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Sawin, John Staples (1915-2003)

  • Persona
  • 1915-25 November 2003

Dr. John Staples Sawin was born in 1915 in Wakefield, Mass. Sawin graduated from the Missionary Training Institute (now Nyack College) in 1935. He went on to study at Gordon-Conwell College (formerly Gordon College) where he graduated from in 1938, the same year he married Woneta Forest. John Sawin proceeded to pastor churches in Marblehead, Mass., Muncie, Ind., and Cleveland, Ohio during which time he did graduate studies and earned his master of divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He began pastoring Christian and Missionary Alliance churches in 1942. In 1947, John and Woneta left for Vietnam, where they would spend the next 15 years as Alliance missionaries. John Sawin’s responsibilities in Vietnam included active participation in evangelism, church planting, pastoral training, seminary teaching, music, radio and literature. John Sawin also served as pastor of the International Church in Saigon and as an auxiliary chaplain to U.S. service personnel in Southeast Asia. Upon returning to the United States in 1962, Sawin served as professor of Bible and missions at Simpson Bible College in San Francisco (now Simpson College, Redding, Calif.). The Sawins went on from there to lead churches in Washington, D.C., Lombard, Ill., and San Jose, Calif. In 1976, Sawin began a six-year commitment to organize the A. B. Simpson Historical Library and Archives in Nyack, N.Y. He also co-authored All for Jesus: God at Work in the Christian and Missionary Alliance over One Hundred Years (1986), and compiled an extensive collection of the C&MA’s work in Vietnam from 1911 to 1975. From 1983 to 1992, John consulted with Canadian Bible College and Canadian Theological Seminary (CBC/CTS, now Ambrose University College and Canadian Theological Seminary in Calgary, Alta.) to lay the groundwork for the archive collection there. He donated his library and research work to the CBC/CTS archives. For his outstanding service for Christ in the ranks of the C&MA, and his generous and laborious efforts to preserve the history of the C&MA, John Sawin was honored with a doctor of divinity from CTS. He passed away on November 25, 2003.

Patterson, Ruth (1924- )

  • Persona
  • 1924-

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.

Reimer, Reg (1940- )

  • Persona
  • 1940-

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/

Oldfield, Mabel Dimock (1878-1965)

  • Persona
  • 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.

Oldfield, Walter H. (Walter Herbert) 1879-1958

  • Persona
  • 1879-1958

Walter Oldfield and his wife Mabel Dimock Oldfield (1878-1965) served as missionaries to Guangxi, China during the first half of the twentieth century.

Henry, Robert (1933- )

  • Persona
  • 28 June 1933-

Robert Henry was born in Hamilton, Ontario, on 28 June 1933. He is a graduate of St. Paul Bible College in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he met his wife, Svea. In 1956 they commenced their missionary service in Viet Nam under the Christian and Missionary Alliance. They were blessed with three daughters. The eldest, Karen Lynne (now deceased), was born 15 months before they set sail from New York for their first term. Daughters Lynda Lee and Virginia Jewel, a Down's Syndrome child (now deceased), were both born in Dalat, Viet Nam. An informally adopted fourth daughter, Kien, a Chinese refugee from the tragic "killing fields" experience in Cambodia, was taken into their family in 1980.
Due to Virginia's special needs, the Henrys returned to North America where, for a short period, in order to support his family, Henry became a scientific linguist with the Foreign Service Institute of the U.S. Department of State where he taught the Vietnamese language. Later he served as a language consultant to the Institute for Behavioural Research, then situated in Silver Springs, Maryland, where he engaged in the development of a new approach to language study. In 1963, Henry began pastoring the C&MA church in Washington, D.C. The Henrys returned to Dalat in 1966 after finding suitable care for Virginia in Ontario. While there, Henry founded and directed the Vietnamese Language School and began work on a six volume textbook series on the Vietnamese language, which was later published by the Summer Institute of Linguistics.
In 1968 the Henrys, along with over 30 missionary colleagues and their children, barely escaped with their lives in the infamous Tet Offensive. Most of their colleagues at Banmethuot, a nearby mission station, were either killed or kidnapped. Meanwhile, in Dalat, the Henrys and their language students, together with their small children, escaped Viet Cong encirclement only seconds before Viet Cong troops stormed into the buildings where they had been hiding.
At the end of that year the Henrys were appointed to Sydney, Australia, where Henry founded and directed the work of The Christian and Missionary Alliance of Australia. While there he became a regularly invited speaker at several of the Australian Keswick conventions. After more than nine years of leadership in the Australian C&MA, and after a short stint as a national conference speaker and evangelist for the C&MA in North America, he was called to be the preaching pastor of Sevenoaks Alliance Church in Abbotsford, British Columbia. This rewarding but short appointment was interrupted in 1979, when he was elected Vice President/Church Ministries of the C&MA, which was then headquartered in Nyack, New York. In 1984 he and his family relocated to Vancouver, B.C. where he had taken a position as pastor of Tenth Avenue Alliance Church. The family then moved to England, where Henry assisted in the reorganization of the British Missionary Alliance. He also took a sabbatical at Regent's Park College, Oxford, where he conducted research on notable British preachers of the Victorian era that was later published as The Golden Age of Preaching: Men Who Moved the Masses, which was published in 2006.
Following this, he directed the work of World Relief Hong Kong among the Vietnamese boat people. In this capacity he regularly spent time in Viet Nam itself directing a program of relief and development on behalf of World Relief Corporation, U.S.A. He later became President of World Relief Canada. He eventually resigned from this position to spend a year preaching in colleges and universities on behalf of English Language Institute China in an effort to recruit Christian English teachers to teach in universities in China, Mongolia, Laos, Tibet, and Viet Nam. Now retired, the Henrys reside in Toronto, where Dr. Henry continues to preach, write, and consult.

Roffe, G. E. (George Edward) 1905-2000

  • Persona
  • 1 February 1905-14 September 2000

George Edward "Ed" Roffe was born in Toronto on February 1, 1905. His father was A.W. Roffe, an influential pastor who served as superintendent of the District of Canada for the Christian and Missionary Alliance from 1919 to 1925.

After graduating from McMaster University and Nyack Missionary College, Roffe was appointed by the Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) to serve as a missionary in French Indochina. In 1928, while studying in France in preparation for travel to Southeast Asia, he was directed by the C&MA to pioneer a new field among the tribal peoples of northern Laos. In 1929, he became the first resident Protestant missionary in north Laos, settling in the city of Luang Prabang. Soon after, Roffe brought his new bride, and recent Nyack graduate, Thelma Wilhelmine Mole (1907-1999) to live and serve there with him.

While on Furlough during World War II, Ed and Thelma Roffe attended two sessions of Wycliffe’s Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL). Ed Roffe also took advantage of the delay which the war posed to earn his wings, and upon returning to Laos in 1947 became the first missionary pilot in the area. In addition to their ongoing direct evangelistic efforts and administrative duties, the Roffes were also given the responsibility of running a Bible College tasked with raising up indigenous leaders. In 1950, a young student from this school by the name of Kheng was instrumental in sparking a mass movement among the mountain tribal people of northern Laos, which saw whole villages come to Christ in a matter of days. This revival precipitated the formal incorporation of the national church in northern Laos. The “Evangelical Church of Laos” held its first assembly in 1957, with pastor Saly (the first Laotian ordained by the Alliance) as the first president.

In 1951, the Roffes were transferred to the city of Vientiane. After returning to Laos in 1955 from an extended furlough, during which Ed Roffe was able to complete graduate studies in Linguistics at Cornell University, the Roffes were assigned to engage full time in the ministry of translation and literature. In a ten year period they were able to turn out approximately 100 titles, some of them original. Ed Roffe was eventually freed from his other duties to work exclusively on translating into Lao a new version of the New Testament, complete with cross-references, a glossary, a dictionary of unfamiliar terms and a limited concordance. The completed work was presented to the king of Laos in late 1973.

In 1975, the communists took control of the government in Laos, and the Roffes were forced to leave the country. In all, punctuated only by war and furlough, Ed and Thelma Roffe had labored faithfully in Laos for 47 years. Upon their return to North America (Orlando, FL) their ministry to the people of Laos did not come to an end. In addition to monitoring the situation in Laos, the Roffes actively cared for Laotian refugees in their area and helped many get adjusted to North American life. During his retirement years, Ed Roffe was also actively involved in correcting, editing, or translating various documents sent to him for comment.

Ed Roffe died on 14 September 2000. He was predeceased by Thelma, who died in 1999.

Post, Walter (1904-1982)

  • Persona
  • 14 January 1904-1982

Walter Post was born on 14 January 1904 in Chicago, Illinois and died in (September?) 1982. Brought up in a Dutch home and the Christian Reformed Church, he received what he considered to be an excellent background in Christian life and practices. In 1921, through the ministry of an evangelist, he made a personal decision to follow Christ.

Shortly after this decision his family began attending a newly formed Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) church led by R.R. Brown. This church introduced Walter to the Alliance’s missionary program, but it was not until he took a course from Dr. Robert H. Glover at Moody Bible Institute’s Evening School that he felt a desire to become a missionary. In 1926 he began studies at the C&MA’s Missionary Training Institute in Nyack, N.Y., intending to pursue missions in a general way. Following his time at Nyack, Post continued his studies at Wheaton College, although he had to withdraw for a time because of personal financial difficulties brought on by the Great Depression.

While at Wheaton, he was encouraged by Dr. W.M. Turnbull to apply to the C&MA’s Foreign Department for a field assignment. The board responded with an appointment to a new field that was being opened by Dr. R. Jaffray in Borneo, Netherlands East Indies (now Indonesia). He accepted and, under the sponsorship of the South Side (C&MA) Church of Chicago (pastored by A. W. Tozer), sailed from Seattle in November 1931. He arrived in Borneo a month later. There he met fellow C&MA missionary Viola M. Griebenow, whom he married in 1932.

The Posts worked in East Borneo (Kalimantan) for a year and then were sent to Makassar to work in the Bible school there. After their first furlough, they pioneered a mission effort in New Guinea (Irian Jaya), but in 1943, with the advance of the Japanese forces, they were evacuated to Australia. While there, they were asked by the Netherlands Forces Intelligence Service to assist in translation and interrogation work.

They were flown to Makassar in September 1945 to assist in post war rehabilitation. For the next few years Walter served as chairman of the field and taught in the Bible school. In 1952 the Posts were able to return to New Guinea (Irian Jaya) and work in the Bible school there. They retired in 1972.

Stoesz, Samuel J. (1922-2011)

  • Persona
  • 30 January 1922-12 October 2011

Samuel J. Stoesz was born in Mountain Lake, Minnesota on January 30, 1922, and spent his childhood on the family farm there. While attending St. Paul Bible Institute (Crown College) he met and married Wanda Manee in 1945. Sam pastored and started a number of Christian and Missionary Alliance churches in several states. He also taught and prepared students for pastoral and full time Christian ministries at Nyack College, New York; and Canadian Bible College (CBC), Regina, Saskatchewan. In 1970, while at CBC, he co-founded Canadian Theological Seminary (now Ambrose Seminary, which is part of Ambrose University in Calgary, Alberta). He wrote several books, notably All for Jesus (principal author), Life is For Growth, and Sanctification: An Alliance Distinctive. Stoesz passed away peacefully on Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at Shell Point, Ft. Myers, Florida, where he spent his retirement years He was predeceased by his wife Wanda in 1986, and by his second wife May Carlson in 2005.

From obituary in Regina Leader Post

The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada

  • Entidad colectiva
  • 29 May 1972

The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada (CMAC) is an evangelical denomination rooted in the vision of a Canadian Presbyterian minister, A. B. (Albert Benjamin) Simpson (1843-1919). After serving prestigious pastorates in Louisville KY (1874-1879) and New York City (1879-1881) Simpson left the Presbyterian Church to found a ministry in New York City to “the poor and neglected masses.” The fruit of these labors was the Gospel Tabernacle. Out of the Gospel Tabernacle emerged two fraternal organizations for the promotion of evangelism and “the higher Christian life”: The Christian Alliance, for North American initiatives, and the Evangelical Missionary Alliance (later the International Missionary Alliance) for mission work—both of which began in 1887. That same year, John Salmon founded Bethany Chapel, an independent work along the same lines, in Toronto. Shortly thereafter it became affiliated with the Christian Alliance. By 1889 other what became the first Alliance church in Canada, Bethany Tabernacle, in Toronto. By the 1920s the C&MA had taken root in both the United States and Canada. The best-known figure in the C&MA in the post-Simpson era was A. W. (Aiden Wilson) Tozer (1898-1963), whose devotional writings had an influence far beyond the Alliance.
In the 1960’s and 1970’s the Canadian C&MA churches began to advocate for autonomy from the American church. At the same time, The Christian and Missionary Alliance wanted its Canadian churches to have a national identity, so it proposed that they be incorporated as a national body. The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada was officially incorporated in Canada on 29 May 1972. It became known as the "Canadian Corporation," and its chief role was to serve as a liaison for Canadian affairs with the Division of North American Ministries of the Christian and Missionary Alliance. The movement for self-government continued to gain momentum, and autonomy was finally achieved on 1 January 1981. The CMAC established its own missionary sending agency in 1998. The presidents of the denomination to date have been, Melvin P. Sylvester (1981-1992), Arnold Cook (1992-2000), Franklin Pyles (2000-2012), and David Hearn (2012-present). The American C&MA and the CMAC continue to maintain a close collaborative relationship.
The CMAC is committed to: the glory of the triune God, the authority of the Bible, Christ-centred living, the Church, evangelization (both at home and abroad) leadership, strategic cooperation, social responsibility, stewardship, and prayer.
From the beginning, the organization has been fervent about ministry and mission work, both overseas and at home. In the early years, saddle-bag preachers visited homesteads in Western Canada, while evangelists conducted large-scale campaigns in the East. By 1926, there were 23 churches in Canada, and by 2013 at least 430 (including many multicultural congregations), with more than 106,000 adherents. These local churches are organized by geographic region: the Canadian Pacific District (CPD), covering British Columbia and the Yukon; the Western Canadian District (WCD), encompassing Alberta and the Northwest Territories; the Canadian Midwest District (CMD), serving Saskatchewan, Manitoba, the portion of Ontario west of the 90th meridian, and Nunavut; the Central Canadian District (CCD) for Western Ontario; the St. Lawrence District (SLD) for Quebec; and the Eastern Canadian District (ECD), covering eastern Ontario and the Atlantic Provinces. The District Superintendent for each region works with a team to provide churches with resources and guidance “in the areas of church growth, leadership, Christian education, missions conferences, multicultural ministries, pastoral care, and church planting. The district office also oversees the licensing, ordination and supervision of its workers.” Canadian ministries highlight the needs of men, women, youth, children, and multicultural congregations. The CMAC is involved in justice and compassion work in Canada and in dozens of countries around the world.
The need for trained workers led to the establishment of the Western Canadian Bible Institute in Regina in 1941. Currently, most CMAC leaders are trained at one of two affiliated institutions: Ambrose University College, The Christian and Missionary Alliance Bible College and Seminary, in Calgary; or or ÉTEQ (École de théologie évangélique du Québec) a Montreal-based Bible college (a joint venture with the Mennonite Brethren) for workers going into French-speaking communities. In 2004, the international ministries were organized into the Four “S” Ventures: Asian Spice; Caribbean Sun (Central and South America); Desert Sand (the arid Muslim countries of North Africa); and Silk Road (from Turkey to Iran and Tajikistan to northwest China). Canadian Alliance churches are actively involved in supporting their missionaries and ministries both financially and in prayer, aiming to empower all members as emissaries of Christ. The head office of the CMAC is in Toronto.

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