Bill Toller

flower #5September 1 — It is with sadness we announce the death of Rev. William (Bill) Ernest James Toller on Aug 19, 2016.

Bill was married to Gwen and had four children, Gerry, Anne, Jim, and Rob. He was pastor for over 50 years in various churches including 3 small churches in rural Quebec, Clive Baptist Church in Clive, and Zion Baptist Church of Kensington in Edmonton.

Bill was a warm and friendly pastor, always ready to greet you with a handshake, a smile, and a pun. He loved people and was gifted with a generous sense of hospitality. Bill also loved the Lord and enjoyed teaching from the Bible. He led a vibrant Bible study for many years. Bill was deeply loved by Zion Baptist Church and will be missed.

Please pray for Bill’s family and friends during this time of loss.

Brian Stelck

crocusflowersAugust 20, 2016 — It is with great sadness that we share the news of the death of our dear friend and Past President Rev. Dr. Brian Stelck.

Carey Theological College, Institute and Centre was led by Brian’s vision and care from 1994 – 2013.

There will be two memorial services. The first will be held in Edmonton, Alberta at First Baptist Church on Friday August 26th at 12 noon. The Vancouver memorial service will be held at Olivet Baptist Church 613 Queens Ave, New Westminster, BC on Wednesday, September 7th, 2016 at 10 a.m..

Matthew 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Olivet Baptist Church information:

Please remember Brian’s wife Caryn, his family and his friends in prayer during this time of loss.

Valerie Milne

bigstock-Lily-flower-14463593August 10, 2016 — We mourn the death of Valerie Milne, who went home to her Lord on the morning of Tuesday, August 9 after a long journey with cancer.

Valerie was known to many in the CBWC as a generous, warm and friendly woman who served God faithfully and well throughout her life.  She was always gracious, courageous and kind.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, August 14 at 6:30 pm at Trinity Baptist Church in Vancouver at 40th Ave and Granville St.  All who wish are welcome to attend.

Valerie leaves  her beloved husband Bruce, former pastor at First Baptist Vancouver, her family in Canada and Scotland as well as a wide circle of many friends.

We are deeply saddened by Valerie’s passing but rejoice that she now sees her Saviour face to face.  Please pray for her family and friends during this time of loss.

David Holte

Flower #6May 4 — The CBWC was saddened to learn of the passing of David Holte, a long-time member of Bonavista Baptist in Calgary and former member of both the CBWC’s Board and the Board of the CBWC Foundation, on April 29.

David graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1968 with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration. He was hired by Proctor and Gamble in Toronto and acquired his MBA in 1972 from York University. In 1973 Proctor and Gamble moved him to head office in Cincinnati  for two years. In 1975 the company moved him (and his wife Mary and daughter Merydth) to Helsinki, Finland where he was VP Finance. Whilst in Finland David and Mary both became active in establishing what today is known as the International Evangelical Church of Finland.  After three years in Finland he was transferred back to Toronto where after a year he was head hunted and moved to Brantford, Ontario to become the VP Finance and Secretary- Treasurer of S.C. Johnson and Son (Johnson’s Wax). He was with them for ten years. While in Brantford, the family attended Queensway Baptist Church.

He was then head-hunted again and in 1988 the family moved to Calgary Alberta where he became the VP Finance of Palm Dairies. Eventually he met his long time business partner, Brian Foster, who is now the president/director of Operation Eyesight in Calgary. He and Brian established  their own business and for 12 or so years ran Murray Axsmith Western. They eventually sold the business and Dave spent the last ten years of his working life coaching CEO’s. In 2009, he and Mary retired and moved to Vancouver Island.

David became a Christian during his university years and and served the Lord with his whole heart since he was baptized in 1963.   The family attended Bonavista Baptist from the moment they moved to Calgary.  He was a much loved member there and served as an Elder and Chair of the board for quite a few terms. Together with Mary, his wife of 50 years, he was active in the Alpha program.   He also served on the board of Trinity Lodge, the Alberta Executive and the CBWC Foundation for many years.  We would also like to thank Mary for her dedication as a long-time member of Women in Focus who was instrumental in developing the Gifted and Called workshops.

Since moving to the Nanaimo area of Vancouver Island, David and Mary have been actively involved in St. Mary’s Anglican Church. David often advised the Parish Council and was Envelope Secretary for seven years. Mary is  currently the People’s Warden.

David was a gentle man with many gifts least among them his wisdom and his ability to vision long term. He was an incredible mentor to those both in the church and many in the business community. Throughout David’s long life, the Lord was able to do much through David, His willing servant.

The CBWC’s Executive Director, Jeremy Bell, recalls David as “a lovely man and a valued, wise and kind presence”.

A memorial service will be held at St. Mary’s Anglican Church, 2600 Powder Point Road on May 24th at 11 am.

David was much loved and will be much missed.  We are deeply grateful for his service to God and His people.  Please remember David’s family in your prayers during this difficult time.

Rob Des Cotes

crocusflowersApril 8 — The CBWC was deeply saddened by the passing of Rob Des Cotes on Wednesday, April 6 after a long journey with cancer.

Rob was a spiritual director, retreat leader and pastor of Imago Dei, an ecumenical network of Christian faith communities based in Vancouver, BC with sister groups across Canada, the US, UK and Asia.  He had also been the pastor of Fairview Baptist in Vancouver until moving to the A Rocha Brooksdale environmental farm in South Surrey, BC.  He was the author of three books of meditations for spiritual direction, Fan the Flame, Higher Than I and Ultreia! (Go Higher).   He had taught Contemplative Traditions at Trinity Western University as well as courses on spirituality and the arts at Carey Theological College and Columbia Bible College.  He was an active member of Baptist Peacemakers International and directed Imago Dei’s Vancouver Arts Network, a community of writers, musicians, actors, dancers and visual artists who are in creative dialogue with spiritual issues in the arts, especially as they relate to postmodern culture.  He was well known as a flautist and liturgist.

Rob will be much missed for his gentle commitment to encouraging others to deepen their practice of prayer and life of faith that recognizes and welcome God’s transforming work. 

Rob leaves his wife Ruth, three adult children and several grandchildren, as well as many other family and friends who deeply mourn his passing. 

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 16 at Fairview Baptist Church in Vancouver (corner of Pine and 16th Ave) at 11 am.

Please remember Rob’s family and friends in your prayers during this difficult time.  He will be much missed but we also rejoice that Rob is now with his beloved Jesus, forever.

Petition on Euthanasia and Paliative Care

January 11, 2016 — As a member of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, the CBWC has received the following letter from EFC President Bruce Clemenger concerning the proposed federal legislation on the legalization of euthanasia.  The CBWC is posting this letter on our website to share our concern about an issue that affects all Canadians and to make available a link to a petition concerning euthanasia which has a goal of 10,000 signatures by February 6, 2016. 

Dear Denominational Leader,

We look forward this year to working effectively with you and other denominational leaders.

We are in the midst of a significant national conversation about the duty of care we owe one another at the end of life, the legalization of euthanasia and the protection of religious freedom and conscience.

Last fall you signed a Declaration on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide as the leader of your denomination. Thus far close to 2,000 other church leaders and lay people have signed the Declaration, a document drafted by the EFC and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. .

We want to encourage more to sign, from all walks of life. Our goal is to have 10,000 sign by February 6th, the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that opened the door to physician-assisted suicide. 

As the issue moves to Parliament Hill, we want to use the Declaration publically and in meetings with Parliamentarians as a statement of support for the protection of life, the promotion of palliative care and the defense of conscience.

Please consider helping us by encouraging your pastors and church members to consider signing the Declaration by going to Below is a paragraph you may find helpful in encouraging other to participate. 

Looking forward to your response,

Bruce J. Clemenger

President, The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada

Join the call to protect vulnerable Canadians and improve palliative care by signing the Declaration on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide, at Reaching a target of 10,000 signatories by February 6 will demonstrate to federal and provincial legislators that there is cross-Canada support for limits to euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide. This declaration was developed by The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Change in Youth Director

Brent_weickAs we look over the past year, we are grateful for the great work accomplished through the leadership of Brent Weick and the Youth Leadership Team (YLT).  SERVE was a powerful week of worship and service in High River with record numbers of youth and leaders involved as well as the local support team that arranged all of the food and housing.  Brent has also been recruiting new members for our CBWC Youth Leadership Team and his enthusiasm for empowering our youth leaders is contagious.

Brent has continued to manage his full-time chaplaincy position, church and family life along with this commitment to expanding the Youth Ministry of the CBWC and we have come to believe that this pace is simply not sustainable.   Until the time that the CBWC can fund more hours for the Youth Director’s position, it is necessary to focus present funded hours primarily upon SERVE 2016.

Tammy Klassen is presently the part-time youth pastor for Mill Bay on Vancouver Island and has served with the YLT team for several years.  She hosted the 2014 SERVE in Duncan and contributed to the success of SERVE in High River.  We are excited that she is willing to take on this refined portfolio for the coming year.

We offer our thanks to Brent for his dedication to the youth of the CBWC and his past service and invite you all to join the CBWC in prayer as it strives to be faithful stewards of the “daily bread” that God has presently provided and look toward the future as our good Father unveils his vision and provision.

BWA Gathers in Durban

July 23, 2015 — Let us rejoice and celebrate.” With this announcement, Baptist World Alliance President John Upton officially declared the start of the 21stBaptist World Congress in Durban, South Africa, on July 22. The Congress’s theme is ‘Christ the Door’.  The first BWA conference ever held in Africa concludes on July 26.

You can watch live streaming of the conference here.

The roll call of the more than 80 nations encapsulated the celebratory atmosphere as more than 2,500 Baptists joined in singing songs such as “Shine, Jesus shine”; “Light of the world you stepped down into darkness”; “Lord, the Light of your Love is shining”; and “We are marching in the light of God.”

Keynote speaker Peter Chin of South Korea said that because the world is filled with so much darkness, it is imperative that Baptist Christians shine the light of Christ.  Chin declared that the darkness affecting humanity is reflected in suffering, death, ignorance, discrimination and abuse.  There is also darkness, he said, in the levels of deception and political corruption and oppression that exist. Economically, darkness is demonstrated in the levels of greed, poverty and debt that are so prevalent.

But worst of all, he said, there is “spiritual darkness, a darkness where people say there is no God.”

To overcome such darkness, the light that brings healing, forgiveness and life need to shine. According to Chin, such light comes only from Christ, who “holds the power to expel all darkness.”

He stated that the light of Christ serves at least two functions. It eliminates darkness and it illuminates what is hidden.

Because darkness is so pervasive, Christians have a responsibility to shine the light of Christ in “our countries, our workplaces, our schools, our homes,” and to ensure that it shines in “our churches.”

Each Christian should ask, “Does my light still shine? Is my light’s radiance brightening the world around me? Or is it like the light of a dying ember, fading.”

Every Christian should “shine the brightness, the warmth, and the light of Jesus to the world he loves,” Chin announced.

The night was enriched by a cultural presentation by South African Baptists, recounting Baptist history in the country and the broader history of South Africa’s emergence from apartheid to being a “rainbow nation.”

The congress continues from July 22 to 26 at the International Convention Centre in Durban. The next conference will be held in 2020.

New MLA Ron Orr

Ron_Orr_600pxCongratulations to Ron Orr, pastor of Clive Baptist in Alberta, who has just won a seat in the Alberta Legislature for the riding of Lacombe_Ponoka. Ron was part of an historic election in Alberta which saw the NDP sweep to power into a majority government. Ron represents the Wildrose Party which won 21 seats. He will be part of the Official Opposition.

Ron is well known to the CBWC as the pastor of Clive Baptist for that past 13 years. More recently, he has also taken on the role of the CBWC’s Church Planting Director for Alberta.

Ron comes from a family that has lived in Alberta for more than 100 years. He was born in Calgary and has a Journeyman Carpenter’s ticket and a Registered Housing Professional certificate. He has owned his own general contracting business, and a cabinet sales dealership. He is married to Donna Marie, well known among us as an artist. Ron and Donna have 3 adult children.

Congratulations to the NDP for their historic win. Congratulations also to all candidates in the election, both those who won and those who lost. Your desire to serve your local communities through public service is much appreciated. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Engage — Together!

IMG_2639Once again, the CBWC is planning a series of Celebration Dinners so worshippers from local and regional CBWC congregations can build relationships with each other and discover together how God is calling us to serve Him together.

Four Celebration Dinners are being planned for the spring, while more will be scheduled in other locations in the fall. The spring Celebration Dinners are:

· May 19th in Winnipeg @ The Maples Evangelical Church, 1575 Inkster Blvd.

· May 20th in Neepawa @ First Baptist Church, 219 Hwy 5N, Neepawa.

· May 25th in Victoria @ Emmanuel Baptist Church, 2121 Cedar Hill Cross Road, Victoria

· May 26th in Vancouver @ Royal Oak Ministry Centre, 7175 Royal Oak Avenue, Burnaby

Regional Minister Mark Doerksen will be the keynote speaker at the Winnipeg and Neepawa Celebration Dinners. Shannon Youell, the CBWC’s Director of Church Planting will speak at the Victoria and Vancouver Celebration Dinners.

More events will be planned in other centres for the fall.

Celebration Dinners are complimentary but a freewill offering will be taken to cover costs and to support the work of the CBWC. Prior registration is essential so we have enough space, seating — and food.

Register Today!