Today marks the passing of four leaders from our Canadian Baptist family. Ron Watts, who was
the founder of the Baptist Leadership Training School, Evelyn Richardson, who was the Moderator of the
British Columbia Area, Fred Bullen, who was the General Secretary of the Canadian Baptist Federation,
and Jack Farr, who amongst many other things, was the formative force behind the CBWC Foundation.
I did not know Drs. Watts or Bullen. I was the recipient of Evelyn’s leadership, and was very
thankful for it. Jack Farr was a family friend and of great personal encouragement. Here are parts of
their obituaries with a brief story at the end. Five folk (remembering Lance Morgan) in one month is a
burden… a good, reflective one, but a burden nonetheless.
The 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 in 1969 where he
served as pastor at Grandview Calvary Baptist. 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.
Rev. Dr. Sir Frederick Bevan Bullen
On Saturday, January 19th, 2013, Rev. Dr. Sir Frederick Bevan Bullen was called into his Father’s
Born in Plymouth, England on April 26, 1916, Fred came to Brantford in 1924 with his parents, Ralph and
Sarah. He was educated at Graham Bell School, B.C.I., McMaster University and several post graduate
colleges. Having served churches in Nova Scotia and Ontario, and being ordained in 1941, Fred pastored
churches in Sault Ste. Marie, St. Catharines and Brantford. For 22 years, he was the General Secretary
Treasurer of the Canadian Baptist Federation, occupied many executive positions in the Baptist World
Alliance, and served on the Canadian Council of Churches. He was awarded Knight Great Band for the
Humane Order of African Redemption, in recognition of leadership in World Relief Projects.
Our dear sister Evelyn Richardson passed away in Surrey on Saturday, January 19 th. Evelyn sat
on various boards back in the 80 and 90’s, and we are very thankful for her contribution to our
At the family’s request they have decided that there will be a private graveside service (for family only)
on Friday, January 25th.
- She began on the BC Area Executive in 1985, and completed all her responsibilities in 1998
- She sat as a BUWC Board rep from 1991 – 1995
- She was the Moderator/President of the BC Area from 1989-90 and Vice-President from 1988-89
Dr. Ron Watts
The 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.
Just to end.
Someone recently commented that we focus too much on leaders and not so much on those
without titles. I agree. We do so at the peril of not seeing the work, presence, and as Mother Theresa
would say, the face of Christ in others. Here is a bit of a corrective.
In jest: George Baxter, a former, notable leader in the CBWC, once retired, got up at a meeting
and announced, “I am a has-been in the Baptist Union, too”. It brought the house down.
The second is a story about Jack Farr. Jack was a boisterous, welcoming and very creative guy.
Helping the foundation of Wild Rose Theatre was one example of that. I worked for Dominion
Construction at Trinity Lodge for a summer in Calgary. I went to First Baptist; I only knew one family in
the whole city and was fairly isolated most of the time. I went one summer Sunday evening to a service
at Crescent Heights where Jack was a pastor. We had had good family time when I was a kid. I felt at
home with the Farr family; whenever I bump into them it brings back good things. Anyway, I slipped into
a back pew that evening feeling a little bleak and anonymous, and had spoken to really no one for two
days. I would not have begun to guess what I looked like as I had the shaggiest mane of hair, even for
those times. Part way through the service Jack noticed me. He stopped. He enthusiastically welcomed
me and thanked me for coming. He never mentioned my parents, job or church; just embraced me on
behalf of the church — one lonely, somewhat bedraggled 21-year-old who was away from home for the
longest he had ever been. Jack, in his booming military/preacher’s voice welcomed the “stranger”, the
“loner” and the “unheralded” (well… to be welcomed by Jack was to be heralded).
We celebrate and give thanks for four leaders in our midst. More importantly, we remind each
other of two more important things: No leader creates change unless they are in collaboration; a
collaboration with the Lord and with individual leaders in Christ’s church. The second reminder is that
real leaders get that. Jack Farr was that kind of leader to me. And even now, over 35 years later, I hear
his gracious, booming welcome and kind affirmations across a crowded Crescent Heights sanctuary on
that ever so hot Calgary summer night.