Trinity Baptist Church
1904 – 2004
Trinity Baptist Church – 1904
A century of
God’s Grace and Love
Trinity Baptist church
Celebrating 100 years of God’s Grace and Love
1904 – 2004
In 1904, a Committee of the First Baptist Church Winnipeg, together with the Board of the Baptist Convention of Manitoba and the North-west Territories, was appointed to survey the possibilities of opening a Baptist cause in Fort Rouge, a new residential area of Winnipeg. The present site was secured and a frame structure costing about $3,500 and seating 200 people was completed on August 22nd. The first service took place September 18th, 1904. The Church organization was first known as the Nassau Street Baptist Church.
On June 22nd 1909, the corner-stone of the new building was laid. The architect was George G. Teeter. What developed was one of the most elaborate churches designed by Mr. Teeter. It is Romanesque in style with massive Tyndall stone walls supported by buttresses, punctured by round-headed and wheel windows, and ornamented by corbelled cornices and belt courses. It is set off by a tall corner tower.
The completed building cost approximately $28,000. It was dedicated in January, 1910. In December of 1930, the name of the church was changed to Trinity Baptist Church.
Through the years from 1910 to 1975 the church went through the cycles of growth and decline as many churches do. Once more in 1975 Trinity was in decline, morale was low, and giving was down. Then, as had happened in the “dirty thirties”, the question arose, “should we close the doors”? This changed when God called Bob Roxburgh to Pastor Trinity. The period from 1976 – 1982 saw Trinity grow to about 200 people. Bob moved on and God brought in David Bloom and Ken Voth, but more importantly, the Holy Spirit worked in powerful ways. Sunday morning attendance had grown to 500 people. Unfortunately, during 1991, divisions began to surface in Trinity.
In 1993 a large group of people (80-100) were given the blessing of the church and went to start a new work, Kildonan Christian Fellowship.
David and Ken were and are greatly loved at Trinity and throughout the city. Sadly, after a valiant fight with cancer, Ken went to be with the Lord in 1999.
1993 saw a continued exodus of people from Trinity, which by now was considerably reduced in size and deeply hurting from it’s painful divisions. The Elders led the congregation for about a year, and in 1994 Hugh Hedlin was called from amongst the congregation to take up the Pastorate.
Note: This requires updating
Gods Grace through the Decades
1904 – 1913
The present site was secured and a frame structure costing about $3,500 and seating 200 people was completed. Rev. H. H. Hall preached the first sermon September 18th, 1904. Prior to this, on August 22nd, the Church organization was started with the name Nassau Street Baptist Church. The Articles of Faith and Practice, as stated two years previously by the Baptist Convention of Manitoba and the North-west Territories, were adopted. In the years 1907-1908, the basement of a proposed new structure was built and used for services. Meanwhile, the original building, now re-located at the East side of Nassau between McMillan and Corydon, was used for a time by the Congregation of St. Ignatius Roman Catholic church. When they left, the building was sold to a Jewish Congregation and became a Synagogue. This Synagogue was named Beth Shalom, Nassau St. (Fort Rouge Hebrew Congregation).
The only mention of this early congregation is in Arthur Shiel’s book, “Jewish Experiences in Manitoba”. He dates the congregation from 1922. The building was then sold to a Mennonite congregation. The renovations sadly, hid the Jewish Mogen David (Star of David), it is now called Gospel Mennonite Church.
Construction of the present superstructure began in spring 1908 with the corner-stone of the new building being laid on June 22nd, 1909 by Mr. G .F. Stephens, with Dr. W.T. Stackhouse, Rev. A. A. Shaw, and Dr. G. Wilson participating in the service. The present superstructure costing approximately $28,000 was completed and dedicated in January, 1910. The Church membership had increased to 186. The pipe organ was installed in 1912 at a cost of $4,500, the last $1,000 coming from the Carnegie Foundation.
1914 – 1923
By 1915, the Church membership had increased to 247. In 1920, the Ladies Aid and the Mission Circle, after working as separate organizations, experimented with holding meetings on the same afternoon. Two years later complete amalgamation took place, making one organization which has continued as the Women’s Society of the Church. Church membership had increased to 269. The next year, 1921, Mrs. L. E. Wier (nee Bertha Patteson) established the Sunday School at East Braintree. In 1957 it became an organized church.
1914-18 – The First World War claimed the lives of four of Trinity’s young men as well as another thirteen who were members of church families.
1924 – 1933
In 1924 The B. Y. P. U. provided facilities for the Church to step out in it’s first radio broadcast. 1925 saw farewells for Rev. E. J. and Mrs. Church who went to India and Miss Mary Epp who went to Bolivia. On December 10th, 1926, the 21st anniversary was celebrated with guest speaker Rev. M. L. Orchard, general secretary of the Baptist Union of Western Canada. The Baptist organization in Western Canada had taken on this name in 1909. About this time (1926) members of the Church began to conduct monthly services at the Municipal Hospitals. These services soon passed to the responsibility of the pastor, deacons, and choir. Things were progressing nicely and, by 1926, the mortgage on the church had been decreased to $18,000. In December 1930, the name was changed to Trinity Baptist Church.
1934 – 1943
In the 1930s, the heavy financial load nearly brought the Church to close it’s doors, but the conclusion was “to stand fast.” 1939 saw the first member of the Church to have the honour of being elected to the presidency of the Baptist Union of Western Canada. Dr. Watson Kirkconnell was elected for two successive terms, while being a member of Trinity. The pastorate of Rev. N. E. Todd began in December 1939 and continued for nearly nine years.
1939 – 1945 – During the Second World War, two more young men from Trinity were killed, as well as one other young man from a church family.
1944 – 1953
From November 26 to December 4, 1944, the 40th anniversary services were held. Rev. Dr. W. C. Smalley, then general secretary of the B.U.W.C., and the late Rev. Dr. J. B. McLaurin, general secretary of the Canadian Baptist Foreign Mission Board, were the guest preachers for the first and second Sundays respectively.
By motion at the annual meeting in January, 1946, the Church year was changed to begin May 1st in order to coincide with the fiscal year of the Baptist Union of Western Canada.
Late in 1946, Miss Zina Kidd, R.N., then a member of Trinity, left for her first term of missionary service in India. By 1946 the Church membership was reported as 325 and the mortgage reduced to $9,458. This was about one third of the cost of building the superstructure.
The missions budget for 1947 exceeded $1,260 and a similar amount was contributed as the Church’s quota toward the Baptist Union’s post-war project, the “Building for Peace Crusade”. 1947 was the year Miss Nellie Patteson became full time deaconess at the Baptist Parr Street Mission, Winnipeg, to serve during an emergency. Again in 1954, she accepted such an appointment at a newly opened work on Dalton Street . During the Church year 1947-8, The Sunday School instituted the use of a bus to bring children from a new residential area southwest of the church.
By early 1948, the mortgage had been reduced further to about $8,000.00. The year saw Mr. D. C. Hutton, Mr. L.T. Floyd and Mr. A. E. Floyd elected life deacons.
In the 1950 Red River Flood, the church suffered comparatively little damage, confined to the lower auditorium.
A farewell was given by all the Baptists of this area for Miss Dorothy Francklin, R.N. as she prepared to return to Bolivia for her fourth term. Trinity had been her church home for the last twelve years.
In 1952, Trinity’s first two graduates of the Baptist Leadership training School in Calgary were Miss Betty Stokes, now Mrs. D. Hannington, secretary to the principal of the school, and Miss Florence Erickson, (now Mrs. D. Moore), missionary elect to Bolivia.
The Church decided to promote a fund of $10,000.00 by which the pipe organ, sorely in need of rebuilding, could be ready for the celebration of the Church’s 50th Anniversary. 1952 saw Mr. Henry Suppes assume the Superintendent’s position of the Sunday School at the new Baptist Mission on Dalton Street . The second member of Trinity, Mrs. J. R. McDonald, was elected president of the Baptist Union of Western Canada, in 1953, the first woman to hold such an office among Canadian Baptists. 1954 saw her elected for a second term. During her first term Mrs. McDonald was the recipient of a coronation medal “at the command of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the Second”.
1954 – 1963
The Church’s invitation was accepted by the Baptist Union Convention to hold its 1955 convention at Trinity. This was the first time that a church in Winnipeg had entertained so large a gathering, with First Baptist Church being the one exception. The membership in 1954 was reported as 364. The pipe organ was rebuilt at a cost of $10,000.00 and supplied with a new console by W. Hill and Son, Norman and Beard Ltd. of Homsey , England . It was dedicated Thanksgiving Sunday, October 10 th 1954 . By now, the mortgage had been reduced to about $3,000.00. Miss Gaye Vance and Miss Ruth Wier enrolled in 1954 at the Baptist Leadership Training School for a course in Christian leadership. This year saw TBC member Mrs. Florence Erickson Moore and her husband Douglas Moore of Ottawa’s McPhail Memorial Baptist Church, become accepted as missionaries elect of the Canadian Baptist Foreign Mission Board.
Miss Nellie Patteson and Mr. Henry Suppes transferred their membership to become charter members of the new Baptist cause, Grace Church, Dalton Street in 1956. Bequests from Mrs. John (Harriet S.) Dick were added to by bequests from the estates of Mr. J. F. McMullin and Mrs. Campbell MacArthur. This enabled the extensive renovation of the lower Auditorium, which was to be known as the MacArthur Memorial Room. It was designed by Mrs. Betty Gillespie with support from her husband. This room was dedicated in 1963. The cost was about $30,000.
From 1904 to 1954, over 1,000 people became members of the Church, about 700 of them coming into the membership by baptism. During those 50 years, not less than $75,000.00 was given by the Church to preach the Gospel to all nations beyond the bounds of Trinity. The Golden Jubilee was celebrated November 19, 21 and 22.
1964 – 1973
During 1964, new furniture, furnishings and carpet for the sanctuary were provided by the Mrs. John Dick legacy, together with gifts from Dr. Isabel MacArthur, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Lowe and Mr. and Mrs. D. R. Stevens. A new piano for the choir room was given by Miss Irene Bowman. Mr. Jack Kerby, after 20 years as organist, resigned owing his departure to make his home in Calgary .
Miss Isabella MacPhail resigned with the longest continuous teaching record in the history of the Sunday School. Mr. Oscar Patteson, still serving at the time, also had the record for length of service as Church Clerk. Miss Irene Bowman has begun her 13th year as Choir Director.
Sunday, November 29, and Wednesday, December 2nd 1964, the Sixtieth Anniversary was commemorated.
The Church was asked to take part in “Project Latch Key” in April of 1967. In cooperation with St. Luke’s, Crescent Ft. Rouge United and St. Augustine Churches, lunch would be prepared and served to children of working mothers from Fort Rouge and Gladstone schools. This commenced in March, with premises provided by St. Augustine Church, Trinity provided two volunteers each day, Monday to Friday. The Church mortgage was burned in 1967
In December 1967, a group of Japanese Christians were granted use, at no charge, of the Church building for Sunday afternoons. They would be worshipping and having Sunday school in the Japanese language. This continues to this day (2004).
In 1969, a special offering ($675.00) was taken by the Winnipeg and Emerson Baptist churches to furnish a room in the new Y.W.C.A. in memoriam of Baptist pioneers in Western Canada .
1974 – 1983
The Pastor’s office was renovated by the men of the church. The furnishings came from Great West Life Assurance Co. The mid-week services continued and grew under Rev. Boughton.
The active membership in 1975 was 67, with Worship service averaging 50 – 60 persons. The Deacons continued to take worship services at King Edward’s Hospital and the Winnipeg Convalescent Home, as well as communion to shut-ins.
The roof was re-shingled and paint and plaster repairs were made to the sanctuary. The choir, though small, was very active and a full time organist was on staff.
The Boy Scouts (56th Winnipeg Crusaders) were active. The ladies of the church carried on in their Ministry, which included: seeing to the needs of shut-ins, visiting hospitals, Meals on Wheels and The Latch Key Project.
However, beyond this façade of “Churchy activity”, the following quotations taken from the annual reports 1974 / 1975 revealed another story.
Ministers Report 1974 – “ then there have been of course, weddings, funerals and all our regular activities. Yet in spite of all this, we may be guilty of hiding. Just as the Prophet Elijah hid from Queen Jezebel, we are hiding from some very fundamental issues affecting every one of us. We may be hiding within ourselves or in the church, fearing prospects for Trinity Baptist Church in 75,’76’and 77 ‘. To make it even worse, it is apparent we are afflicted with a disease. It is uncertainty about the church itself!”
Sunday school report 1975 – “Because of the alarming reduction in Membership of the Sunday School, it is recommended to the Church Board that Sunday School be suspended .” All in all, a dismal picture at the end of 1975.
Rev. Boughton resigned in October 1975 and Pulpit supply was provided by Rev. Dr. Bender-Samuels the Associate Pastor, together with David Robertson.
The picture that greeted Bob Roxburgh on his arrival in 1976 is best summed up with this quote “ an older congregation, financial deficiencies, set in an older residential area together with a number of other churches within several hundred yards. The approach to stewardship was – traditional, respectable, middle-class, good citizen, introspective, low profile, with an attitude of please me, I’m comfortable, don’t upset anyone, and sterile. No evangelistic fervour.”
What started out from there was based on prayer not organization. A teaching ministry was implemented and the congregation began to learn. Small groups were started and, nurtured all with an infusion of God’s love.
One stipulation the new Pastor made was “ the church should not ask for, much less accept monetary help from the Baptist Union of Western Canada, if the work was to go forward, it would do so on faith.”
At the Annual Meeting February 1, 1978 the church adopted the principle of leadership by Elders. The first Elders were elected in May of 1978.
At the Annual Meeting of January 1979, the church decided to move toward the goal of 50% of its giving going to Missions. The 75 th Anniversary of the founding of the church was celebrated.
In 1980 the church hosted the Baptist Union Convention, April 24 – 27. A Historic event took place when at the end of the week the signing of an agreement was accomplished between Regent College , Vancouver and Carey Hall, to pool their resources and establish a joint Master of Divinity programme. This convention also saw the launching of the Baptist men’s Century II Club to assist the building of new churches.
The First Annual Renewal Conference was held. This focused on the renewal taking place at Trinity.
An Intern Programme began and the “Unified Budget” was adopted. The Second Annual Renewal Conference took place in 1981. Trinity co-operated with David Watson and team in “Festival of Life”. Dorothy Robertson became Minister of Pastoral Care.
The Baptist Union of Western Canada (Manitoba Area) came together for Missionfest. Trinity’s emphasis during Missionfest was “Challenge in the City”.
George Sears was called for an indefinite period as Minister of Evangelism, Outreach and Discipleship with the goal of taking part of the congregation to start a new church in 1982. Bob Roxburgh resigned June 30 th 1982 , followed by George Sears in December of that same year.
David Bloom an ordained Anglican minister was called as Pastor on November 1, 1982 . He came from being a Rector in an Anglican church in Edmonton , Alberta . Tye & Nancy Gamey went out from the congregation
as Missionaries to India under the auspices of Global Outreach, in 1983.
1984 – 1993
On May 31 st , 1984 , Rev. David Bloom’s service of recognition of prior ordination was the first in the history of the Baptist Union of Western Canada. On November 4 th , the church celebrated its’ 80 th Anniversary. This was followed by the Trinity Renewal Conference with George Malone and Jeff Kirby in the latter part of November.
In December 1985 the “Company 71511 Manitoba Ltd”, was established for the purpose of holding property. During 1986, this company purchased the three houses adjacent to the church on Nassau St. This resulted in a mortgage, and a loan for development of the properties. Later Ken Voth, after nine years as an elder was called as Associate Pastor in 1987. During the years of David & Ken’s ministry the church grew to standing room only. The dance ministry continued to be a blessing under Heather Gavin’s leadership and the tambourine ministry began with Val Segura. During his years, the Blue & White, and Healing conferences were held at Trinity and other venues.
Trinity was very influential in the city during the years under David & Ken’s leadership. Relational problems were used by the enemy to cause some hard times. In subsequent years many left Trinity, but God was faithful to give us leadership to continue to be a blessing to many. In April, of 1987 the Trinity Family Health Centre was opened.
This was followed by Trinity funding a water improvement project in Mayuyani , Tanzania through Emmanuel International and in co-operation with Kilimanjaro Pentecostal Church . In April 1988, the first Blue and White Conference was held with John White and Ken Blue. Loans and Mortgages for the purchase and development of the three houses adjacent to the church on Nassau St. under “Company 71511 Manitoba Ltd” were consolidated through the Baptist Union of Western Canada.
April 1989 saw the second Blue and White conference held. The Trinity Family Health Centre Closed in June 1990. The Family Concern Counselling Centre opened in these premises in September. The Trinity Endowment Fund was established to assist people in financial stress. Family Concern Counselling Centre moved out of the premises in 1992.
Major ceiling repairs were carried out in the sanctuary in 1992, a new church Boiler was installed in 1993, both accomplished through loans received from B.U.W.C.
In 1993 a large group (80-100) people were given the blessing of the church and went and started a new work, Kildonan Christian Fellowship.
The Elders led the congregation for about a year, and in 1994 Hugh Hedlin was called from amongst the congregation to take up the Pastorate.
1994 – 2004
During the 90 th Anniversary celebrations on October 2nd 1994, Hugh Hedlin’s Induction Service took place.
In October 1994, Trinity became involved in the “Catch the Fire” movement, which had started in Toronto and had come to Winnipeg through believers going to Toronto and returning with renewed fire and spirit.
In 1996, all Loans with the Baptist Union of Western Canada were retired with the sale of the three properties acquired in 1986 and the Mortgage burned, the church offices moved back to the church building.
This was the “physical appearance” of Trinity as this last decade started. Trinity has come full circle, back to the original one building; and a smaller congregation.
During 1996, the food box for those in need was started.
Jake Durksen came on staff as Custodian in Sept. 1998. The year 1998 was a watershed for Trinity, no Sunday school was conducted. To replace the defunct home groups, Joshua Journey an in church bible study and prayer time was started. This was a family night in format. Alpha program made its’ debut at Trinity in January 1998. This has continued to the present with one and sometimes two groups each winter. It is proving a blessing to those who attend.
A new office for the Church Secretary was built and dedicated May 14, 1999. A new roof, new men’s washroom, painting throughout the church as well as many other smaller projects, were carried out in 2000 and 2001.
The year 2002 saw a further hive of activity in Trinity. The floors and the pews were re-finished, new carpeting was laid in the Sanctuary.
The Lord supplied the funds, and all this was done by God’s grace without any debt on the church.
The Christmas 2002 Dessert Theatre was a success with Tim and Deanna Treadway from the Television series “Pioneer Quest “.
The young people did an inner city missionary trip to Chicago in the summer of 2003. This proved to be a real learning experience for the youth as well as the adults accompanying them. Jonathan Kroeker joined Trinity’s staff as a Summer Intern. The Church’s vision statement was worked on and finally accepted after much work by many people:
To seek God through genuine worship
To seek wholeness in Christ through loving community
To seek kingdom growth through the empowering of the Holy Spirit
A highlight of the year was the Christmas Dessert get together with special speaker Hank Dixon, Protestant Chaplain at Stoney Mountain Penitentiary. He gave a brief overview of his life and conversion to Christ, being subsequently led by God into prison ministry.
January Jazz a fund raiser for a water well in Africa kicked off 2004. This was followed a few months later with another musical fund raiser to help Lamin Gbla bring his wife from Africa to Canada . The Annual meeting of June 6, 2004 saw the installation of Dieter Mulitze and Floyd Yewchan as Elders, joining Hugh Hedlin and Jake Durksen, bringing the total Eldership to four. Now, the church is looking forward to the Centennial Celebration and to meeting old friends from days gone by.
R. R. Riddle
Rev. J.B. Warnicker
Jan. 1, 1905 – June 30, 1907
Oct. 13, 1907 – May 24, 1908
Rev. A.M. McDonald
Sept. 20, 1908 – Mar. 13, 1913
Rev. William Hay
Nov.30, 1913 – Aug. 30, 1917
Rev. Harrison Roe
Oct. 7, 1917 – Feb. 16, 1919
Rev. Britton Ross
Sept. 7, 1919 – Aug. 8, 1920
Rev. G.F. Bolster
Dec. 26, 1920 – Feb. 28, 1923
Rev. F.W. McKinnon
Nov. , 1923 – Apr. 30, 1924
Rev. J.C. Williamson
July 1, 1924 – June 30, 1929
Rev. J.J. Ross
Jan. 1, 1930 – Sept. 2, 1935
Rev. E.J. Church
Apr. 1, 1936 – Aug. 31, 1938
Rev. I.G. Hind
Jan. 1, 1939 – Aug. 13, 1939
Rev. N.E. Todd
Dec. 3, 1939 – Oct. 31, 1948
Rev. J De Long
Jan. 2, 1949 – June 30, 1950
Rev. P.K. Gender
Sept. 1, 1950 – Feb. 25, 1951
Rev. G.F. Smith
Mar. 1, 1951 – Apr. 30, 1961
Rev. C. Hunt
Sept. 1, 1961 – Aug. 31, 1970
Rev. P. Boughton
Jan. 24, 1971 – Oct. 31, 1975
Rev. Dr. Bendor-Samuels
Nov. 1, 1975 – March 31, 1976
Rev. R. Roxburgh
Apr. 1, 1976 – June 30, 1982
Rev. G. Sears
Oct. 1, 1979 – Dec. 15, 1982
Rev. K. Voth Assoc. Pastor
Jan. 1, 1987 – Nov. 30, 1992
Rev. D. Bloom
Nov. 1, 1982 – Sept. 1, 1993
Rev. H. Hedlin
Sept.1, 1994 – Dec. 9, 2007
Pastor Brad Warkentin
Mar. 15, 2010 – present
Ed & Joan Alexander – for another great conversation
Lou Dahl – extracts from “Roxburgh Family Farewell”
Jake Durksen – comments on the last decade
Douglas and Jeanne Halstead – “Roxburgh years”
Hugh Hedlin – extracts from “A Church is Born”
Olive M. Riddle – for all her help
Murray and Christina Wade – a great conversation