Church Planting Vision Tour Targets Halifax

Church Planting Vision Tour Targets Halifax

By Erin Elizabeth Austin

Nestled halfway of up the eastern coast of Nova Scotia sets the booming city of Halifax. Famous for its natural harbor, one of the largest in the world, Halifax is known as the cultural center of Atlantic Canada. With over 400,000 people living in Nova Scotia’s capital, the need for evangelical churches is great. Yet there are few churches and even fewer workers, which is where Daryl Price (Director of Church Planting for SCBC), Lee Clamp (Evangelism Group Director for SCBC), Steve Tuck (East Cooper Baptist Church of Charleston), Jay Hardwick (North Rock Hill Baptist Church), Craig Tuck (Director of Church Mobilization Hub in Charleston), and Josh Powell (Lake Murray Baptist Church) come in.

These six men recently traveled to Halifax to visit the area, meet the people, and catch a vision for what God wants to do. The South Carolina Baptist Convention has a partnership with the Canadian National Baptist Convention in cooperation with the North American Mission Board. Facilitating this partnership is Derek Jones, who works all over Atlantic Canada, including New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. It is Jones’ desire to bring a church planter to Halifax with the idea of one church multiplying to start many churches. Jones says, “As Halifax goes, so does eastern Canada.”

With five different universities, a Canadian naval base, and a huge tourism industry, Steve Tuck likened Halifax to Charleston, but without the steeples. There aren’t many churches in Halifax, and the majority of those are United Baptist, a church which teaches there are many ways to God. In a city of 400,000 people, it is estimated only 2,000 people are evangelical. The largest evangelical church is a Wesleyan church. According to Lee Clamp, Derek Jones and his outreach to the city is the only Southern Baptist ministry throughout all of Halifax.

In a city known for its tolerance and hospitality, few people know about the Bible, Jesus, and the message of salvation. Over 25 percent of the city’s population is unaffiliated, meaning they are not affiliated with any religion. According to Peter Blackaby, who met up with the team in Halifax, the city is a post-congregational culture. People can remember a time of being in church in years gone by, but these days, few attend church or even understand the importance of church. Yet people are receptive to hearing the gospel. While there, the team had numerous conversations with people all around Halifax who were willing to talk about church and the Bible. It’s a city with a great evangelical need, but no one is there to show them the way.

So what can be done? Although it’s often underrated, South Carolina churches need to pray. Pray for church planters to go to Halifax. As Steve Tuck said, “We need guys on the ground. We need leaders in Halifax who will share the message of salvation.” His brother, Craig Tuck, also says we need marketplace and ministry leaders from South Carolina to go to Halifax to help the church be mobilized within the city. But above all that, we need people and churches who will show the people of Halifax what it means to be the hands and feet of Christ.

If you know of someone who is interested in helping, contact Tim Rice (Missions Mobilization Director) at timrice@scbc.discoveram.com.

Author’s Bio

Erin Elizabeth Austin is the founder and CEO of Broken but Priceless Ministries, a nonprofit organization for people suffering with a chronic illness, as well as their family members and caregivers. For more information, visit www.brokenbutpriceless.com.