Histroy of the Evangelical Missionary Church
History of the
Evangelical Missionary Church
The Evangelical Missionary Church was organized in its present form as a result
of the 1993 merger of the Evangelical Church in Canada and the Missionary Church
of Canada. Both of these groups had their origins in the revival movements that
swept across North America during the 19th century. The Evangelical Missionary
Church is committed to being a biblical church where the Scriptures are the
primary source of doctrine and life for all its people.
Life - Death - Resurrection - Ascension - Christ's work on earth was
complete! The one great event yet to come was the birth of THE CHURCH. This
happened when the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples on the day of
Pentecost and empowered them to spread the Gospel to the whole known world
by 100 A.D. But what happened to the Church after the death of the apostles?
By the fourth century, the original vim and vigor of the church had
waned. One reason for this was that the church in Rome grew supreme through
its close contact with the emperor. It began to cater to the pagan people of
Europe. Coveting new land and wealth, it began to entice these people by
building huge cathedrals, clothing its bishops in magnificence, and
instituting pompous ceremonies. The "world" crowded into the Church and
decadence was the result.
The light still burned on the darkness, however, through the Pietists and
other groups led by men such as John Wycliffe in England (1381), and John
Huss in central Europe (1414). These theologians studied the Scripture and
spoke out against the evils in the Catholic Church. Persecution followed and
many who called for change were martyred. Then, in 1517, under the
protection of a German duke, Martin Luther publicly protested against the
corrupt teachings and practices of the Church. Many rallied around him in
support. The Reformation became unstoppable.
Other Reformers, such as John Calvin and Ulrich Zwingli also gained
followers; but another group, dubbed "Anabaptists", felt that the Reformers
did not go far enough. They called out only for the doctrine of salvation
through faith, but also for adult baptism, holy living, and belief in the
sole authority of the Scripture. Persecuted by both Rome and the Reformers,
Anabaptist leaders were martyred and their people scattered. Then a former
Roman Catholic priest, Menno Simons of Holland, was asked to lead this
scattered group, and in spite of continued persecution, these "Mennonites"
survived and increased. Since they held strongly to the doctrine of
non-resistance, many fled to the New World to escape involvement in Europe's
wars. Later, during the American Revolution and Civil Wars, many again
migrated to Canada to begin a new life there.
While this Reformation was going on in Europe, an Englishman named William
Tyndale, translated the New Testament into everyday English. (formerly, it
had been available in Latin only.) As Tyndale's Bibles were distributed
throughout England, great persecution arose, yet the Light continued to
grow. Change came to that land also. In 1531, King Henry severed the Church
of England from Rome and the power of the Pope.
Two hundred years later, a small group of students of the Oxford Church
of ,England, met to spur one another on to live holy lives. Because of their
methodical application of the Scriptures, they were dubbed "Methodists". Two
of these men, John and Charles Wesley, sailed for Georgia to do missionary
work even though they were still struggling to find peace for their own
souls. While on board, they met some Moravian missionaries from Germany
whose quiet assurance of salvation and godly lives deeply impressed them.
Back in London after a failed mission, John visited a Moravian prayer
meeting and one evening experienced personal assurance of his acceptance
with God. Being an ordained clergyman with the Church of England, he began
to preach salvation as the free gift of God.
After being ostracized by the
Anglican Church, he and his hymn writing brother began to travel throughout
England preaching and singing in open fields, in jails, at mine heads and
wherever people flocked to hear them. Lives were drastically changed and a
spiritual awakening broke out which later spread to North America.
The Missionary Church of Canada
As the decades went by, the zeal and evangelical warmth of the Mennonites in
America declined so that by the latter part of the 19th century, their
worship was reduced to empty forms and regulations. At this time, revival
fires began to blaze throughout the USA and Canada under the preaching of
the Wesleys, George Whitfield, and D.L. Moody. Many people, including
Mennonites, came into the experience of the new birth. This caused a rift
between these "fanatics" and the mother denomination. In 1883, several
groups who had been excommunicated, united under the name "Mennonite
Brethren in Christ." The group later evolved into "The United Missionary
Church" with conferences both in Canada and USA.
At the same time, another such group of Mennonites became established in
the mid-western US under the name "The Missionary Church Association."
over a century, the American and Canadian churches operated as one
denomination. In 1988, the Canadian church became organizationally separated
under the name, The Missionary Church of Canada.
The Evangelical Church in Canada
The Evangelical Church in Canada is a product of the union of two spiritual
streams consisting of German believers of the Wesleyan persuasion. In 1752,
the Reformed Church in Germany sent Philip Otterbein with five other pastors
to Pennsylvania to help bring new life to a spiritually dark country. Like
Wesley, Otterbein discovered the assurance of personal salvation, in his
case, out of his own preaching! Martin Boehm, also experienced the new birth
through his study of the Scripture. The two men joined forces and held
"experience meetings" reaching many people. Their preaching gained impetus
through the revival spreading across America. Many came to know the Lord.
The fledgling church organized itself under the name The United Brethren in
Christ in the year 1800 and soon spread throughout the United States and
Meanwhile another stream was springing into life. Also in Pennsylvania, a
Methodist farmer name Jacob Albright attended one of the Brethren meetings
and was soundly converted. By the year 1800, Jacob Albright had organized
several classes within the Methodist Church. However, because his work was
among the German speaking people and the new converts wished to continue to
worship in their own language, they formed a separate organization called
the Evangelical Association in 1816. The new church grew rapidly, spreading
to Ontario, Canada, and other parts of the world. By the year 1922, the
church had grown to a membership of a quarter million under the new name,
the Evangelical Church. In 1946, the United Brethren in Christ and the
Evangelical Church merged to form the Evangelical United Brethren Church, a
denomination of three quarter million members.
Influenced by Wesleyan
teaching, the EUB's were known for their passion for evangelism and personal
holiness, missionary zeal and deep interest in education.
As time went by, American Methodists began to lose their evangelical
fervor, and when merger was formalized between themselves and the
Evangelical United Brethren denomination (forming the United Methodist
Church), the EUB churches of Western Canada and many in Northwest US stayed
out of the merger (1968). In 1970 the newly autonomous Canadian churches
reorganized under the name, The Evangelical Church In Canada. Finally, in
1982, the Evangelical Church In Canada and its counterpart in the Northwest
States (Evangelical Church of North American), reunited to form The
A New Beginning
For many years, leaders within the Missionary Church and The Evangelical
Church in Canada worked toward a vision of working together in Canada. In
August of 1993, in the city of Calgary, Alberta, The Evangelical Church in
Canada and the Missionary Church in Canada celebrated the merger of a new
but historically rich denomination, the Evangelical Missionary Church of
Canada. The new denomination continues to maintain fraternal relations with
its American counterparts.
Our Missionary Thrust
Missionary zeal has characterized both denominations from their beginnings.
The Evangelical Church assumed ownership of works in Bolivia, Brazil,
Germany, Japan, and with the native Indians and Mexican people groups in the
US. In addition, it sent out missionaries under World Gospel Mission,
Wycliffe Bible Translators, OMS International, and other evangelical
agencies. At the time of merger, The Evangelical Church in Canada was
represented in 16 countries with over 60 missionaries.
The Missionary Church also administered its own overseas work as well as
supported its missionaries under other agencies. National Missionary Church
churches were established in Nigeria, Jamaica, India, Sierra Leone, Haiti,
Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Brazil and Mexico. Since 1979, ministries were
also begun in France, Spain, Portugal, Middle East, Thailand, Indonesia,
Cyprus, South Africa and Russia. Besides this, about 100 missionaries were
sent out under other approved agencies to serve in over 40 countries.
In 1988, when the Missionary Church in Canada became a separate entity from
its US counterpart, the name World Partners was chosen, identifying the
joint mission board under which both denominations would continue to send
their missionaries. What would happen now that the two Canadian
denominations were merging? The Evangelical Church in Canada agreed to
recognize World partners as the official missions board of the new Canadian
denominations. Former Evangelical Church missionaries serving under other
agencies were given "Missionary on Loan" status.
The quarterly, World partners, published by World Partners, continues as
the denomination's official mission magazine. World Partner's headquarters
is located in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
As of the year 1995, nearly 250 World Partner missionaries serve in over
55 countries outside North America. Efforts to enter more countries with
workers from the Evangelical Missionary Church of Canada continue.
The Evangelical Missionary Church presently trains leaders through two
accredited colleges. In central Canada,
Emmanuel Bible College is located
in Kitchener, Ontario. Emmanuel Bible College began in 1940 to train
ministers and missionaries. It has grown to a community of over 300 students
today. Graduates serve in scores of ministries around the world.
In the west, Rocky Mountain College
is located in Calgary, Alberta. Rocky Mountain College is the product of the
merging of two smaller schools: Hillcrest Christian College (formerly the
Evangelical Church school) of Medicine Hat, Alberta, and Mountain View Bible
College (formerly the Missionary Church school) of Didsbury, Alberta. RMC
began its ministry in 1992 and has seen its student body grow to more than
250 students in its first three years.
Camping ministries have been a vital part of the evangelistic edge of our
denomination for many, many years. In the east, two camps have served our
churches, including camp Stayner which has been in operation since 1920. In
the west, our denomination operates five camps, located as far west as
Chairs Camp near Chilliwack in beautiful British Columbia.
Canada East -
Camp Mishewah - Pembroke, Ontario
Stayner Bible Conference Grounds - Stayner, Ontario
Canada West -
Charis Camp - Chilliwack, British Columbia
Echo Lake - Fort QuAappelle, Saskatchewan
Okanagan Family Camp - Gardom Lake, British Columbia
Riversedge Camping Ministries - Elkton Valley, Alberta
James River Bible Camp - Sundre, Alberta
Whispering Pines - Elkwater, Alberta
The information contained here is from Exploring Our
a booklet prepared by the Board of Education of the
Evangelical Missionary Church, Canada West District.
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Praiseland Christian Church
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Christian Church is a ministry of Markham Missionary Church reaching out to
Chinese language members of our community.
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Awana program involves over 50 children and youth ages 3 - 14 who meet on a
weekly basis. The clubbers memorize scripture, learn Bible truths, complete
crafts and have fun in the gym. Special Theme Nights and activities add to the
fun and learning.
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