Dr. Ron Watts

yellow flowerThe CBWC family is deeply saddened to learn  of the death of Rev. Dr. Ronald Francis Watts on January 16, 2013 in Edmonton after a short illness.  Dr. Watts was the founding Principal of the Baptist Leadership Training School (1949) and had a very significant influence on hundreds, if not thousands, of Baptist young people over the life of BLTS and, through them, all churches within the  CBWC.

Ron was born in Calgary on August 21, 1918 to Avis (Greer) and Frank Watts, who worked for the RCMP.  His family moved to Vancouver, where Ron attended elementary and junior high school. The family returned to Edmonton for a new RCMP posting where Ron finished high school and was confirmed in the Anglican church. His interest in amateur radio, as well as an invitation from a friend,  led him to join a radio operators’ club at Macdonald Baptist Church where he was baptized,  came under the mentorship of Rev. Harold Stibbards and decided to enter Christian ministry.

Ron began his pastoral studies at St. Stephen’s College, Edmonton and served as a student pastor at Shiloh Baptist and Bonnie Doon Baptist.  At Bonnie Doon, Ron met his wife Fanshun who was a leader in the Christian Girls in Training.  Together, they had three sons:  David, Jonathan and Peter.

Ron and Fanshun moved to Hamilton, Ontario where he completed his divinity degree at McMaster University and Fanshun worked in the University Library.  In 1944, they were called to serve at Calvary Baptist in Weyburn, SK, the only full-time pastorate he undertook during his career.

In 1949, Ron and Fanshun moved to Calgary to establish the Baptist Leadership Training School.  In 1960, Ron received an honourary doctorate from McMaster University to honour his work founding and running BLTS.  In 1971, Ron and Fanshun moved to Oakville, Ontario where Ron became the General Secretary of the Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec and Fanshun worked as the National Secretary of CGIT.  Ron retired from the CBOQ (formerly the Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec)  in 1984 but was active in Oakville’s Central Baptist Church and  named Pastor Emeritus for the church.  Ron was also the VP of a local chapter of Amnesty International.

Ron was predeceased by his parents, his loving wife Fanshun and his son, Jonathan.  He is survived by his sons David and Peter (Caitlin).  The family held an open house at son David’s home in Edmonton on Saturday, January 19.  A memorial service will be held in Oakviille at a date and place to be announced.

Please pray for Ron’s family as they grieve his passing.  We share their sadness yet also rejoice that Ron is now home with the Lord and Saviour he loved so much.  We are eternally grateful for Ron’s life and ministry among us. His legacy and service to God endures. Praise be to God.


Rev. Jack Farr

Red tropical orchidThe CBWC is saddened to learn of the death of Rev. Jack Farr on Monday, January 14, 2013 in Ladysmith.  We rejoice that he is now with God in heaven.

Jack was one of the CBWC’s longest serving pastors. His service began in Vancouver where he served as pastor at Grandview Calvary Baptist until 1969.  He then moved to Calgary to serve at Crescent Heights Baptist from 1969 to 1975.  Jack served as the Manitoba Area Minister from 1975-80 for the Baptist Union of Western Canada (now known as the CBWC) and  then served as the Stewardship Director for the Baptist Union Development Fund.  He then returned to front-line pastoral ministry to serve at First Baptist, Vancouver from 1988 to 1993.  He was pastor at Calvary Baptist in Chemainus from 1993 to 1995.  His last appointment was serving as interim pastor at Emmanuel Baptist in Victoria in 2005.

Please pray for his wife Catherine as she mourns Jack’s loss.

Jack’s  memorial service will be held on Friday, January 18th at 2pm at Calvary Baptist, Chemainus.  Calvary Baptist is located at 3318 River Rd. in Chemainus.

Car Accident Prayers Requested

Please pray for Sandy Smith, associate Pastor of First Baptist, Edmonton who was injured in a car accident following the Banff Pastors and Spouses Conference on November 8.   Sandy was driving keynote speaker Myra Blyth to the Calgary airport at about 12:30 pm when she was rear-ended  near Canmore by a car going much faster than the rest of the traffic in the midst of a snow storm.

Sandy sustained neck and back injuries and was taken to Foothills Hospital in Calgary by ambulance.  Myra was unhurt.  Several CBWC pastors, such as Ryan Sato, Senior Pastor at FBC, Edmonton, and their spouses were in following vehicles and were able to help out at the accident scene and get Myra to the airport.  Sandy’s husband Peter was able to drive down from Edmonton to pick Sandy up once she was released from hospital.

We are grateful that the accident wasn’t worse in the terrible weather and that Sandy has been released from hospital.  We are also thankful to God also that Myra was unhurt.  Sandy reports being very sore, so please continue to pray for her.

Please also pray for Sharon Oncuil, Administrative Assistant to Alberta Regional Minister Dennis Stone.  On Tuesday, Sharon was attending a reception for Carey Theological College at the Banff Pastors and Spouses Conference at the Banff Springs Hotel when a chunk of the ceiling collapsed on her without warning.  She received medical care almost instantly from Dan Galpin, Harbour Master of Keats Camps, who is a paramedic.  She was taken to hospital and released with a very bad black eye and quite a lot of bruising.  Again, we are thankful for God’s grace that this accident wasn’t worse.  Please pray for Sharon’s continued recovery.


Leadership Forum Tonight

September 18 — Canadian Baptist churches in the Winnipeg area will join together for a leadership forum tonight at Willowlake Baptist.

About 100 pastors and ministry leaders are expected to share a meal, worship God together and learn about resources available to them from the CBWC at the forum.

“This is a way to bring together ministry leaders to demonstrate our support for each other,” said Heartland Regional Minister Devin Seghers.  “It will allow leaders and churches to connect with each other in a broad way and to deepen personal connections so that churches can help each other.”

The leadership forum is expected to be the first of many monthly get-togethers for church leaders in each geographic area of western Canada.

25th Meet Your Musician a Success

Meet Your Musician Choir

First Baptist Church Regina recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of Meet Your Musician on May 11-13.  This exciting weekend dedicated to exploring and singing choral music was considered by many as the ‘best ever.’

Prolific composer and concert pianist, Joseph Martin from Austin, Texas, returned for his unprecedented 5thvisit to Regina to lead the enriching week-end.  Joe inspired participants and congregation alike with his music, Sunday morning message, piano playing, and his  sense of humor.

Joseph Martin

His piano renditions of “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho” in both the morning and evening services were exhilarating, inspiring many to leap to their feet spontaneously. The weekend ended with an inspiring Celebration Concert on Sunday, May 13 before an appreciative congregation of over 350 people! MYM 2012 was an overwhelming success.

MYM 2012 represented the 25th year of this highly praised and recognized choral workshop experience.  There were over 50 paid registrants, plus the musicians of First Baptist Church Regina, involved in the actual workshop experience.  Close to 90 singers were in the Lower Hall on the Friday and Saturday, either renewing old friendships, or making new ones.  It was a like old home week for many of the registrants who have faithfully supported MYM over the years. Registrants came from as far away as Vancouver, B.C. and Richmond Hill, Ontario, with the majority of registrants from cities and towns within Saskatchewan.

Major North American publishers and Saskatchewan Choral Federation once again provided resources and support for MYM. Alfred Publishing, Beckenhorst Press, Hal Leonard Hope Publishing, and Shawnee Press, Inc. acted as co-sponsoring publishers. Numerous other publishers acted as contributing publishers. Meet Your Mustician is indebted to these publishers for their remarkable support and encouragement over the past 25 years.

Meet Your Musician Choir

The Celebration Concert on Sunday night opened with the 120 voice Mass Choir’s singing of Joseph Martin’s “O Come Let Us Sing to the Lord”. The sound from the Mass Choir assembled across the front of the church sanctuary, up the two staircases, and across the choir loft was “awe inspiring”.  The level of expectation of the congregation continued to build throughout the evening’s presentation. The Mass Choir was composed of 3 guest choirs (Faith Baptist Choir, Grace Mennonite Church, and Sunset United Choir), and the choirs of First Baptist Church.

MYM has a highly recognized reputation in North America, as expressed to those in attendance by both Joseph Martin, and a number of other clinicians and publishers over the years.  Publishers request the opportunity to be a part of this unique choral experience.  Each year over 10-15 publishers contribute music resources for our music reading packets either on a “complimentary” basis, or “print cost” basis.  MYM is most grateful for this valuable contribution.

The benefits of this workshop experience are too numerous to mention. However, with the disappearance of many choir programs in the churches over the past years, MYM is one highlight on the choral landscape that continues to nurture and help sustain those churches and community choirs and their musicians who find solace in the “music making” activity that a choral experience offers.

Joseph Martin’s hymn arrangement of “To God Be the Glory” brought the MYM Celebration Concert to a resounding and inspiring conclusion!

However, it also left both participants and congregation eagerly anticipating MYM 2013 and working with the exciting composer, pianist and guest clinician, Joel Raney from Chicago, Illinois. “The Best Ever” will hopefully only get better!

MYM hopefully exemplifies both Martin Luther’s and J. S. Bach’s expressions, “Second to the Word of God, Music deserves highest Praise” (Martin Luther), and “Deo Gloria” (J.S. Bach).