Dear Pastors, Missionaries, Chaplains and Friends,
Steve here … I wanted to let you see a few photos from a place I visited this past year that has historic significance for all Baptists.
The Baptists have landed!
On June 9, 2013, several Baptist congregations from a few Baptist denominations gathered on the Bay of Fundy shore near our Fellowship church in Wood Point, Nova Scotia, to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the landing of the first Baptists in Canada. Thirteen Baptists from Swansea, Mass., led by pastor Nathan Mason, landed in Canada on April 21, 1763. They established a small community and a Baptist Church in nearby Sackville. Our Fellowship Church in Sackville, NB is celebrating its 250th anniversary this August, 2013. It would take another 100 years before Baptist churches would be planted out west. A Baptist Church was planted in 1873 in Winnipeg.
On behalf of our Fellowship family,
I wrote the following which was read at the 250th anniversary gathering:
“I bring greetings to you in the Name of the Lord!
“On behalf of Fellowship Baptist Churches across Canada, we rejoice with you on this special occasion, the 250th celebration of the landing of the first Baptist brothers and sisters and the establishing of the first Baptist Church in Canada.
“The monument that commemorates this significant historical footnote is “ground zero” for all Christians with a Baptist heritage. We thank God for those who came to penetrate the Canadian wilderness with the light of the Gospel. May we continue to faithfully carry the torch and make Jesus famous throughout our country.
“I had the joy to make my own personal pilgrimage to the memorial marker in June of last year on the 249th anniversary of this historical event. Standing alone in the mist – I pictured those first settlers coming ashore, by faith, and starting a new life making the faith community a central part of their lives. It’s gratifying to know the faith community is gathering there again today to thank God for the commitment of our fore bearers to the cause of Christ in the Maritimes and throughout Canada.
“May our memories of these faithful believers compel us to remain vigilant and resolute in spreading the Good News that Jesus saves!”
May the same “pioneer spirit” that compelled Pastor Mason and his missionaries to come to Canada penetrate our hearts and cause us to move forward no matter the cost. People in our churches need to act more like missionaries, than members. Our Pastors need to act more like missionaries than ministers.
People in our communities are counting on us to reach them with the Gospel. May the Lord bless our mission efforts to reach the spiritual orphans all around us.
Have a blessed week,
P.S. Please consider registering for our upcoming Fellowship National Conference, November 11 – 13th in Richmond, BC.