1955: Capilano Southern Baptist Association
On October 9, 1955, thirty messengers from four Southern Baptist churches in Greater Vancouver met to organize the Capilano Southern Baptist Association. Seventy people attended the meeting at Grace Baptist Church. Officers included Ross MacPherson, moderator, Wm. L. "Bill" Robertson as vice-moderator and Percy Lee, treasurer. The new association voted to assume responsibility for the Baptist Student Union and to take over the publication of The Baptist Horizon begun by Kingcrest church. The first Southern Baptist association had been founded. Seven "Canadian Southern Baptist" churches across three provinces reported a total of 466 members and had baptized 127 in the year ending September 30, 1955. A new denomination had begun in Canada.
2003: Vancouver Focus – North American Mission Board’s Strategic Focus Cities
This was a city-reaching initiative in partnership with Capilano Southern Baptist Association, Canadian Convention of Southern Baptists (now known as the Canadian National Baptist Convention), and the North American Mission Board. The initial stage started in July 2003 with the calling of Alan Au as the city coordinator. The planning work started in 2004 and we began to see the first church plant in 2005. This initiative focused on:
- calling out workers to reach the city
- intentional church planting to grow the base from 34 churches to 100 by 2010
- strong prayer and evangelism focuses
- mobilization of volunteers across Canada and the US
The impact years were initially set for 2006-2007. The initiative was later on extended to the end of 2009.
By the end of this initiative, the Capilano Southern Baptist Association (renamed WestCoast Baptist Association in 2008) had 69 churches, seeds, and ministries. As a result, many workers were called to reach the Metro Vancouver region, our number of churches in covenant doubled, strong prayer and evangelism focuses, and hundreds of volunteers are mobilized annually across Canada and the U.S. Furthermore, Ray Woodard was called to lead the association in church planting as the Church Planting Coach.
2008: WestCoast Baptist Association
Having seen God's providence through Vancouver Focus, and adopting responsibilities outside of Metro Vancouver, the Capilano Southern Baptist Association was renamed WestCoast Baptist Association to better describe our association. This name reflects:
- the inclusion of a broader base of people
- a mission to be accomplished
- the heritage that is still valuable to the organization
2012: Church Ministry Catalyst
As our number of churches grew, there became a need in our affiliated churches for strengthening and equipping.
At the same time, our partners at the North American Mission Board began supporting our church planting efforts through their SEND >> North America initiative, allowing us to focus on the growing need of church strengthening in our Association.
In 2012, the WestCoast Baptist Association called Hamish Buntain to lead the Association as our Church Ministry Catalyst.