Free Methodist Church

There are several Free Methodist Churches throughout the province, which enjoy fellowship with each other but have no political alliance. The denomination had its origins in Saskatchewan in the 1920s as a result of the work of Rev. Lotta Babcock, who had been preaching in the East Ontario Conference and had moved to Estevan with Edith Abbott of Kitchener, Ontario as her companion and helper. Babcock, with her booming voice and ability to preach powerful sermons, enjoyed great success in various revivals and was appointed in 1920 as Conference Evangelist, with Regina as her main focus. At first, meetings were held in an empty store on Dewdney Avenue, and prayer meetings in homes in three different parts of the city. A congregation was finally organized, with John Low as the first member. Babcock left Regina in the spring of 1921. District Elder R.H. Hamilton, another effective evangelist who had helped Babock, completed the year for her until the conference appointed Rev. and Mrs. Fred Wees to pastor the Regina church. In 1972, Gordon and Bonnie Hallett began working with the Aboriginal people of Regina, using the Free Methodist Church facilities to hold meetings. Over fifty people attended their first Sunday School class. More teachers were soon recruited, and the ministry grew. The Halletts left in 1973, but in September 1977 Oliver Brass and his wife became the first full-time appointees to this ministry. The Sherwood Drive Church shared its facilities with the new ministry, and by October 1979 the group was self-sufficient enough to move to its own church building on Elphinstone Street.

Bryan Hillis