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Native Canadian Taillon to lead Canadian Baptists

KELOWNA, B.C., Canada (BP)–Gerry Taillon is the new national ministry leader of the Canadian Convention of Southern Baptists.
The native-born French Canadian and, currently, national church planting and evangelism/pastoral ministry consultant for the Canadian convention was elected May 26 in the first session of its 14th annual meeting, held at SpringValley Baptist Church, Kelowna, British Columbia.
“I accept this challenge based on two signs,” Taillon, 44, said after his election. “First, ultimately the leader of the Canadian Convention of Southern Baptists is Jesus Christ. Secondly, I lead a team of leaders of which God has given us some of the best.
“As far as I’m concerned, ” Taillon continued, “there is no higher purpose than serving churches in the kingdom of God. I’ve sensed that God has led and continues to lead us to plant healthy, growing churches across Canada to reach Canadians for Christ.”
Speaking of his predecessor, Taillon said, “Allen Schmidt has built a strong foundation for our convention and I want to give a tribute and honor to him for all he’s done for us.”
Taillon becomes the convention’s first national ministry leader, a new title adopted by messengers at last year’s meeting when they approved a restructuring of the convention.
Schmidt served as the convention’s founding executive director-treasurer for 13 years. Several events at this two-day annual meeting were scheduled to honor him. Schmidt was also a leader in the Northwest Baptist Convention when Canada was affiliated with it before becoming an autonomous convention in 1985.
When Schmidt retires July 31, he will become the full-time pastor at Richmond Hill Baptist Church in Calgary, Alberta, a young congregation in a major building program.
“Thank you so much for the great privilege of being your executive director,” Schmidt said. “Thank you for your kindness and understanding through the challenge of building, growing and stabilizing our convention.”
Taillon, who begins as national ministry leader Aug. 1, was ethnic missionary for Quebec from 1988-90; director of missions in Quebec, 1990-92; national language missions and brotherhood director, 1992-95; and national language missions and evangelism director, 1995-97, until assuming his consultant’s post.
A native of Willow Bunch, Saskatchewan, he is a graduate of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, Mill Valley, Calif., and was a pastor in California and Saskatchewan before being tapped for denominational service.
He is a member of Bowl Valley Baptist Church, Cochrane, Alberta.
Taillon is married to Connie Cavanaugh Taillon, a humorist writer and public speaker whose column appears in Canadian and U.S. publications. They have three children: Christine, 18; Anita, 16; and Jean-Paul, 10.

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  • Nancy McGough