The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada-Canadian Pacific District
- 1 January 1981-
The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada-Canadian Pacific District
By the 1950's The Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) had become increasingly concerned that potential Alliance missionaries and pastors who desired master's level formation had to look outside the Alliance to find it. To address the problem, the C&MA began The Jaffray School of Missions, a one-year post-baccalaureate missionary training program, which was housed on the campus of Nyack Missionary College, Nyack, N.Y., which was the movement's flagship undergraduate institution. However, this solution did not appeal to those who wanted a full master's degree. To address this concern the 1963 General Council voted to make Wheaton College Graduate School the official seminary of the C&MA until the Alliance could develop its own seminary. It took the Jaffray School of Missions until 1974 (when it changed its name to the Alliance School of Theology and Missions) to offer a two-year master's degree, and until 1979 (when it became Alliance Theological Seminary) to offer a full M.Div. degree.
Meanwhile, the faculty of Canadian Bible College (CBC) had become increasingly concerned about the dilution of the Alliance ethos and the loss of potential missionary and ministry candidates to other denominations. To address these concerns, Alvin Martin, president of CBC, along with academic dean Samuel Stoesz, began, in 1965, to lobby the C&MA's Education Department for permission to start a graduate school in Canada. The General Council of 1967 granted their request, and in September 1970 Canadian Theological College (CTC) began classes on the campus of Canadian Bible College. The new institution was called "College" and not "Seminary" in deference to those member of the Alliance constituency who equated seminary education with liberalism. Although continuing to share a president and board with CBC, CTC was granted a separate charter by the Saskatchewan Legislature in 1973. In the same year, CTC was approved for affiliation with the University of Regina. It offered six classes at the University in Hebrew, Greek and biblical literature, and the president of CBC/CTC served on the University Senate. Just over a decade later the school had become sufficiently established within the denomination to consider a name change, and in June 1982, by an act of the Saskatchewan Legislature, Canadian Theological College became Canadian Theological Seminary.
The seminary became a fully-accredited member of the Association of Theological Schools in 1989. That year it began a doctor of ministry program, which it offered until 1997. Along with Canadian Bible College, it moved to Calgary in the summer of 2003 and became a part of the joint venture known as Alliance University College/Nazarene University College. On 1 May 2007, when AUC/NUC became Ambrose University College, the seminary changed its name to Ambrose Seminary. .
Rev. Jean Émile Roger Funé (1902-2000) served as a missionary and pastor in the Christian & Missionary Alliance (C&MA) for nearly 50 years. He was born on 18 May 1902, in Ville Favard, France to Eugène & Rachel (Gargot) Funé, and died on 5 January 2000 at his home in Hamilton, Ontario. Funé spent 42 years in Vietnam and Cambodia as a C&MA missionary and five years in Quebec as a missionary and pastor before retiring in 1975.
From 1922 to1925, Jean Funé attended the Nogent Bible School in France. While at Nogent, he received a call to become a missionary to French Indochina. With this in mind, he enrolled at Nyack (N.Y.) Missionary College in 1925. He graduated in 1927 and began his service in Vietnam the following year. Funé used his French citizenship to good advantage. For example, he was instrumental in purchasing land at Dalat, on which the C&MA later built a school for missionaries’ children, and several other strategic properties elsewhere in the country.
Jean married a Canadian, Myrtle Hall (b. 3 April 1905, d. 1 February 1992) in 1935, and together they had two children, George Eugène (b. 25 March 1938) and Esther Marie (b. 30 September 1942). In 1944, the Funés and their children were taken to Hanoi and then Xieng-Khouang, Laos, where they were interned for eight months by the Vichy Government. In 1966, the elder Funés left an increasingly dangerous Vietnam for Cambodia, where they served until 1970, when they began their retirement in Canada. Their retirement was short-lived, as Jean became both the coordinator of C&MA work in Quebec and the pastor of Belvedere Church in Quebec City for five years. In 1975, the Funés moved to Regina, where they worked with Vietnamese refugees.
Oldfield, Mabel Dimock (1878-1965)
Mabel Dimock Oldfield (1878-1965) and her husband Walter H. Oldfield (1879-1958) served as missionaries to Guangxi, China during the first half of the twentieth century.
Ruth Patterson was born in 1924 just outside of Toronto, Ontario. She took her post high school training at Toronto Bible College, Windsor School of Nursing and Nyack Missionary College. Ministry and missionary service were no strangers to her as she was brought up in a home with parents dedicated to serving the Lord. So it was no surprise when she headed off to her first missionary assignment in Zaire where she served for four terms from 1952-1972. She assumed nursing and administrative duties at the Kinkonzi Hospital and also gave direction and taught at the nursing school.
In 1973 Ruth responded to a call for nurses in Cambodia that was issued by World Vision and ministered in Phnom Penh and in refugee camps. In 1975 when Cambodia fell, she relocated to Thailand teaching English and English Bible at Bangkok Bible College. She continued to assist Cambodian refugees with transitioning from camps to other countries. France was next on her journey. Moving to Paris in 1978 she worked with the Boulogne Cambodian Church outreach to Cambodian refugees and then moved to Pau in 1983 to work with French, Asian and Angolan refugees. Her final term from 1986-1991 was spent helping to plant a church in Martiques and also working in church planting among Cambodians in Marseille.
After forty years of service, Ruth retired to Ontario, Canada where she continued to minister in missionary meetings, Bible studies, prayer lines, and chapel services at a nursing home.
The fonds are from the experiences of Ruth over 40 years. Missionary letters and prayer requests highlight the activities she was challenged and blessed with on this journey. Numerous personal letters from family, friends, colleagues and those she so capably ministered too in spiritual and practical ways through her nursing skills, theological knowledge and servants heart, bring to life a missionary’s life.
Reg Reimer was born in 1940 on Vancouver Island, B. C. When he was four, his family moved to the Chilliwack area, where they began attending the German-speaking Mennonite Brethren church in which Reg was later baptized. After graduating from high school, he moved to Omaha, Nebraska, to attend Grace Bible Institute (GBI). During his second year, he met LaDonna (Donna) Rose Goodwin from Hutchinson, Kansas. They married in the summer of 1961. Reg and Donna have two children: Jay Reimer, born in October 1964, and Jill (Kila) Reimer, born in May 1966.
Reg was expelled from GBI for defending the supposedly deviant theological views of one of his professors. On the advice of this same professor, he decided to pursue further studies at the University of Nebraska. He graduated in 1964 with a B.A. English Literature and a certificate in secondary education.
Reg and Donna were called to missions at the Omaha Gospel Tabernacle, a flagship church of the Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA). As one of the conditions of their appointment as missionaries both pursued further studies in Nyack, N.Y. – Reg at the Jaffray School of Mission and Donna at Nyack Missionary College. In 1966 they received an assignment to Vietnam.
The Reimers served in Vietnam from 1966 to 1975. Their first assignment after language study was to the coastal town of Phan Thiet, from which they were evacuated almost immediately during the Tet Offensive of 1968. In 1970 Reg took a leave to attend Fuller Theological Seminary’s School of World Mission, where he earned his master’s degree.
During the fall of Vietnam, Reg was sent to Guam to assist the United States military in caring for the thousands of Vietnamese evacuees who had been sent to the island in anticipation of being relocated. His job was to oversee missionaries who were serving as translators and trouble-shooters. For this he received high commendation from a US Navy admiral.
In 1975, Reg spent a year as the missionary-in-residence at Canadian Bible College and Canadian Theological Seminary in Regina, Saskatchewan. Since 1980, he has made frequent visits to Vietnam, during which he has kept careful record of religious freedom abuses against Protestants. He also served as the representative for Vietnam at the 1974, 1989, 2010 Lausanne Congresses. Since 2009, Reg has returned to Vietnam yearly to give lectures on Protestantism in Vietnamese to government religion and security officials.
In 1976, Reg and Donna were sent to serve as missionaries in Thailand. Reg became the Director of CAMA Services, which did relief and development work among Indochinese refugees. Until 1983 he also served as the director of World Relief US’s work in Southeast Asia, as well as chairing a committee composed of NGO’s, UN agencies, and representatives of the Thai government. During the Cambodian refugee crisis of 1979-1980 he helped lead a relief effort that provided Cambodian peasants with seed and agricultural implements, thereby decreasing their dependence on aid from the West. At the same time he worked with the Mennonite Central Committee and World Relief US to resettle Vietnamese refugees in in Canada and the United States. For his humanitarian work Reg was awarded the Order of the White Elephant medal by the king of Thailand, Bhumibol Adulyadej (r. 1946-2016).
In 1983, the Reimers moved to Toronto, so that Reg could become the first president of World Relief Canada (WRC), the relief arm of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada. He was seconded to serve as the senior staff member of the World Evangelical Alliance; in this capacity he worked to facilitate reconciliation and healing in Rwanda and Indochina.
In 1997, Reg helped organize the Strategic Vietnam Partnership (SVP) an informal organization dedicated to helping mission agencies in Vietnam coordinate their efforts. In 1998, he joined Interdev (later International Partnering Associates) as the coordinator for mainland Southeast Asia. Reg is now the senior mentor for SVP, and he also serves on the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada’s Religious Liberty Commission. In 2000, he was invited to brief President Bill Clinton on the eve of Clinton’s historic visit to Vietnam.
Reg is the author of Vietnam’s Christians: A Century of Growth and Diversity (Littleton: William Carey Library, 2011) and also co-authored and co-edited Sorrow and Blood: Christian Mission in Contexts of Suffering, Persecution, and Martyrdom (Littleton: William Carey Library, 2012).
This biographical description is a condensation of an autobiography that can be found here https://globalvault.ca/5-biography-2/
Wiens, Evelyn R. (Evelyn Ruth) 1943-1998
Evelyn Ruth Wiens served as a missionary for the International Church of the Nazarene in South Africa (1970-1981) and Papua New Guinea (1987-1994). She was born November 12th 1943 and died on September 11th 1998. She received a Bachelor of Theology degree from Canadian Nazarene College in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in 1965 and went on to graduate from the Royal Alexandra Hospital School of Nursing in 1968 with an R.N. degree.
Before beginning her missionary work Wiens worked as a nurse in Alberta with a First Nations community from 1968-1970, in order to fulfill requirements for the grant that covered her training expenses. After finishing that work, she applied to the World Mission Division of the Church of the Nazarene to work as a missionary nurse and was appointed to a position in Acornhoek, E. Transvaal, in the Republic of South Africa. She served in South Africa from 1970 until September of 1981, when mental health issues resulted in a doctor and the mission board recommending that she take a medical leave of absence. She returned home to Canada, where she stayed with her family. In 1982, after several episodes of distorted thinking and actions, she requested to be hospitalized.
In 1987, confident that God had healed her schizophrenia, Wiens reapplied to the Board of World Missions to be reappointed as a missionary nurse. After some deliberation, the board decided that the severity of her previous breakdown was due to extenuating circumstances and that she was healthy enough to serve again. She was appointed to a position in Papua New Guinea, where she helped to train nurses and establish a community based health care program. She served there until 1994, when she suffered a major seizure, which resulted in significant brain damage.
After hospitalization she was sent home to Canada, where she was placed in a rehabilitation program for brain damage in the Chedoke-McMaster Hospital in Hamilton. She was honored with a Distinguished Service award from Oakville Church of the Nazarene in 1996 for her work in missions. She passed away on September 11th 1998 of a brain seizure caused by her pre-existing brain damage.
The Christian and Missionary Alliance-Western Canadian District
The Western Canadian District of the Christian and Missionary Alliance came into being in May of 1925. Previously, the whole of Canada (with the exception of British Columbia, which was included in the Pacific Northwest District) had been considered one district. During the administration of A. W. Roffe, superintendent of the Alliance District of Canada from 1919-1925, it became clear that the Canadian District was too large to be administered by one man. Roffe’s nervous breakdown in 1925, prompted Home Secretary E. J. Richards to divide Canada into three districts. The “Western Canadian District” was to embrace all of Canada west of Fort William, Ontario, including the North West Territories, with the exception of British Columbia. John H. Woodward was appointed the first district superintendent. In 1930, Woodward moved the district office from Edmonton to Winnipeg.
In the spring of 1931, Woodward stepped down, and a period of stagnation ensued. In 1933 the Home Department concluded that the struggling district should share the services of J. D. Williams, the district superintendent of the thriving Eastern and Central District. Williams became district superintendent of the Pacific Northwest District the following year but remained the titular head of the Western Canadian District until the end of 1936.
In September 1937, Gordon Skitch took over as leader, although the board did not officially instate Skitch as district superintendent until 1943. Skitch moved the district office to Calgary. In 1938, the bi-monthly Western Worker’s Bulletin was launched, and in 1941 Canadian Bible Institute (later renamed Canadian Bible College) was established in Regina.
In March 1936, the boundaries of the district were expanded to include all of British Columbia with the exception of the cities of Vancouver, Victoria, and New Westminster.
In 1949 Willis Brooks became district superintendent. The following May, the boundaries of the district were expanded again to include the remainder of British Columbia. Brooks was succeeded in 1953 by George Blackett. Roy McIntyre took over from Blackett in January 1960.
In March 1963 the district was divided once again after the creation of the Canadian Midwest District, which included Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and that part of Ontario and the Northwest Territories lying between the 88th and 110th meridians. A further division occurred in January 1979, when British Columbia was released to become the new Canadian Pacific District. In 1980, Harvey A. Town became superintendent of the reorganized Western Canadian District.
In 1981, like the rest of its Canadian counterparts, the district came under the authority of the newly founded autonomous (independent from the United States) Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada. In 1990, Town was succeeded by Arnold Downey, who was followed by Ken Driedger in 1999. The Western Canadian District currently oversees 110 churches from Yellowknife to the US border, and the district office remains in Calgary.
Canadian Nazarene University College
Nazarene University College was a liberal arts university college of the Church of the Nazarene. The first classes of its "progenitor institution", Calgary Bible Institute, were held in 1921 in Calgary, AB. In 1927, under the leadership of its first president Charles E. Thomson, the school relocated to Red Deer, AB and adopted the name Alberta School of Evangelism. By 1929 the school purchased property on Gaetz Avenue in Red Deer, began building a new campus and adopted a new name, Northern Bible College. NBC offered both high school and college programs. In 1940, NBC, following the pattern of its American counterparts, accepted the name Canadian Nazarene College and granted its first Bachelor of Theology Degree in 1941. With the creation, by the Nazarene Church, of an All-Canada Region, CNC attempted to centralize by moving the campus to Winnipeg in 1961. During its time in Winnipeg, CNC became an affiliate teaching centre for the University of Manitoba, enabling the college to teach university accredited courses. Facing a decline in enrolment, in 1995 CNC relocated back to the city of its birth, Calgary, AB, where it leased office space in the downtown core. In 1999 CNC became an accredited university college with its own degree granting status. With this change CNC was renamed Canadian Nazarene University College (NUC).
In 2003 Nazarene University College began a joint university college venture with Canadian Bible College/Canadian Theological Seminary, two institutions of The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada (CMAC), on a shared campus in downtown Calgary. The new CMAC university college was officially designated Alliance University College in 2004. The joint university college took the name Alliance University College/Nazarene University College. The two institutions officially merged to form Ambrose University College on 1 May 2007. Ambrose University College became Ambrose University on 1 July 2014.