“Evangelicals cannot live on the sidelines”

Gary R. Walsh, the current Bishop of the Free Methodist Church in Canada has been unanimously elected president of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC).

Walsh succeeds Dr. Brian Stiller who stepped down after 14 years.

EPC serves as a national voice and network for the Canadian evangelical community. EPC’s membership includes 28 denominations and over 100 Christian charitable organizations, mission and relief agencies as well as 14,000 individuals.

Walsh believes that concerned Christians from every tradition must work together to influence Canada’s increasingly secular society. In particular he wants to promote an emphasis on valuing human dignity and the family at the building blocks of society.

“I am very pleased that EFC’s Ottawa office (under National Affairs Director, Bruce Clemenger) focuses our presence on Parliament Hill and before the courts,” said Walsh. “EFC must guard against becoming identified as an organization that is angry on a handful of issues. Instead we must be thoroughly Christian and present in Canadian life. Evangelicals cannot live on the sidelines.”

Walsh told Christian Week, “I’ve always cared about the interface with culture. I’ve always sought to be responsible in having a voice. But EFC bears a unique responsibility in speaking for the whole evangelical family.”

“After much prayer and soul searching with my family, I came to the conclusion that this was where the Lord was leading me,” said Walsh, “To have rejected this would have quenched the Holy Spirit’s leading. I sense the immense challenge to this ministry and am eager to serve the Canadian evangelical community.”

Dr. Brian Stiller gave notice of his resignation last year when he accepted the presidency of the Ontario Bible College/Ontario Theological Seminary in Willowdale.

During his 14-year term, Stiller was able to raise the public profile of evangelicals and gained considerable respect for them. It was Stiller who took the Canadian media to task for labeling evangelicals as “fundamentalists”, a derogatory term that most evangelicals now shun.

Formed in1964, EFC today has 30 full-time employees and an annual budget of $3 million. EFC publishes Faith Today, a bimonthly news feature magazine EFC is a member of the World Evangelical Fellowship.

Walsh, 52, assumes the role June 1st, for a four-year renewable term.

Walsh was elected in1993 as bishop of the 150 Free Methodist churches in Canada and is also responsible for the 200 Free Methodist churches in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

He has served as pastor of churches in Ontario, Kentucky, New York, and a missionary/teacher in Hong Kong.

Walsh and his wife, Ellen has three married children and three grandchildren.

The EPC has been active in a number of court cases involving life and family issues. It was recently granted “intervener status.” To argue before the Supreme Court of Canada in two important cases to be heard later this year involving the rights of the unborn child and sexual orientation.

EFC’s pro-family videos

EFC has produced five exceptionally fine videos that support the pro-family cause. All are current and Canadian Justice for All (on Abortion): Ending the Journey: The Euthanasia Debate. The Homosexual issue. The Challenge of the 90’s and two on pornography. Naked and Uncensored. Not a Love Story and a new companion to it. The Power to Win each sells for $25.00 and can be obtained from EFC at (905) 479-5885.