Baptist Missionaries in Shaughnessy


The Baptist Union of Western Canada: A Centennial History 1873-1973. J. E. Harris, p. 148. The photo shows Florence Pletch [correct spelling of her name: Pletsch)* at 1492 West 33rd, the home donated by Mrs. F.R. Stewart to the Canadian Baptists. Photographer unknown.

In 1953, a member of First Baptist Church, Mrs. Francis Stewart, moved out of her home in Shaughnessy district at 1492 West 33rd Avenue (at Granville) and donated it to the Baptist overseas mission board.

The home was used as the Vancouver Missionary Furlough Home for missionaries who were taking a break from service abroad. According to the history of the regional Baptist body, written by J. E. Harris, the home “served that purpose well for several years. Then, due to traffic increase on Granville, the house was sold and the money used to buy a duplex in a quiet area” at 2337 W. 10th Ave., which was used as the Mission Home going forward. (Harris, p. 134).

It isn’t clear to me just how long this real estate service was provided by the denomination to its missionaries. But it appears to have lasted through the 1970s for sure, and quite possibly into the ’80s.

The original Mission House seems to be extant. It is difficult to get an image of it from street level, though, due to the tall hedge that surrounds it. However, on Google, one can see the house from above, and it appears to be the same structure. The more recent house on W. 10th is decidedly not extant, being recently replaced with a new duplex structure.


*Florence Pletsch died in Revelstoke in 2008 at age 86. She grew up in Calgary and trained as a nurse, later serving as a missionary nurse in India for Canadian Baptists for over 40 years. (Obituary, Calgary Herald, September 2008).

Sources: I’m indebted to Linda Zlotnik, Phyllis Metcalfe, and Nancy Scambler, in addition to the above-mentioned volume by J. E. Harris, for information and memories pertaining to the Baptist Mission Houses. 

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