Category Archives: churches

Behind This Wall at Hotel Vancouver…

Update: March 24, 2017 This post has been revised since it was first published about 10 days ago. The most significant change has been to its scope. It was originally a very lengthy discussion that wandered into topics well beyond Beatrice … Continue reading

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Bolivia Bound: The Story of Howard & Mary Plummer

Howard’s Early Years Arthur Howard Plummer (1900-1970) had his first taste of a mission career when he was 8 years old. In 1908, he accompanied his parents from their home in England to Wenchow, China, where his father, Dr. William … Continue reading

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Corrected Image by Horizontal Flip

It can be disorienting when a historical image’s negative is printed from the wrong side. By viewing the image to the right, you can see the way the image appears on CVA as of mid-February, 2017. (That the image was … Continue reading

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First Baptist Church in Disguise?

Update: February 10, 2017 This postcard of mis-identification was presented to me about a year ago as a gift by JMV of Illustrated Vancouver. The image appears to have been made between 1911 (when construction of FBC at Nelson & Burrard was completed) … Continue reading

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Rev. Arthur J. Hadley: “Let’s Go!”

My very good friend, Art Hadley, died on Christmas Day, 2016. He had a special connection with Vancouver, although he and his wife, Edna, spent relatively little time in the Greater Vancouver area, recently. In their retirement, they settled in Mississauga … Continue reading

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Elva Selman Drowns at 2nd Beach

Elva Selman, a 24-year-old member of First Baptist Church, died in the waters off Second Beach on Friday, August 21, 1908 at around 11am. She was the daughter of Samuel and Clara Selman. Samuel was a realtor in the City … Continue reading

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T. T. Shields ‘Second Fiddle’ to A. E. Greenlaw… Who?

This article appeared in the Vancouver Daily World on August 17, 1908. An intriguing aspect of the piece, to me, was that Shields, who was near the beginning of his career as an Ontario Baptist preacher of note (later, pastor at Jarvis Street Baptist … Continue reading

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Mr. Rockefeller Regrets

This letter was written by John D. Rockefeller’s attorney, Starr J. Murphy (1860-1921), in response to a now-lost letter sent by Dr. L. N. MacKechnie (1864-1926) of First Baptist Church (Vancouver). It seems reasonable to conclude from the context that the … Continue reading

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Baptist Missionaries in Shaughnessy

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 … Continue reading

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Charles S. Price: Healing in Vancouver?

  For three weeks in May 1923, Rev. Charles S. Price (1887-1947) held daily (and often twice daily) evangelistic meetings and faith healing services in Vancouver. Price had been in Victoria for several days in April 1923 before coming to … Continue reading

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Val Quan

Late-breaking information on Val Quan (June 13, 2016): See comment from Bonnie, Val’s grand-daughter. She kindly provided some additional details. The information she supplied has been incorporated below.  Val Quan (sometimes spelled Quon), his second wife, Pauline, and their family … Continue reading

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Church Parades and Church Street

I think I may have a reasonable explanation as to why Church Street (the north-south lane between Seymour and Richards and Georgia and Robson) was so named in the early years of the city. It seems to me that the name … Continue reading

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J. Q. A. Henry Declines FBC Vancouver’s Call

This post is a footnote to the history of First Baptist Church, Vancouver. Neither These Sixty Years (1947) by W. A. Carmichael nor Our First Century (1986) by Leslie J. Cummings (the two official histories of the church) makes mention of a call from … Continue reading

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Salvation Army Service at First Baptist Church

The image above and the two below were taken by photographer, Jack Lindsay, of a Salvation Army service held in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church, Vancouver. According to City of Vancouver archivists, these were made sometime in the period between … Continue reading

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Lost? Found: Pendrell Street Grounds

This photo shows a ‘park’ in Vancouver’s West End that seems to have been all but forgotten. It was located on Pendrell Street (D.L. 185, Block 70, Lot 31); an empty lot at the time the image was made. It was two … Continue reading

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‘Battle of the Jowls’? (or ‘Singing from a Different Hymnal’)?

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John Morton

  John Morton (1834-1912) was one of the first residents – arguably the first resident, although others have laid claim to the distinction – of modern-day Vancouver. He came to British Columbia in 1862 hoping to strike it rich in … Continue reading

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Rev. Dr. Elbert Paul, First Baptist Pastor

This is an image of a Senior Minister of First Baptist Church, Elbert Paul (1902-1985). He served the church for nineteen years (1932-51), the longest period to date. He took on the pastorship in a time of significant challenge: it … Continue reading

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Early Development of 1000 Block Georgia Street

A Very Modest Undertaking (Telfords) A building permit was issued to the Telford brothers in 1912 to build an apartment block at 1018 Georgia Street (architect was W. M. Dodd & Co.). According to the permit, it would be a 10-storey structure made … Continue reading

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Concert Pianist, Conductor, Theatre Manager…

Maynard Joiner lived a long and fruitful life. He was born on one coast of North America (in Boston) in 1894 and died on another (in Vancouver) in 1990. By the time he was 10, he was considered a child prodigy. His forté was as … Continue reading

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Church Street (Lane)

It is not unusual to find a “Church Street” in a Canadian city. Even today, in our post-church-attendance era, streets called “Church” can be found in New Westminster, North Vancouver, and in the Collingwood district of the City of Vancouver (near Boundary … Continue reading

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Reg Rose

Reg Rose was born in England in 1901 and came to Canada in 1912. After serving in the Royal Canadian Volunteer Reserves, 1916-19, and taking several short-term jobs, he began working for the YMCA, serving in Calgary, Lethbridge and Edmonton as the Secretary of that organization. In … Continue reading

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Remembrance Services Past at First Baptist Church

I was browsing through images in the Vancouver Public Library historical photos database this morning; I saw the image above and almost immediately recognized it for what it was (and what had, apparently, been forgotten or mislaid in the institutional … Continue reading

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Congregational Church Picnic?

The image below is an early one from the City of Vancouver Archives (CVA). On the glass positive of the image, there are notes; these are difficult to make out, but I’m pretty sure it reads as follows, starting at the … Continue reading

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Jubilee Methodist Men in Drag

This amusing photo may be one of the final images made (and certainly one of the last professional photos made) at Jubilee Methodist Church in Burnaby before it became Jubilee United Church later in 1925. Jubilee Church was located on Kingsway near Imperial … Continue reading

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The Grants

This wedding party photo is important, in my opinion, for a couple of reasons. It is one of the first records of an outdoor wedding in the Lower Mainland, to the best of my knowledge. And it is the last photograph … Continue reading

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J. H. Carlisle: A Man of Firsts

J. H. Carlisle (1857-1941) accomplished several “firsts”. He was the first Sunday School Superintendent of First Baptist Church (FBC), before it was formally organized; his name was the first listed among the charter members of FBC when the church was organized; he was the … Continue reading

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Rectory: Holy Rosary

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Fairview Baptist Church’s Early Years

Fairview Baptist Church, according to First Baptist Church’s first historian W. M. Carmichael, had its beginnings as a regional Sunday School. The school was an extension of First Baptist, launched at a January 1902 prayer meeting. Mr. and Mrs. Edward Peck were … Continue reading

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A Tale of Two Sanctuaries

The image above shows the interior of the sanctuary at First Baptist Church (Burrard & Nelson). However, close inspection reveals differences from today’s sanctuary. In fact, this photo shows the sanctuary before the 1931 fire which all but destroyed that part of … Continue reading

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First Baptist Footie Champs

This photo makes me smile. It was taken in 1925 by one of my favourite early Vancouver photographers, Stuart Thomson, at the present site of First Baptist Church (Burrard and Nelson Streets). The young men in the image were apparently a … Continue reading

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Old Kits Presbyterian Church (1911-1925)

A friend noticed this striking older building at 1855 Vine Street (between 3rd and 4th Avenues), which today consists of private condo units. She asked me if I’d encountered it and if I had any idea what the original purpose was of … Continue reading

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’49 Chevy Fleetside Deluxe Fastback

Once again, I’m indebted to my buddy, Wes, for knowing and sharing the name of this vehicle (it wasn’t specifically identified in the VPL online record). The location was 741 Homer Street, which today is (roughly) the Budget Rent-A-Car lot … Continue reading

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Anglican Theological College, (Chancellor Building) UBC

Anglican Theological College (1927-71) appears above the Main Library (now called Irving K. Barber Learning Centre) in a structure known as the Chancellor Building. Union College (later known as Vancouver School of Theology), with which ATC would merge in 1971, appears to the … Continue reading

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Appropriated Orthodoxy

Work on the Fir Street off-ramp for the most recent Granville Bridge (construction 1952-53) has just begun in the image above and was at a more advanced stage in the photo below. The question that was most pressing for me was: Which church was … Continue reading

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Early Church Memories

This image reminds me of growing up in church, as I did in an Alberta town in the 1960s-70s. Our church was much smaller than the one pictured above (which was, in turn, probably considered ‘small’ for its time in … Continue reading

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Burrard Skytrain Station

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Wesley Methodist from Thurlow

The view above is an atypical one. In the distance, of course, is the (unfinished?) Vancouver Block. The church in the middle distance/right is Wesley Methodist Church which in the 1930s would be demolished to make way for the Burrard Building … Continue reading

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Aimee Semple McPherson in Vancouver

The image above shows Aimee Semple McPherson with a welcoming crowd shortly after arriving in 1930 at Vancouver’s Great Northern Railway Depot (demolished in 1965, the GNR Depot was just north of the CN Rail Depot which still stands and today serves as the long-distance bus … Continue reading

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NE Views from FBC: 90 Years Apart

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A ‘Tent’ for French

The building under construction in the photo above is what would be the setting of evangelistic meetings from May – July, 1917. The structure was known as the Evangelistic Tabernacle and was located on what was formerly the site of … Continue reading

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‘Big Yellow Taxi’ Syndrome

Okay, this block of admittedly quite humdrum-looking commercial properties here on Seymour St. (between Dunsmuir and Georgia and across Seymour from the Hudson’s Bay Company) doesn’t really count as a ‘paradise’, at least in my books.  But it serves as an … Continue reading

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The Unsung Legacy of Eliza Chalk (1862-1915)

 The following article was written for the 125th anniversary of First Baptist Church in 2012. It was one in a series called “Who Was Who in the Pew”. It is reproduced below with a couple of minor edits, but is … Continue reading

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What Price Liberty?

These images, of St Francis in the lane adjacent to Holy Rosary Cathedral, were made a couple of years apart: the first, ca 2012; the second, 2014. In 2012,  Francis was caged within a wire enclosure. I found him liberated … Continue reading

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Memorial Chapel at First Baptist Church

The First Baptist Church Memorial Chapel has within it some of the most outstanding stained glass on the church site. The Chapel was dedicated as such in January 1958. (The space occupied by the Chapel has been part of the church structure at … Continue reading

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A Few Names to Faces at Lynn Valley Picnic, 1888

The image above was made by  an unknown photographer in 1888. It is unclear just what brought this group together, but what seems clear is that they are on a picnic and (according to CVA) the location of the picnic is … Continue reading

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Happy Dominion (er. . . Canada) Day!

This is a view from 1220 Homer (Yaletown) made by Ernie Reksten on a ‘holiday Monday’, July 3, 1967. The holiday was Dominion Day (known as Canada Day since 1982), and most Canadians should be able to deduce from the year … Continue reading

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1900 – 2nd of 4: Looking South

This is the second in the series of four Vancouver Bird’s Eye Views made by Albert Langlois in the summer of 1900. In this one, his camera is pointing south (I would say “southeast”), looking towards such interesting sites as … Continue reading

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1900: 1st of 4 – Looking East

This is one of four images made by the mysterious but skilled Albert Langlois in July 1900 (Camera Workers claims that Langlois was from Windsor, ON, but it isn’t clear where that information was found; precious little else about him appears to be … Continue reading

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Caretaker’s Cottage

This unusual 1914 image was probably not made to show off the recently completed First Baptist Church (1910, Burke, Horwood, and White architects, of Toronto, who also designed Mt Pleasant Baptist Church a year earlier), but instead to show the power poles … Continue reading

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Tweedsmuirs in Lotusland: A Few Notes

John Buchan (b. 1875) was raised in Scotland. He was a writer of many novels — including, most famously, The 39 Steps — biographies, histories, articles, and poems. He was invited by King George V to become his representative in Canada (on the advice of then Canadian Prime … Continue reading

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Pender Street Bowling Alley

There is no photogrpaher’s name attributed to this fine piece of work which I found in the City of Vancouver Archives (Bu N385; annotations mine), taken, probably, in 1911 while the World Tower (later known as the Bekins and, later still, as … Continue reading

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