Friday, July 18, 2008

The "Deacon"

In 1912 and again in 1917 Brethren moved into the Alberta Province in Western Canada. They purchased newly opened lands at the Blackfoot Reservation. The two congregations met in April 1917 and decided to form a new congregation to be known as Bow Valley. A church building was completed by November with 85 members which grow to 150 by 1918. The church was served by a group of free ministers until 1928. In 1968 when the congregation joined the United Church of Canada, it was the largest congregation of the Brethren in Western Canada and was known for its active outreach ministry. [The Brethren Encyclopedia]

J. Homer Bright included the following excerpt in the December 1918, The Missionary Visitor.

One of our Christians here has been an all-round "handy" man since the beginning of the work. He has served the mission in various capacities, from the lowest to overseeing a hundred workmen. Whenever anything was to be done, he would succeed where others had failed. In securing workmen or animals, or in buying any needed thing, he could always be depended upon. He would see to it that the little details were done, and that promptly, too.

.... He has learned to read and is much interested in the progress of the church. He has been very helpful in assisting some of our weak ones to right living. He has talked and lived honesty and done much to set a higher standard for those in our employ, inside and outside of the church. He has not feared that some one would "lose face" in helping to root out some wrong. Thus in many ways he has made himself useful to our little band here, and he is often spoken of as "our deacon."