1865 – 21-year-old Albert Simpson, a Presbyterian minister, preached his first sermon as a pastor in one of Canada’s most prestigious pulpits; became ordained; got married; honeymooned; and returned to his pulpit – all within one week!
1870s – The Holy Spirit revolutionized Simpson’s life. His passion was for the souls of the poor and neglected masses at home and abroad. Sophie Lichenfels, a scrubwoman and member of Simpson’s New York City church said, “Pastor, he vent to a nudder fancy church in New York City before he gave it all up to preach to plain folks like me.”
1885 – In Canada, John Salmon, a young Scottish immigrant, left his Toronto pastorate to launch an independent ministry to the “least, last and lost.” When Salmon met his U.S. counterpart in life and ministry, an instant, lifelong friendship and association developed.
1887 – Compelled by a sense of urgency to take the Gospel message to all nations, Simpson and Salmon were used by God to give birth to The Christian and Missionary Alliance. People from various denominations, also desiring to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ, joined them. It was during the same year Dr. William Cassidy, a Toronto medical doctor, became the first ordained missionary in the new missions society. He died of smallpox on his way to China, but his death was the “spark that ignited the Alliance missionary blaze” which still burns to this day.
1980 – The first Canadian General Assembly convened in Winnipeg. Dr. Melvin P. Sylvester was elected the first President. There were 228 churches in Canada.
1981 – After nearly a century of unison with our American brethren, the Alliance in Canada became autonomous on January 1, 1981! The Canadian body had 251 churches, 44,549 inclusive members, 426 official workers, and 112 missionaries. Global Advance Fund giving, which supports Alliance missionaries, was over $3 million.