News Articles

Goal of 1,000 new churches set by Canadian convention

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, Canada (BP)–Canadian Southern Baptists embraced a goal to plant 1,000 new churches across Canada by the year 2020 during their annual meeting May 25-27 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
The goal, said Gerry Taillon, the convention’s new national ministry leader, is based on the conviction that “the church is God’s way to impact Canada and the world.” To have such a large goal when the Canadian Convention of Southern Baptists (CCSB) now has only 146 churches requires more than “dreaming,” Taillon acknowledged. “If God gives us a dream, he will help us see that day when it is accomplished.”
Other goals presented by Taillon were to multiply the convention’s international missionary force tenfold, from three to 30 couples, and to increasingly promote partnerships with U.S. states and other countries. Messengers voted to establish a new position in partnership missions, which will be half-time in the year 2000 and full time in 2001.
During a convention-wide forum concerning the proposed goals, messengers expressed concern for existing churches, some of which are plateaued or declining.
“We will not forget these churches,” Taillon said. “We are committed to helping all our churches become all that God wants them to be.”
In his first annual meeting as national ministry leader, Taillon, who took office last August, said, “I am so glad I work with an organization that works with churches … that transform lives.”
Taillon pointed to record baptisms in the past year — 648 — and a record percentage increase in the churches’ Cooperative Program giving as indications of the convention’s health.
He noted, “We have barriers in our country, but we cannot afford to let those barriers hinder the impact of the gospel across Canada.” One of the barriers, he said, is a division between eastern and western Canada. Two-thirds of Canadian Southern Baptist churches are in western Canada, although more new eastern Canada churches have joined in recent years.
Officers elected during the annual meeting reflect the convention’s diversity. The new president, Alan Braun, is pastor of a non-traditional church — and the convention’s fastest-growing congregation — Abundant Life Christian Fellowship, Penticton, British Columbia. The first vice president, Soogie An, is a Canadian pastor’s wife of Korean descent, from Dixie Baptist Church, Mississauga, Ontario. The second vice president, Julio Ruiz, is the Hispanic pastor of Primera Iglesia Bautista, Delta, British Columbia. More than one-half of CCSB churches are ethnic.

    About the Author

  • Nancy McGough