Why is Ontario often referred to as Central Canada

Baptists in Canada - Baptists in Canada

Baptists in Canada have a rich heritage and background. United Empire Loyalists and recent arrivals from England and the United States formed the core and foundation of the Baptist denomination in Canada.

Statistics and changes

According to the 2011 Census of Canada, the number of people in Canada who identify themselves as Baptists is 635,840, which is about 1.9% of the population. This represents a decrease of about 12.8% in the decade since the 2001 census (see Religion in Canada).

A growing practice of existing and new churches in Canada and the United States is to remove the term "Baptist" from the name of their church. Often times this practice stems from concerns about what is perceived by the general population as a negative stereotype about the “Baptist” label, but not about the church or Baptist beliefs in general. This negative stereotype has often been perceived as legalism associated with the word "Baptist". Churches that make this change are interested in attracting people who are non-ecclesiastical and who may face obstacles to joining a denomination or becoming a "Baptist" specifically. Keep the unique name and just use the Community Church adding at the end is a common change.

A name like "Grace Community Church" is felt by these churches to be less likely to cause unnecessary negative stereotypes or insults, to signal and inspire a change in the church's mindset and vision, and to better integrate into the surrounding community.

In some communities this change has been a source of controversy and has not been easily accepted by some, especially older members. The most common arguments for this type of "rebranding" are 1) it deceives the public, 2) it is a task of Baptist history, 3) it could lead a church to compromise and abandon its Baptist faith in order to be more comprehensive, and 4) it may be more difficult to determine the number of "Baptist" churches and those who believe in "Baptist differentiators".


Baptist missionary work began on the Atlantic coast in the 1760s but took around 100 years to reach the west coast. The first official record of a Baptist church in Canada was that of Horton Baptist Church (now Wolfville) in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, on October 29, 1778. The church was organized with the assistance of New Light Evangelist Henry Alline. Many of Alline's supporters would convert and strengthen the Baptist presence in the Atlantic after his death. Two large groups of Baptists formed the basis of the churches in the Maritimes. These were referred to as regular Baptists (Calvinist in their teaching) and free will Baptists.

The first organized churches in central Canada were in Beamsville, Ontario, in 1776, and in Caldwell's Manor (now Saint-Georges-de-Clarenceville, Quebec) in 1794. Shortly thereafter, churches were organized in Hallowell, Ontario (1795) and Haldimand Township (see Alnwick / Haldimand). These were regular Baptist churches. Consensual churches formed associations in order to achieve common goals. Since then, various associations and affiliations have emerged. Eventually these associations came together in a convention. The Center for Baptist Influence and Missionary Work in Canada was firmly established in Toronto after 1848. (See Bond Street Baptist Church). Many of the original churches were founded by certain mission groups from the United States of America and by various ethnic or linguistic groups, such as the Swedish Baptist Churches (Baptist General Conference of Canada), the North American Baptist Conference (German background), and the Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Convention of Canada.

Between 1905 and 1906, 1927 and 1953, there were three significant shifts in the clubs. From 1905 to 1906, the United Baptist Convention of the Maritime Provinces was formed from the union of the Maritime Convention of Maritime Baptists, the Free Baptists of New Brunswick, and the Free Baptists of Nova Scotia. The Union of Regular Baptist Churches was founded in Hamilton, Ontario in 1927 by 77 churches that had withdrawn from the Ontario and Quebec Baptist Convention (BCOQ). This withdrawal was due to the controversy between fundamentalists and modernists centered on a professor at the official seminary of the convent at McMaster University who held a liberal-modernist position on theology.

1944 founded the BCOQ together with the United Baptist Convention of the Maritimes and the Baptist Union of Western Canada the first Canadian Baptist National Association to be the Canadian Baptist Federation . In 1995 they merged with the Canadian Baptist International Ministries to Canadian Baptist Ministries. The four conventions still exist within the association and in 1995 counted over 1100 member churches.

By 1953 some churches were out of the Resigned Union of Regular Baptist Congregations , however, the rest joined the Fellowship of Independent Baptist Churches (founded in 1933) and founded the Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches in Canada (FEBC). The Regular Baptist Missionary Fellowship of Alberta joined in 1963, and the Convention of Regular Baptist Churches of British Columbia (founded in 1927) also joined in 1965. Known as "The Fellowship," it claims to be at least the largest evangelical group in Canada, with 500 member churches in Canada from coast to coast.

A regular Baptist church in British Columbia joined a subsidiary of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1953. The first SBC association was founded in 1955. Today there are 233 churches in most of the provinces and territories with the greatest concentration in western Canada.

Baptist Associations in Canada

The following are the main groupings of Baptists in Canada listed alphabetically:

There are also independent Baptist churches that do not correspond to any of the groupings listed above.

Colleges / universities / seminars / lay training institutes (currently or closed)

Canadian Baptists have a long history and a desire to educate their members. To that end, they have built and operated a number of colleges in Canada.

  • Acadia Divinity College Started as Acadia College in 1838 (Wolfville, Nova Scotia)
  • Baptist Bible College Canada and Theological Seminary (Simcoe, Ontario)
  • Brandon College 1889–1938, at which time it was non-denominational and later renamed Brandon University in 1967
  • Canadian Baptist Bible College (Winkler, Manitoba)
  • Canada Baptist College (1836-1849) (Montréal, Québec)
  • Canadian Baptist Seminary (Langley, British, Columbia)
  • Canadian Literary Institute (merged into Woodstock College in 1883 and later McMaster University) (1860-1887) (Woodstock, Ontario)
  • Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary / Canadian Baptist College (Cochrane, Alberta)
  • Carey Theological College (Vancouver, British Columbia)
  • Crandall University (Moncton, New Brunswick)
  • Faculté de théologie évangélique (Montréal, Québec) (member of the Acadia Divinity College)
  • FaithWay Baptist College of Canada (Ajax, Ontario)
  • Heritage Baptist College and Heritage Theological Seminary (Cambridge, Ontario)
  • Historic Baptist Bible Institute and Seminary (Toronto, Ontario)
  • Moulton College (originally Woodstock College's women's division) was relocated to Toronto as a preparatory school for women (closed in 1954).
  • McMaster Divinity College was founded in 1881 as Toronto Baptist College (Hamilton, Ontario).
  • Northwest Baptist Seminary (Langley, British, Columbia)
  • Prairie College is an accredited evangelical college that has been working with the Alberta Baptist Association since 2019 (Three Hills, Alberta).
  • Séminaire Baptiste Évangélique Du Québec (Montréal, Québec)
  • Pastor's College (Toronto, Ontario)
  • Toronto Baptist Seminary and Bible College (Toronto, Ontario)
  • For Western Baptist Bible College (Calgary, Alberta) see Northwest Baptist Seminary
  • Baptist Leadership Training School (1949- ??) (Calgary, Alberta) (closed)
  • Baptist Training Institute (1957- ??) (Brantford, Ontario) (closed)
  • Baptist Leadership Education Center (1985-2002) (Whitby, Ontario) (closed)


  1. ^ Robert S. Wilson, "Patterns of 20th Century Canadian Baptist Life," Baptist History & Heritage (2001) 36 # 1/2, pp. 27-60.
  2. ^ a b c Bumstead, JM (1984). Henry Alline, 1748-1784 . Lancelot Press, Hantsport, NS.
  3. ^ a b Rawlyk, George A. (Editor) (1986). Henry Alline's sermons . Lancelot Press for Acadia Divinity College and the Baptist Historical Committee of the United Baptist Convention of the Atlantic Provinces, Hantsport. CS1 maintenance: additional text: list of authors (link)
  4. ^ Bell, DG Henry Alline and Maritime Religion. Canadian Historical Association, Ottawa, 1993.
  5. ^ ER Fitch, ed., The Baptists of Canada (Toronto, 1911)
  6. ^ Daniel C. Goodwin, "Maritime Baptist Union and the Power of Regionalism." Journal of Ecumenical Studies 41.2 (2004): 125+
  7. ^ William H. Brackney, Baptist Historical Dictionary , Scarecrow Press, USA, 2009, p. 121
  8. ^ Callum Jones, "Western Canadian Baptists and the" Invasion "of the Southern Baptists of the 1950s." Baptist Quarterly (2014) 45 # 7, pp. 413-429.

further reading

  • Coops, Lorraine "'Shelter from the Storm': The Persistent Evangelical Impulse of Baptists in Canada, 1880s-1890s, in GA Rawlyk, ed., Aspects of the Canadian Evangelical Experience (McGill-Queens Press, 1997), pp. 208-223.
  • Fitch, ER, ed. . The Baptists of Canada (Toronto, 1911)
  • Heath, Gordon L. and Paul R. Wilson, eds. Baptists and Public Life in Canada (Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2012)
  • McLeod, Tommy. "To Improve Yourself: Canadian Baptists and the Origins of Brandon College," Manitoba History (2007), issue 56, pp. 22-31. on-line
  • Rawlyk, George, ed. Canadian Baptist and Canadian Higher Education (McGill-Queen's University Press, 1988).
  • Wilson, Robert S. "Patterns of Canadian Baptist Life in the 20th Century", Baptist History & Heritage (2001) 36 # 1/2, pp. 27-60. Covers the educational, social, political, missionary and theological trends; notes that the years 1953-2000 were marked by the unification of various Baptist groups.

External links