- 1925-1 January 1981
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.