By Joell Haugan, CBWC Church Planting
In 1982, First Baptist Church in Swift Current ceased operations. The entire south-west part of Saskatchewan was without a BUWC (now CBWC) church. Rev. Jim Wells in Regina didn’t want it to stay that way. He spearheaded an inter-church effort to create a new church in “Speedy Creek.”
Community Baptist Church (Swift Current, SK) was formed in 1989 under the leadership of Betty Milne and Joyce Oxnard as a church plant supported by the Saskatchewan (now Heartland) Area of the Canadian Baptists of Western Canada. Many area churches participated both with finances and volunteers to get the work off the ground. Those churches included the following:
- FBC, Asquith
- FBC, Moose Jaw
- FBC, Prince Albert (from which Rev Bob Knight came and who now pastors at Strathclair, MB)
- FBC, Wakaw
- FBC, Saskatoon
- Confederation Park, Saskatoon
- Emmanuel, Saskatoon
- Fairmont, Saskatoon
- Westhill Park, Regina
From those churches a large group of volunteers showed up on a hot summer day in 1989 and canvassed areas of the city in search of folks who were wanting to connect to a church. Each church also donated money to support the plant. As a result, on Thanksgiving that same year, an inaugural service was held in the high school and the church was started!
Today, the CBWC help churches to plant their own on their own. Certainly, it should be the goal of every congregation to want to reproduce itself. In cases where an existing church isn’t quite ready for the responsibility of a daughter church, we also help churches join together with other churches to support church plants. Venture Partnerships are a great way to come alongside your fellow CBWC churches to start and/or support new churches being born around Western Canada.
Get in touch if you’d like to explore what church planting could look like in your context: Joell’s available at firstname.lastname@example.org or Church Planting Coordinator Shannon Youell can be reached at email@example.com.