RICHMOND, British Columbia, Canada (BP)–Fifty years ago, Southern Baptists from the northwestern states began cooperating with Baptists in Canada.
Messengers at the Canadian Convention of Southern Baptists this summer celebrated that initial partnership, which has continued and expanded through the years. In 1985 the Canadian convention became its own autonomous organization.
Plans were outlined to messengers for Vancouver to become a strategic focus city, with Allan Au as city coordinator in an outreach partnership involving the CCSB and the North American Mission Board.
Eight new churches, including Arabic, Chinese and Korean congregations, were seated at the convention, which met at Fraserview Mennonite Church in Richmond, British Columbia.
Messengers approved a budget of $2.5 million and elected Robert Blackaby, pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Calgary, Alberta, as CCSB president during the convention’s July 1-3 sessions. Raymond Perron of Eglise Reformee Baptiste de Montreal, Quebec, was elected first vice president; Eric Walsh of Royal Heights Baptist Church in Delta, British Columbia, second vice president.
The meeting included a time for honoring the memory of CCSB President Perley MacNeill who died this year. MacNeill’s wife and daughter attended the convention and spoke of the joy MacNeill had had in serving Canadian Southern Baptists. He was a member of Community Baptist Church in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, the first CCSB church in the Atlantic provinces.
D.K. Hale, national partnership/volunteer ministries coordinator, reported that 3,000 volunteers from the United States had come to work with Canadian Southern Baptists during the previous year and that 2,000 Canadians also had volunteered. The CCSB counts 60 partnerships between state conventions, associations and individual churches currently functioning on various levels.
Next year’s annual meeting will be July 6-8 in Toronto.