General Conference Bulletin, 38th Session, May 23, 1913
CANADIAN UNION CONFERENCE QUADRENNIAL REPORT
I. H. Evans: It has been arranged this morning for the unions in the United States and Canada to finish their reports. We will now call upon Brother M. N. Campbell, of the Canadian Union Conference.
M. N, Campbell (reading):
It is with pleasure that I submit to this body of delegates the third quadrennial report of the Canadian Union Conference. This organization ‘includes within its territory the eastern half of the Dominion .of Canada, and consists of the Ontario, Quebec, and Maritime Conferences, and ‘ the Newfoundland Mission Field, embracing a population of. 5,000,000. For convenience I will present the work of the. union under the various department headings, considering first —
The Evangelical Department
The evangelical work of the Canadian Union Conference is carried forward by 16 ordained and 8 licensed ministers, besides 18 workers holding missionary credentials..
The work which for years has moved along so slowly is gathering momentum, and the seed-sowing of former years is now. bearing fruit. During the last twelve months alone 5 new churches have been organized, and the membership of one old church raised from 18 to nearly one hundred members, thus adding 150 to our membership alone, aside from all other work.
The introduction of the third angel’s message has met with determined opposition from pulpit and pew, being looked upon as an unwelcome innovation. However, our literature has been faithfully distributed for the last twenty years, and during the same period the living preacher has proclaimed the message by word of mouth, and now the flinty rock of conservatism is breaking down under the heavy blows of the hammer of truth. The heaviest ingatherings are still before us in Canada, and the time has evidently arrived when the reapers may look for large returns from their labors, for the harvest is fully ripe.
The most serious problem confronting the union at the present time is the evangelization of the great French-speaking population of the Province of Quebec. That province, except for a narrow fringe of territory along the border of Vermont, New Hampshire, and New York, is solidly French Catholic. No Catholic nation of Europe is more intensely Catholic than is Quebec. Great Catholic cathedrals, monasteries, convents, and schools abound in. all parts of the province, while long-robed priests and monks are to be met with at every turn. The people are held in absolute subjection to the man of sin, who, on the banks of the Tiber, “sitteth in the temple of God showing himself that he is God.”
The General Conference has made a special appropriation this year for the employment of French colporteurs to carry our literature and visit among, the French people of that province. These workers have already been secured. We think that the printed page can enter and work where the living preacher would be rigorously excluded. Elder Vuilleumier is now stationed in Montreal, and is gaining a foothold in that city.
Another problem of no small .magnitude is the matter of carrying the message to the numerous fishing villages that line the coast of the great island of Newfoundland. These villages are accessible only by sailing vessels, and then only during the limited period of open -navigation. We have four laborers on the island at present, one ordained minister, a licentiate and his wife, and a church-school teacher. A start has been made in some of the larger towns, and souls are accepting the truth.
The believers in this union are organized into forty-three churches and six companies. Definite plans are being carried into execution to set every believer at work at something, especially with our .tracts and magazines. At Montreal a license fee of one hundred dollars is exacted from canvassers. This for a time seemed to be an insuperable barrier to. our book and magazine work in that city. One of our workers who attempted to sell magazines without a license was confined in jail several days. The church at that place made the matter a subject of special prayer, asking the Lord to remove this restriction to the work, which was proving such a hindrance. These prayers were heard in heaven, and since that time our workers have been entirely unmolested, and the magazine work is being carried on extensively in that city. Thus are the high walls being thrown down before the advance of the message in Canada.
There is but one union institution in eastern Canada,— the Canadian Publishing Association. Though carrying quite a ponderous name, its equipment is of a very modest order, consisting of a small press of sufficient size to print the union paper, and a few small pieces of machinery suitable to the simplest kind of work. Nevertheless, this press is kept on the move, turning out literature for this field. We find that some of the most important tracts are so strongly tinctured with Americanism that they are quite unpalatable to the average Canadian reader, and it is necessary to revise and reprint them for that field.
For some years in the past the handling of the literature in the Canadian Union field has been under the exclusive control of the Canadian Publishing Association, but this year tract societies are being established and canvassing agents are being placed in the field. We believe that this move will strengthen the book work materially, and give an impetus to the work generally.
About thirty miles east of Toronto, at Oshawa, Ontario, is located the Buena Vista Academy, which was transferred from Lorndale to its present location last year. A farm of 237 acres has been secured, on which have been erected buildings suitable to the needs of the institution.
It. has come to be quite well recognized that educational work higher than the twelfth grade must be furnished for our young people within the Canadian field itself, as experience has demonstrated that few of those who. go to the States for their advanced training ever return to labor in the home field. This has seriously depleted our ranks, for when the young people settled down in the States, their parents frequently followed them. Aside from this, the native Canadian worker has a very great advantage in laboring among his own people, and steps must be taken to train the young people in the field.
The new institution at Oshawa has a capacity for 75 boarding students, and is in many respects admirably adapted to the work suggested for it We are sure that the guiding hand of the’ Lord was manifest in the location of this school, and we look forward to seeing it develop into an important factor in the work of proclaiming the third angel’s message in the Canadian provinces.
At Williamsdale, Nova Scotia, is located the Maritime Conference Academy, a school that has served that section of the Canadian Union for nine years. Situated about twelve miles from town, among the Cobiquid Mountains, it is safe from the allurements of city life. Its capacity has been tested to the limit the present year, and several had to be refused admittance for lack of space to properly care for them. This academy closes the year with a splendid record for both spiritual and scholastic work accomplished, and has the additional satisfaction of having all its accounts and expenses paid, and one thousand dollars cash in the bank.
One of the oldest, if not the oldest, intermediate schools in the denomination is located at Fitch Bay, in the province of Quebec. There, amid the most beautiful surroundings of mountains and lakes, for nearly twenty years a school has been maintained that has given a training in Christian education to from training in Christian education to from twenty to forty students each year.
At St. Johns, Newfoundland, a school is maintained which is rapidly growing its present quarters The attendance ranges from forty to fifty. Quite a proportion of the students are children of those not of our faith.
There is no sanitarium work carried on under conference supervision in this union. Two small sanitariums under private management and an equal number of treatment-rooms comprise the work in that line. The membership of the union should be at least doubled before any countenance is given to the establishment of a sanitarium.
We are glad to be able to report that the believers of the Canadian Union are determined to keep abreast of their •American brethren in the matter of giving to the support of the message, In 1912 the Canadian Union went two hundred dollars above the quota of fifteen cents a week per member for foreign missions. They have no notion of dropping below that mark the present year. The per capita of tithe is on the up grade.
In concluding this report, I am glad to assure you that the courage and faith of the workers and the people of the Canadian Union is bright, and we look forward to the coming quadrennial period as the time when our growth will be commensurate with the means and labor that have been expended on the field.
M. N. CAMPBELL, President.