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History of Rural Life Mission



May 29, 1936            Mae Brooks takes train from Toronto to the Lakehead (Thunder Bay). 

                                 She began visiting schools and homes in the country west of the Lakehead.

1938                          Aune Ikavelko joins her. Mr Snoddy of Brantford donates a 1936 Ford to the work.

1939                          Esther Rissanen and Mary Davis are now working with Mae and Aune.

1940                          Aune goes back to work as a nurse in Finland during the war.

1942                          The work was referred to as the “New Canadian Mission”.

1944                          Name changed to “Rural Canada Mission”

1944                          Round Lake Bible Camp (RLBC) hosts its first campers

1944 - 1945                Sunday School started in the Zaphe home in the Brent Park area of Port Arthur

June 1945                  Rural Life Mission was incorporated with the Ontario Government.

1947 - 1952                Mrs. Mildred Lappala begins a Finnish Radio Broadcast on C.K.P.R. at the Lakehead

1947                          Mildred and Aune begin a S. S. in Geraldton, ON                             

1946                          New cabins built at RLBC by Malen Price

1948                          Mildred and Aune begin a S. S. in Sprucedale, ON

1948                          The new Brent Park Church is dedicated.

1948                          One of the first RLM conferences was held.

1952                            Malen Price and helpers built a Mission House (Bethel) near Kakabeka Falls, ON

1952                           Charles Einwechter moves a chapel on Beamish Ave. in Geraldton to the present location

1952                           The work was begun at Schreiber. After January 1955 it continued on independently of RLM.

1954 - 1976                 Norman Browett began an itinerant ministry covering areas from Lake Ontario to James Bay and Dryden to the northern Quebec border. He distributed tracts, New Testaments, Bible courses as well as some preaching. He taught the Bible in many schools and also visited logging camps.

1955                           Round Lake Bible Camp property is purchased.

June 1955                    Mae Brooks and Art Waters are married.

1955 - 1956                  Christian work in Vermillion Bay near Dryden ON

1955 - 1970                  Mae began selling in her Book Room in Hagersville

1958 - 1969                  The West End Mission is begun in Hagersville

1962 - 1987                   Waterbrook Camp started

1962                              Bob Miller puts a basement under the Jonesville Gospel Church, Geraldton

1965-1966                    There is a work at Little Current on Manitoulin island.

June 1972                     An Old Bank building in Sprucedale is purchased for a chapel.

1973                             A new enlarged front is put on the Thunder Bay chapel.

1973                             A house trailer is purchased and moved to Sprucedale as a parsonage for the Forceys.    

1974                             Geraldton and Sprucedale churches now called Faith Chapels

September 1977             David Knight goes to Geraldton

1979                             Work is begun on a new recreation hall at RLBC.

March 1980                    Art Waters dies.

December 1980              David Knight marries Leesa Clements

1984                             Major alterations and addition made to Thunder Bay Faith Chapel

July 1986                      Don & Deb Nicholson go to Sprucedale Faith Chapel to minister

October 1986                Dedication service for the new church in Geraldton.

August 1987                  Earls move to Armstrong ON, a CN railway town and former D.E.W. line station, to start a new work.

February 1989                The old Mennonite chapel in Armstrong is purchased.

1993                             Beginning of construction of new chapel, dining hall, kitchen complex at RLBC.

1994                             Mae hands over deed of the property to the congregation at Thunder Bay Faith Chapel

July 1994                       Steve and Ruth Ann Woods take over the work in Geraldton Faith Chapel

July 1994                       Round Lake Bible Camp celebrates fifty years of ministry

August 1994                   David and Leesa move near Uxbridge, ON and take over leadership of RLM from Mae

May 1995                       Mark and Christy Arnold join RLM to direct RLBC and pastor O’Connor Baptist Church

October 1995                  Dedication of new chapel building erected in Sprucedale.

July 1997                        A group from Sprucedale congregation goes to Armstrong to build an addition to the church.                                         

February 1998                Mae passes into glory.

May 1999-2009               Daniel and Bonnie Blanchet continue under RLM in a Francophone ministry in northeastern Ontario and in northwestern Quebec that they had been involved in for several years.  They return to Quebec in the spring of 2009.

Summer 2008                 A Mission Home is purchased in Thunder Bay near Faith Chapel.  Jack and Pennie Earls move into this home in August and Jack is appointed Field Supervisor.

August 2010                   Clinton and Ann Saito take over the ministry from the Earls at Armstrong Faith Chapel.