On Friday, Oct. 23, Rev. Ken Campbell celebrated 40 years in the ministry with his family and approximately 150 friends.

Canada Christian College hosted the event. On behalf of the college, Dr. Rondo Thomas praised the leading pro-life evangelist for being “a man more willing than any other to engage the enemies of the gospel.”

Dr. Thomas noted that over the years he was updated on Rev. Campbell’s career whenever “he was taking a lot of fire from someone who didn’t like what he said.” Dr. Thomas said Rev. Campbell became the subject of controversy, and sometimes criticism, because he has been willing to “stand publicly for what Jesus Christ stands for.”

When the guest of honour took the microphone, he blasted the City of Toronto for “crying over the closing of a few schools, but not even shedding a tear after 30 years of abortion.” He noted that even though he is often accused of being hateful, in fact he is motivated by love. He said he even loves abortionist Henry Morgentaler, and “would love to visit him in jail.”

Apart from his tireless activism on pro-life issues, Rev. Campbell is also a noted defender of the Canadian family. His peaceful activity on both fronts has cost him dearly: he’s been in jail several times for witnessing outside abortion centres; and currently he’s being investigated by the Ontario Human Rights Commission for his recent full-page Globe and Mail ad, denouncing the Supreme Court of Canada’s pro-gay Vriend decision as imposing “bathhouse morality” on Canadian families and Canadian churches.

The founder of Choose Life Canada and Renaissance Canada didn’t spare his fellow evangelical Christians in his remarks. Rev. Campbell argued that while the church should be concerned about life and death issues, they are instead “asleep in their turtle shells.”

Rev. Campbell held up pro-life activists Linda Gibbons and Anneliese Steden as women of integrity, for their courage and sacrifices in defending pre-born children. Also he had very warm words for his friend Fr. Ted Colleton.

“In the trenches, your church membership and pattern of worship don’t matter much,” he said, referring to his fruitful collaboration with Christians of other denominations.

Ontario Premier Mike Harris sent his regards. Rev. Terry Cuthbert, president of the Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches in Canada, also sent his best wishes, saying that Rev. Campbell is a “living example of what it means to be salt and light in this world.”

Dr. John Hull of People’s Church in Toronto also sent warm greetings, describing Rev. Campbell as a “prophetic voice that has been distinct and powerful.”