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Our History


An inspiring history that embraces both theological stability and missiological flexibility.

A Brief History of the CNBC 

The Canadian National Baptist Convention traces its history back to 1953. With a shared affinity for God’s Kingdom expressed through the genius of the Cooperative Program, the first CNBC church, Kingcrest Baptist Church, affiliated with the Baptist Convention of Oregon-Washington. Over the next few years, this led to the development of the Canadian Conference of the BCOW in 1957 (later known as the Northwest Baptist Convention.)


As churches began to collaborate together in mission and the pooling of resources, the Home Mission Board (now the North American Mission Board) and the Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) took note of God’s activity and made the strategic decision to work collaboratively to further their missional engagement in Canada. To this day, there is a strong sense of gospel collaboration between the CNBC, the North American Mission Board (NAMB), and the International Mission Board (IMB).  


The Canadian Conference continued to grow, and in 1985, the Canadian Convention of Southern Baptists (CCSB) was formed with 58 founding churches.  The very first order of business was to start a Canadian Seminary to train Canadian leaders for sending on mission. In 1986, with the purchase of 149 acres set atop a pictoresque bluff in Cochrane, Alberta, the site was secured to build a school, student housing and our National Convention Offices.  This led to the opening of the Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary (now Canadian Baptist Theological Seminary and College) in 1987 with 20 students and two professors.  


It was in 1990 when the convention sent its first appointed international missionaries to the field through the International Mission Board.  Three years later, CCSB celebrated the dedication of the Convention Office on the same 149 acres as the school. And just over one decade from its official beginning, the CCSB restructured in 1998 with a major church planting emphasis, setting in place a culture for multiplication in the Convention that remains today.  


By the year 2000, with fewer than 100 churches, the convention adopted the aggressive vision of starting 1,000 healthy, reproducing, cooperating churches.  With hearts set towards God’s kingdom mission, the CCSB started on a season of rapid growth by the planting of new churches. 


In 2008, with a desire to better reflect their local identity, the messengers of the CCSB voted to officially change its name to the Canadian National Baptist Convention (CNBC).  


Today, the CNBC consists of over 450 interdependent churches in every province across Canada collaborating together in Kingdom (God’s Mission), Gospel (God’s Message) and Movement (God’s Mandate).  


And it feels like we are just beginning…

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