on the Sarcee Reserve.

Day schools finally were proved to be impracticable for Indian children, and so boarding schools were established at each mission. Assistance was received from the Department of Indian Affairs for the maintenance of those schools, first, to the extent of rations of flour and beef for the children, and later changing this to a grant of $72 annually per child. Assistance was also given by the Government towards the cost of buildings erected from time to time for this purpose.

The operation of these Indian schools became increasingly difficult. The Church Missionary Society, and the Missionary Society of the Church of England in Canada, gradually withdrew their financial support. Toward the cost of the schools the Indian Department contributed about 60 per cent, the Anglican Church about 15 per cent, leaving the balance to be carried as a deficit until in 1909 it totalled over $7,000. But the Department of Indian Affairs recognizing the character of the work done for the welfare of the Indians came to the rescue and paid $5,000 of the debt. This, with an increase in the per capita grant, and the increasing earning rower of the Indian people saved the schools from extinction. But the difficulty of financing the whole scheme of the Blackfeet missions still constitutes a difficult Problem for the Church of England in this field.

In 1895 Mr. Tims and Mr. Stocken exchanged missions. A hospital was established on the Blackfoot Reserve in 1897. The Indian Department of the Government erected the building. The salary of the resident missionary (for many years Dr. Rose) was paid by the Church Missionary Society and the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge, while the salaries of the nurses were paid by the Women's Auxiliaries of Ontario. An Indian Industrial School, similar to one founded and carried on at High River by the Roman Catholic Church, was established at Calgary in 1895 and placed under Rev. H. G. Hogbin, but after several years it was abandoned (1907).

The work of combining evangelical and school work has continued from the first on all the reserves, and the results justify the faith of those who founded them. Archdeacon Tims and Canon Stocken are still (1923) in the services of the Church in connection with these missions. Their names will be always identified with the good work of leading the Blackfeet savages up the path of civilization.

The sacrifices of the churches, Anglican, Roman Catholic and Methodist among the Blackfeet have transformed them from savages to citizens, in almost every respect, except that they have not the franchise. Their savage, sickly rites of torturing the body to propitiate the sun are unknown to the generation of today. Polygamy has been abandoned. They are no longer shiftless nomads wandering away from their reserves with guns and tomahawks. They earn their living and are making progress in the arts of field and animal husbandry. Without the help of the missionaries the civil authorities would have merely fed and clothed the savages. The churches, through the potent factor of religion, have elevated them to at least the fundamentals of Christian civilization.

The Church Missionary Society, which had spent vast sums in carrying the Gospel to the Indians and the Eskimos from Hudson's Bay to the Yukon, and which had sent so many able and devoted men—West, Anderson, Kirkby, Hunter, Bompas, Holmes, McKay, Tims, Young, Lucas, Stringer—decided in 1920 to retire from the Canadian Field and to hand over its task to the Missionary Society of the Church of England in Canada. This body has now the control of pastoral and evangelistic work of Anglican missions among the Indians and Eskimos.

The year 1920 is an appropriate date to close this summary of the growth of the Anglican Church in Western Canada. It marks the lapse of a century from the time that Rev. John West arrived at Red River and founded the first Anglican mission among the Indians of Rupert's Land. The event was celebrated in October, 1920, at Winnipeg, with becoming ceremony and thanksgiving. The parish that John West founded among the heartsick pioneers at Red River one hundred years ago has grown to be one of the most opulent cities of the Dominion of Canada and the centre of a great ecclesiastical province comprising ten dioceses.


We have noticed that in dealing with Anglican and Methodist missions in Western Canada, the initiative in establishing the missions was taken by the ruling bodies of these denominations in the Old Country. Roman Catholic and Presbyterian missions were first established in the West by the ruling bodies of these denominations in Canada, though we have seen that many of the Oblate Fathers were sons of Old France.

Many of the Selkirk settlers were Presbyterians, and it was the intention of Lord Selkirk that a Presbyterian minister should accompany them to the Red River. But for over a generation after their arrival in their new home, they were without a minister of their own religion and worshipped with the Anglicans of the colony. After applying in vain to the Hudson's Bay Company and to the Church of Scotland, they appealed to the Presbyterian Church of Canada for a minister. Accordingly Rev. John Black was sent out in 1857 to Red River, and founded the first Presbyterian Church in Western Canada in the Parish of Kildonan, so named because many of the original colonists came from the parish of Kildonan in the north of Scotland. Eleven years later Rev. James Nisbet arrived from upper Canada to assist Mr. Black. In 1866 Mr. Nisbet was sent by the congregation of Kildonan to establish a mission in what is now the Province of Saskatchewan. He was accompanied by Mr. John McKay, a famous buffalo hunter, who acted as his interpreter, and Mr. Adam McBeth, a teacher. After a trip of fifty days from Fort Carry, the party reached the site of the present city of Prince Albert, and established a mission there. Mr. McKay afterwards became an ordained missionary and ministered for many years on the reserve of Chief Mistawasis near Prince Albert, rendering loyal and valuable service during the half-breed rebellion of 1885. Mr. Nisbet remained at Prince Albert until 1874. Worn out by his exacting labors he was compelled to retire to Winnipeg and died shortly afterwards.

The Presbyterian Church grew rapidly with the development of the country following the transfer of Rupert's Land to the Dominion of Canada in 1870. A large Proportion of the new settlers in Manitoba and the North West Territories were Scotch-Canadians from Ontario and the Maritime Provinces. In 1870 there were only five Presbyterian ministers in the whole of Western Canada—Black, Nisbet, Matheson, Fletcher and McNab. But in that year the Presbytery of Manitoba was organized, and in the following year Manitoba College, an institution of higher learning under the Presbyterian Church was founded, Rev. Geo. Bryce, Principal. A few months later the Church of Scotland sent out Rev. John Hart, as professor in Manitoba College. Soon the work of the College claimed the whole time of Principal Bryce, who was also Pastor of Knox Church, Winnipeg. In this pastorate he was succeeded in 1874 by Rev. James Robertson—the statesman of Presbyterianism in the West, and who with Taché, Bompas and McDougall completes the most illustrious quartet of missionaries in Western Canada.

In 1874 Rev. Hugh McKellar was ordained for the work at Prince Albert. The first call for a missionary for Alberta came from Edmonton in 1880. One year later Rev. A. B. Baird established a mission there, preaching his first sermon November 6, 1881. He remained until 1887, being assisted at times in his wide field by students J. L. Campbell and A. S. Grant.

Dr. James Robertson was appointed Superintendent of Presbyterian Missions in Western Canada in 1881. This was a new position in the Church, and the powers of the new official gave some concern to the conservatively orthodox of the church. These men carried that hatred of prelacy that roused the wrath of John Knox. They feared the powers of the new Superintendent would derogate from the autonomy of the Presbytery. But Robertson's great abilities, energy and fiery zeal and above all his prophet's vision of the marvelous developments that were coming in Western Canada gradually bore down all opposition. This great prairie prophet, missionary and statesmen probably saw more clearly than any man of his day in Canada that the task of the church in the West was to march abreast of the settler, the navvy, the homesteader and the prospector to the uttermost parts of the Great Lone Land. To this task he gave his life. "Dr. Robertson staked out the country," says Rev. Canon Tucker of the Church of England in Canada, "occupied its strategic points, early aroused the church to its needs and opportunities and dotted the whole land with Presbyterian Churches and manses, and thus enabled the Presbyterian Church to work its noble and manly spirit into every fibre of our national eye."

Soon after his appointment he organized, and as years went by, he financed the Church and Manse Building Fund and so gave visibility to his work. Through this fund he caused to be erected 419 churches and 90 manses before he died in 1902.

In 1883 the Presbytery of Manitoba was divided into the Presbyteries of Winnipeg, Rock Lake and Brandon, the latter including what is now Alberta and British Columbia. These three Presbyteries were erected into the first Presbyterian Synod of Western Canada at the same time, namely: the Synod of Manitoba and the North West Territories. In the same year a Faculty of Theology was instituted in Manitoba College, with Rev. J. Al. King, Minister of St. James Square Presbyterian Church, Toronto, principal. At that time there were four Presbyterian missions in Alberta—Edmonton, Rev. A. B. Baird; Calgary, Rev. Angus Robertson; Fort Macleod and Medicine Hat.

A new Presbytery was formed in 1885, the Presbytery of Regina, Rev. P. S. Livingstone, of Regina, Moderator. In that year, Dr. Robertson visited Fort Macleod and decided to re-establish the mission there. Mr. W. P. Mackenzie, a student, had carried on services there and at Pincher Creek until the outbreak of the rebellion. In 1887 there were ten Presbyterian mission centres in Alberta, as follows: Edmonton, Rev. A. B. Baird; Calgary, Rev. J. C. Herdman; Lethbridge, Rev. C. W. McKillop; Medicine Hat, Pincher Creek, Banff, Anthracite, Cochrane, High River, Macleod.

The Edmonton Church is known as First Presbyterian Church and is the oldest Presbyterian Church in the Province. Rev. D. G. McQueen, who succeeded Mr. Baird in 1887, is still the pastor of this congregation and the Grand Old Mail Presbyterianism in Alberta—an ornament to his sacred profession in any age or place in the history of the church. The Presbyterian Church in Calgary was founded in 1883, the first services being held iii I. G. Baker's store, Rev. Angus Robertson being the first minister.

The General Assembly formed the Presbytery of Calgary in 1887, bounded on the West by the Columbia River in British Columbia, Rev. Angus Robertson, first Moderator. The Presbytery of Edmonton was next formed in 1896, extending from the Red Deer River to the Arctic Ocean, possibly the largest presbytery in the world.

Work was resumed in Macleod and Pincher Creek under Rev. R. C. Tibb in 1888. Three years later (1891) these stations were separated, Rev. J. P. Grant going to Pincher Creek and Rev. Gavin Hamilton assuming charge of Macleod, 1891-1897, and succeeded by Rev. J. A. Jaifray, 1897-1906. Three elders, Messrs. R. Patterson, T. A. Struthers and T. S. McLean, of the first session, still preside at Macleod. Rev. James Buchanan was sent by Dr. Robertson in 1891 to open Presbyterian missions between Calgary and Lacombe, in 1891. He opened missions at Innisfail, Red Deer, Lacombe, Blackfalds, Bowden, Olds and Scorlett's. Rev. John Fernie was the first regular Pastor at Lacombe, coming there in 1892, remaining until 1897 and succeeded by Rev. Dr. M. White.

During the interval from 1887 to 1896 the railway had been built from Macleod to Edmonton, and also from Medicine Hat to Lethbridge. As towns grew up along these lines, Presbyterian Churches and others sprang up with them and rapidly grew from mission stations to augmented charges, and finally into self-sustaining congregations.

The early nineties were years of depression in Western Canada. The world was approaching the lowest level of prices experienced since the Napoleonic Wars. Financial depression in the West was reflected in the Home Mission and Augmentation Funds of the Church. To sustain the work in the Western mission fields, Rev. C. W. Gordon (Ralph Connor) visited Scotland in 1894 and secured support for fifty missions for a period of five years. Two years later Dr. Robertson visited the Old Country and secured support for forty missions. But other than these appeals to the Old Country the Presbyterian Church in Canada has relied solely on its own resources to carry on its splendid program of Home Missions in Western Canada. Its sturdy independence in this respect may be the reason for its great success in the West, where its adherents lead in numbers those of any other church or religious denomination.

Dr. Robertson died in 1902 and was succeeded by Rev. Dr. E. D. McLaren. By this time the work had grown so extensively that a. change in organization was necessary. Dr. McLaren was appointed General Secretary of Missions and with him were associated two Superintendents, Rev. J. A. Carmichael, of Regina, for the Home Mission District of Saskatchewan and Rev. J. C. Herdman of Calgary for the Home Mission District of Alberta.

By 1904 two new presbyteries were formed in Alberta, Red Deer and Macleod, being formed out of the Presbyteries of Edmonton and Calgary respectively. There were at that time nine self-sustaining congregations, five augmented charges, and twenty-seven mission stations. Two years later (1906) there were one hundred and six congregations and mission fields. The growth of the country was reflected in the formation of new presbyteries.

In 1907 the Presbyteries of Vermilion, Lacombe and High River were formed. At the same time the Synod of Alberta was formed, Rev. Dr. McQueen being the first Moderator. The Presbytery of Castor was formed in 1913, Rev. William Miller, Moderator; Medicine Hat in 1914, Rev. J. W. Morrow, Moderator; Peace River, 1920, Rev. A. Forbes, Moderator. Expansion in Alberta is indicated further by the foundation of Robertson Theological College in 1910 at Edmonton, named after the great Superintendent Robertson. Rev. Dr. S. W. Dyde was the first principal. Dr. Dyde returned to Queen's University in 1919 and was succeeded by Rev. Dr. James Millar, the present principal.

The flow of immigration to Northern Alberta and into the valley of the Peace River directed the attention of the Synod of Alberta to the need of missions at important centres in this wide territory. Rev. A. Simpson had visited this district in 1904. In 1910 Rev. A. Forbes and Mrs. Forbes, after many years of faithful service (since 1885) at Fort Saskatchewan, undertook to establish the pioneer Presbyterian Mission in the Peace River Valley. This mission was established at Grande Prairie and through the support of the Women's Home Missionary Society of the Presbyterian Church in Canada, an auxiliary body of the Home Mission Board, a hospital in charge of Mrs. Forbes, was established at this point in connection with the mission. Several such hospitals were established by this Society in Western Canada, mostly in connection with Presbyterian missions in foreign settlements. This was the second in Alberta, the other being the one at Vegreville, established in 1907 for the Ruthenians of that District.

Rev. J. C. Herdman, Superintendent of Missions in Alberta since 1902, retired in 1910 on account of illness. Rev. Dr. McLaren, General Secretary of Missions, resigned in the following year. Rev. A. S. Grant, a man of experience in Western missions, and with a record of heroic service among the gold diggers of the Yukon, was appointed to Dr. MeLaren's place, and Rev. W. D. Reed, of Montreal, succeeded Dr. Herdman.

The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church met at Edmonton in 1912. Naturally the Western problems of the Church took a prominent place in the proceedings. Authority was given at this Assembly for the reorganization of the Home Mission Committee. A new body, the Home Mission Board (Western Section), was formed with Rev. A. S. Grant, Convener and General Superintendent and Rev. J. H. Edmison, General Secretary. The Western field was divided into ten districts with a Superintendent for each district. Alberta was divided into the Northern District, under Rev. Wmn. Simons; Central District under Rev. Wm. Shearer; Southern District under Rev. J. T. Ferguson.

In 1913 Rev. R. F. Thompson opened a new mission at Spirit River. Rev. W. McKay was put in charge, Mr. Thompson moving westward to Pouce Coupé and among settlements growing up in the Peace River Block. The hospital at Grande Prairie was taken over by the Women's Missionary Society. By 1914 the work of the Home Mission Board was extended to include social service and Evangelism. The church suffered a severe loss through the resignation of the General Superintendent, Rev. A. S. Grant in 1916. The following year Rev. Dr. G. C. Pidgeon accepted direction of this work until Rev. W. H. Sedgewick was appointed in 1917.

A new departure in mission work was made in 1916 when Rev. J. E. Duclos opened a mission and school among the French Canadians at Bonnyville. The work was supplemented by a hospital established by the Women's Missionary Society. A similar hospital by the same body was opened at Vermilion among the Ruthenians. Mr. Duclos extended his work by opening a mission at St. Paul, and another at Cold Lake in 1919, the first Protestant missions at these points. In Cardston a fine new church was completed this year with Rev. R. Aylward, minister. This field had been opened by Rev. Gavin Hamilton from Macleod, and in 1906 Rev. A. W. R. Whiteman took charge. This has been one of the hardest centres of missionary work in the whole Province and little progress has been made among the Mormons. The tenacity of Mormonism does not yield even to the hardness and tenacity of Calvinism.

In 1921 Robertson College graduated the first minister who had received all his education in Alberta and had been born in the Province. This year also witnessed the extension of Presbyterian mission work to the Upper Peace River Valley. Rev. J. P. Henderson ministered to a field which took him a month to travel around—Pouce Coupé, St. John, Hudcon's Hope, Moberly Lake, North Fork of the Pine River, South Fork of the I me and Cut Bank—a distance of 247 miles. That year Superintendent Simons visited Fort Vermilion and it was ordered by the Presbytery of Peace River to open a station the next year with Rev. T. F. McGregor in charge, and the Women's Missionary Society promptly opened a Cottage Hospital. Here is a field where the modern means of travel do not exist. The missionary builds his boat or raft on the rivers and floats down stream every time be visits his station. In the interior he travels by dog sled or canal, or on snowshoes, as the missionaries did half a century ago between Fort Garry and Edmonton.

It is now (1923) forty years since the first Presbyterian Mission was opened in Alberta. Since that time the Presbyterian Church has grown to the first place among all the churches in Alberta, numbering at last census (1921) 120,868. In 1883 there were four missions. Now there are 121 regular ministers, 219 augmented charges, 89 students on 264 mission fields. The seed cast by Rev. John Black in Kildonan has indeed been as a grain of mustard seed.


The settlement of large numbers of Galician colonies in Western Canada raised a problem which fell in the main to the Presbyterian Church to cope with. These people were about equally divided between the Greek Catholic and Roman Catholic churches. The enjoyment of civil and religious freedom engendered a strong feeling of independence in the hearts of hundreds of these new Canadians. Dissatisfied with the mother church, they sent a deputation in 1906 to the home Mission leaders of the Presbyterian Church. This was the beginning of the Independent Greek Church movement in Western Canada.

Provision was made for special training in Manitoba College for the young men of the Independent Greek Church. A shortened ritual was agreed upon by the ministers of this church so as to give the priest or minister more time for preaching and exposition of the scriptures during the services. The church was governed by a Consistory, constituted on the principle of a presbytery. The ministers of the church were ordained by the Consistory and not by a Bishop or other prelate. In 1907 seven young missionaries of this church were ministering in Alberta. Over one thousand families in the Province were identified with the movement.

During the next few years the Presbyterian Church assisted the Independent Greek Church and the work steadily grew. The Galician minis- ters asked for larger salaries and for manses and churches. The Presbyterian Church, however, would not spend money on property not vested in the Presbyterian Church, neither would it spend money except under the supervision of the Presbyteries. The Home Mission Board therefore decided in 1912 to withdraw support from the Independent Greek Church as such and to establish Presbyterian missions in Galician settlements. The ministers of the Independent Greek Church then made application to be received as ministers into the Presbyterian Church. The application was confirmed by the General Assembly at Toronto in 1913 and nineteen ministers were admitted.

The work among the Ruthenians in Alberta, as in other parts of Western Canada, has been adversely affected by the Great war and by the reflex influence of the Russian Revolution and the breakup of Austria-Hungary. "Many of these people," said Superintendent Simons in his report for 1918, "have become independent and sullen toward Canadian institutions." This feeling was augmented by a nationalist movement to combat assimilation. While the movement was not serious from a civic or political point of view, it embarrassed and retarded missionary progress among those who gave such promise when the Independent Greek Church was started some years before. Efforts were made by the Ruthenian Nationalist Party to organize a Ruthenian National Church. The new church was launched, January, 1919, adopting the creed and ritual of the Greek Orthodox Church. The result has been to spread confusion and scepticism among an excellent class of settlers who are naturally pious and peaceful. Notwithstanding, progress is being made by the establishment of school homes for the young people. Homes are in operation at Vermilion, Vegreville and Edmonton. In Edmonton the Presbyterian and Methodist Churches are cooperating on lines of social settlement work under Rev. W. H. Pike, of the Methodist Church, at several centres in the city. In 1922 a School home was opened in Westminster Ladies' College (formerly Red Deer Ladies' College, opened in 1913 and moved to Edmonton), for high school and University Ukranian girls who come to the capital for the advantages of secondary and higher education.


Pioneer McDonald:—The Baptist Church celebrated the jubilee of its advent to Western Canada in June, 1923. Fifty years before Rev. Alexander McDonald, the pioneer Baptist missionary of Western Canada, arrived in Winnipeg. Spending the summer there he found that a Baptist Church was needed and returned to Ontario to raise funds to build the church. Next year he returned to Winnipeg, traveling over the Paw- son Route. By November (1874) the church was built, and the first Baptist Church of Winnipeg was organized three months later (February 7, 1875) with seven members.

Four years later there were four Baptist churches in Western Canada, with a membership of 162.

In 1883 Pioneer McDonald resigned his Winnipeg pastorate and became a missionary at large, spending some years in the United States. In 1893 he established the first Baptist Church in Edmonton, where he remained eight years before accepting the pastorate of Strathcona Baptist Church. After two years at Strathcona he went to Leduc in 1903, and built a church there, mortgaging his own house to do so. He died in 1911. To commemorate his name the Baptists of Edmonton built a church in 1907—McDonald Memorial Church.

General Organization:—In 1881 the "Red River Association of Baptist Churches" was formed. This name was changed the next year to the "Missionary Convention of Manitoba," which included seven churches. Two years later (1884) the name was changed again to "The Baptist Convention of Manitoba and North West Territories." In 1885 the Convention, representing thirteen churches and 650 members, met in Brandon, where the first church in that place had been just completed—Rev. J. H. Best, pastor.

The first Superintendent of Baptist Missions in the West was Rev. J. H. Best, appointed in 1887. From 1892 to 1897 Rev. H. G. Mellick wa Superintendent, and in 1901 Rev. Dr. C. C. McLaurin was appointed General Missionary. Dr. McLaurin has been a great traveler in the cause of missions, covering an average of 20,000 miles a year, and has been responsible for the organization of 75 churches in the three prairie provinces.

For a number of years the Baptist Churches of British Columbia were united with those of the State of Washington, but in 1897 they formed a separate Convention for the Baptist Churches of the Pacific province. Early in 1906 negotiations were opened between the Convention of British Columbia and the Convention of Manitoba and North West Territories. At the annual meeting of the latter body, held in Edmonton, June, 1907, the Executive Board was empowered to effect a union with the Convention of British Columbia. The latter body took similar action at its annual meeting a few days later (July 9th). A basis of union was agreed upon, which was ratified by a Convention of delegates from all the Baptist churches in Western Canada held in Calgary, November 20th, of the same year. The new organization was called "The Baptist Convention of Western Canada." Rev. W. R Stackhouse was elected first Superintendent. In 1909 at the annual meeting in Moose Jaw, the name of the general body was changed to "The Baptist Union of Western Canada." Changes were also made in the constitution to provide for provincial Conventions for each of the four Western Provinces, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.

The Union was constituted a corporate body with supervision over Home Missions, Foreign Missions, Education and Publications of the Baptist Church in Western Canada, Previous to the union in 1,907 the Conventions each published a church paper. These were amalgamated under the name of "The Western Outlook" and changed later to "The Western Baptist."

The chief executive officer of the Union is the General Secretary. This office claims an outstanding man of the church and has invariably been filled by such a man. A list of the General Secretaries of the Union is a catalogue of brilliant leaders, endowed with the spirit of sacrifice and service that endears them to Baptists everywhere in the West and the Dominion of Canada.

W. T. Stackhouse, 1907-1900.
D. B. Harkness,, 1910-1911.
J. F. McIntyre, 1912-1914.
C. R. Sayer, 1915-1918.
F. W. Patterson, 1919-1922.
L. M. Orchard, 1923.

For many years, up to 1907, the Mission Board of the Baptist Church in the West, had two departments of missions—English and Non-English. After the formation of the Baptist Union of Western Canada, all missions in the West were placed under a General Board with a Superintendent and an Assistant Superintendent. And in order to cope with the increased demands for Baptist services in all parts of the West, especially in Alberta and Saskatchewan, due to the heavy immigration of the period, a General Missionary was appointed for each of the Prairie Provinces. Rev. C. C. McLaurin, the General Missionary for the three Prairie Provinces, was appointed to Alberta, Rev. C. B. Freeman, to Saskatchewan and Rev. C. K. Morse to Manitoba. At the same time the new organization was strengthened by the appointment of a Home Mission Committee of twelve members in each Province. Missionary evangelists carried on the work among foreign settlers—Rev. Fred Palmborg among the Scandinavians, and Rev. Wm. Schunke among the Germans.

To facilitate the work among the non-English settlers of the West, who adhered to the Baptist Church, there were organized within the Western Union, the Northern Conference of German Baptists, the Canada Central Scandinavian Conference and the Russian-Ruthenian Conference. These organizations were related to the Union and the General Board in the same manner as the Provincial Conventions, and therefore enjoyed a good measure of autonomy. Arrangements were completed in 1910 for cooperation with the General Missionary Society of the German Baptist Churches of America and the German Conference in the Vest. Rev. F. H. Heineman, from Minnesota, was appointed assistant to the Superintendent of German Baptist Missions. The latter office, which was vacant owing to the resignation of Rev. Wm. Schunke, was filled by the appointment in 1011 of Rev. F. A. Bloedow, Secretary of the German Conference. In the same way assistance was given to the Scandinavian Baptists by the Swedish General Conference of America, through the appointment of Rev. J. P. Sundstrom as Superintendent upon the resignation of Rev. F. Palmborg. Mr. Sundstrom remained in this capacity until 1922, when he was succeeded by Rev. J. Paul Erickson. To assist the Superintendents of Missions in the different Provinces, the time of whom was largely taken up with matters of organization and finance, two missionary evangelists were appointed by the General Board of the Union in 1909—Rev. F. W. Dafoe for Manitoba and Saskatchewan, Rev. J. W. Litch for Alberta and British Columbia.

A notable event in the history of the Baptist Churches of Western Canada was the visit of Rev. Dr. John Clifford, the greatest living Baptist of the time and the leader of the Nonconformists in Great Britain. Dr. Clifford attended the meetings of the different Conventions in the summer of 1911 at Winnipeg, Regina and Calgary.

In 1920 the General Board of the Union established a general endowment fund. Provision was made for placing in a capital fund bequests and gifts toward the missionary work of the Church and for using the income for the purposes of the respective donations. At the same time steps were taken to establish a Ministerial Superannuation Fund by the same method. Here it may be noted that the union received a grant of $10,000 per year from Mr. John D. Rockefeller.

The relationship existing between the Northern German Conference and the Union was terminated in 1920. The German speaking churches decided to work independently and in affiliation with the Conference of German Speaking Churches of America instead of joining the Union on the same terms as the English Speaking Conferences or Conventions. Changes followed also at the same time in the Scandinavian Conference. This Conference was divided into a Swedish Department and a Norwegian Department. The administration of the Norwegian work was placed under a Committee appointed by the Union, consisting of two men from Western Canada, the Secretary of the Norwegian Conference of Baptist Churches in the United States, and the General Secretary of the Baptist Union. Rev. John Sempson was appointed General Missionary of the Norwegian Department, confining his labors chiefly to Alberta and Saskatchewan. The work among the Scandinavians was supported by the Swedish and Norwegian Conferences in the United States. The Swedish Conference in the United States made an annual grant of $3,500 and the Norwegian Conference in the United States, a grant of $1,200 annually.

Like the Presbyterian and the Methodist Churches, the Baptist Churches of Western Canada have shown great interest in promoting the evangelical movement that has manifested itself from time to time among the Russian and Ruthenian immigrants. In 1920 Rev. C. P. Cundy, a pastor specially trained for this work, was appointed and accepted the task. But the Baptist Church met with the same difficulties as the other churches engaged in fostering this movement. The growth of various tendencies toward communism and socialism among many of the younger generation of these people has greatly retarded the evangelical movement.

New features of the organization of the Baptist Church in Alberta for effective work have been the appointment of General Secretary of Sunday Schools, Rev. P. H. Robert in 1921, and the establishment of a permanent Baptist Summer School for ministers and other church workers at Gull Lake, Alberta, the same year.

The Baptist Union of Western Canada has refused cooperation in the organic union movement now being consummated among the other Protestant Churches. The Union feels compelled through basic principles of its organization, its freedom from credal standards, its conception of the non- sacerdotal character of the New Testament Church, to hold aloof from the wider Union movement.

The history, organization and achievement of the Baptist Church in Western Canada would be incomplete without a reference to the work done by the Baptist Women's Missionary Society of Western Canada. The work began when the Women's Home Mission and Foreign Missionary Society of Manitoba and the North West Territories was organized in Winnipeg December 9, 1887. With the usual energy of women's organizations, it attacked many problems and adopted many causes. It was an ardent and useful supporter of the Baptist Missionary work among the Indians, the Scandinavians, Germans and Ruthenians, and specialized in giving assistance toward the building of churches on the prairies.

In November, 1907, the Baptist Women's Missionary Society of Western Canada was formed to conform with the Union then taking place between the Conventions of British Columbia and of the Prairie Provinces. At that time there were forty-seven Home Mission Circles in the North- West, this being the name of the local unit in each congregation that forms the basis of the Missionary Society. Its objects are home and foreign missions in co-operation with the Baptist Union of Western Canada. It supports missions in Bolivia and India.

The rapid growth of settlement rendered it necessary for the Society to organize Women's Missionary Societies in each Province or Convention, and in 1914 the Baptist Women's Missionary Society of Western Canada was changed to the Board of Women's Work of the Baptist Union of Western Canada.

First Congregations in Alberta:—The first Baptist Church in Alberta was organized in Calgary in May, 1888, with seven members. Two years later a church was built and opened (August 31, 1890). The total cost was $2,069. The present First Baptist Church, built on different site in 1912, cost $152,131. The Baptist Church in Medicine Hat dates from 1890. In 1892 Rev. H. G. Mellick, Superintendent of Missions, held the first Baptist service in Edmonton. The next year, February 19, 1893, Rev. Alexander McDonald organized a congregation of nineteen members, and that summer a brick church was built, the first brick church in Ed- mouton, and Opened for public worship in November following.

Other early congregations were: Rabbit Fulls (German), 1892; Diclsbury 1893; Strathcona 1895; Leduc (German) 1895; Wetaskiwin (German) 1896; Josephburg (German) 1899; Battle River (Scandinavian) 1900; Burnt Lake (Scandinavian) 1901; Crooked Lake (Scandinavian) 1901; Lethbridge, 1905; Shiloh, Edmonton (colored) 1910.

Baptist Colleges in the West:—To supply the need of an institution of higher learning for the young men and women of the Baptist Church in the West, and to found a training college for the Baptist Ministry, Brandon College was established in 1899. Attempts had been made by zealous individuals before. Dr. Crawford, of Woodstock College, resigned his position there in 1880 to come Vest. His aim was to found a school to teach Arts and Theology. He established in Rapid City, Manitoba. For lack of adequate support, Prairie College, as the institution was called, was closed by the Manitoba Convention in 1883. The year before Professor S. J. McKee had opened an academy in Rapid City to give preparatory and collegiate training. This institution was later moved to Brandon, where it was carried on until 1899. In that year the Convention of Manitoba and the North-West decided to establish a Baptist College under its own control, and took over Prof. McKee's academy at Brandon, re-naming the institution Brandon College. Rev. Dr. A. P. McDiarmid, Secretary of the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions was appointed President of the College. It was opened October 2, 1899, with 110 students, thirteen of whom were enrolled as candidates for the ministry of the Baptist Church. The Legislative Assembly of Manitoba has refused to grant University powers to the college, which has led to affiliation with McMaster University, Toronto. In 1912 Dr. McDiarmid was succeeded by Rev. Dr. H. P. Whidden, who held the position until 1923, when Rev. Dr. Franklin P. Sweet became President.

Okanagan College, at Summerland, B. C., was opened under the Control of the Baptist Union in October, 1907, Rev. Dr. E. W. Sawyer, principal, which position he held until 1914, and was succeeded by Rev. S. Everton. Owing to the conditions created by the war, the work of this institution has been suspended.

Steps were taken by the Baptist Union in 1913 to utilize a grant of land for educational purposes out of the estate of the late A. J. McArthur, M. L. A., of Calgary, and formed a new Baptist College, to be known as McArthur College. Rev. D. R. Sharpe, B. D., was appointed principal. But before money could be subscribed for the success of the college the war intervened and nothing further has been done.

The year 1923 was the Jubilee year of the Baptist Church in Western Canada and the 35th year of its existence in Alberta. During that period 237 churches have been established, with a membership of 20,209, grouped into ten Conferences and Conventions. Growth in Alberta is shown by comparing statistics of 1894 with those of 1923. In 1894 there were three churches, the total raised was $9,285. The latest returns (December 31, 1922) show fifty-five English speaking congregations, with a membership of 4,179, and a budget of $107,000, seven Swedish churches, one Norwegian and ten Russo-Ukranian churches.


The members of the Moravian Church in Alberta are German Russians who began to emigrate from Voihynia about 1894. They were forced to leave their homes in that land because they could not get title to their lands unless they became members of the Greek Church. Their love of liberty and devotion to their faith clashed with the political plotting of the Russian Government and the bigotry of the State Church. They were forced to choose between degradation or emigration. They chose the latter and were induced by the Dominion Government to settle near Edmonton, around Bruederheim, and a few miles southeast of Edmonton on the vacant Indian Reserve of Papaschase. Soon after their arrival and settlement, they asked for the protection and services of the Moravian Church in the United States. That body, through its Provincial Elders' Conference, and Board of Extension, sent a representative, Rev. Morris V. Liebert, of Bethlehem, Pa., to inspect the field. He visited the two colonies in December, 1895. Acting upon his report the Elders' Conference and Board of Church Extension decided to support their Moravian brethren in Alberta, and to send them a pastor. Rev. Clement Hoyler accepted the appointment and took up his work among the Moravians of Alberta in February, 1896, assisted by Bro. Andrew Lilge.

Under Bishop Hoyler the work has grown with amazing success. In a material way these devoted people have prospered beyond their highest hopes that impelled them to emigrate to Alberta. They have maintained the time-honored reputation and character of the Moravian Church, which has throughout its history given more per head for missions and sent a larger proportion of its membership into foreign missions than any other church in Christendom.

There are now in the Canadian District ten congregations, nine churches, seven parsonages, 773 communicants and a total of 1,406 members. In 1920 they raised $16,530 for their own work and $4,680 for outside causes.


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