Edmonton, Alberta, is a gleaming city rising along the curving North Saskatchewan River. The city’s universities and oil sands have caught the world’s eye.
Its population has grown by 160,000 in the past 10 years, as it attracts oil workers from elsewhere in Canada and from China, the Philippines and India.
Of course this swell in population can also be attributed to the 180,000 students in the area’s dozens of universities, colleges and other post-secondary institutions.
The striking distinctive the world is little-aware of is that the growing population of Edmonton is only about 5.9 percent evangelical. And there is only one Canadian National Baptist (CNBC) church per 50,835 people in the Edmonton metropolitan area.
So as Canadians and immigrant populations move to the “Oil Capital of Canada” for fortunes or for higher learning, Southern Baptists and Canadian National Baptists are laying the foundation for another type of future growth.
“We’re really asking God for an indigenous movement,” said Bob Shelton, Send City missionary for Send North America: Edmonton. “This means getting local leaders to own the strategy and to develop leaders for future plants.
“But we are also looking for partners from other places who will bring their hearts and join us in reaching Edmonton for Christ.”
As with other Canadian cities, the road to ministry success is long and will require steadfast planters and committed partners.
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