Edhird's Blog

Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit


Leave a comment

The Flying Gaglardis of CLA

By Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Image result for Phil Gaglardi

On this 150th Celebration of Canada, we remember a remarkably dynamic couple, Phil and Jen (nee Sandin) Gaglardi.  Jen with her co-worker Laurene Schneider (Drury) started the 80-year old Christian Life Assembly (CLA) megachurch in 1937 with street meetings in front of Fullers Meat Market in Langley. Jen played guitar while Laurene led the singing with her accordion.  Jen’s favorite scripture which she quoted at every street meeting was ‘Seek ye the Lord while he may be found.  Call upon Him while he is near.’  They invited onlookers to evening meetings at a rented Sunday School hall.  Initially no one turned up.  Finally one or two would join them. Eventually many more would follow.  Eleanor Mark, their first convert, said “The Lord honours small beginnings that have been watered with tears, much hard work, and faithfulness.”  Claude Adams, who played his accordion at the street meetings, said that ‘you couldn’t say no to Jennie’.

Phil & Jeannie Gaglardi, 1971Someone else who couldn’t say no to the Swedish Jennie was Phil Gaglardi, who later became known as King of the Road as BC Highway minister under Premier WAC Bennett.  Of Italian Roman Catholic background, he came to personal faith in Christ through Jennie’s earlier ministry in Mission BC.  Phil had been a hard-drinking logger and construction worker who would fight at the drop of a hat.  Jen particularly appreciated Phil’s ability to both preach and fix their Model ‘A’ Ford.  She agreed to marry Phil on the condition that he became an ordained minister as well. “My mother was the drive behind my father,” son Bob Gaglardi remembers. “It’s hard to understand that considering how strong a personality my Dad was. She was the boss at the end of the day, but she allowed my father to be at the forefront.” Phil and Jen were both passionate about missions, prayer, and revival: “Are we calling for fasting and prayer? We know that we need a revival more than all others know. Come! Let us break up the fallow ground.  This is a clarion call to prayer and consecration.  Let us move forward on our knees.  Pray as you have never prayed before for revival! Revival! Revival!”

Image result for Christian Life Assembly LangleyA major breakthrough for CLA occurred in 1942 when the Gaglardis brought in Dr. Charles Price for a series of meetings, described by Dr. Price as ‘the most outstanding he had ever seen in all of his ministry throughout the world’.  Phil and Jennie Gaglardi went on in 1943 to pastor a booming congregation in Kamloops.  Jennie’s cofounder Laurene and her husband Bill Drury became the second-generation Pastoral Couple at CLA.  Phil Gaglardi was elected as a Kamloops MLA in 1962, serving for twenty years as the Minister of Highways. He miraculously spent five days a week at the Legislature while still leading a thriving congregation two days a week.  Phil established the BC Ferry Service, the Deas Island Tunnel, and the Rogers Pass. Gaglardi Way, a major thoroughfare in Burnaby, British Columbia connecting the Trans-Canada Highway to Simon Fraser University, is named for him.  In his rushing back between Victoria and Kamloops by car and plane, he became known as Flying Phil, perhaps because of a number of speeding tickets.  Jennie had an amazing gift of ministering to children, birthing burgeoning Sunday Schools in both Langley and Kamloops, with a fleet of eleven buses to pick up 9000 children, the largest in Canada at the time.  Phil, while pouring more blacktop than any other politician in the world, also managed to help plant new churches throughout the province.  He ironically said: “If there are two things I hate in life, it is a minister of the gospel and a politician, and I ended up being both.” Whatever Phil did in church life or politics, he did it fast and got tImage result for Phil Gaglardihe job done.  Phil and Jen never let the naysayers stop them.  Phil saw his duty to keep the highways “in such shape that motorists will avoid the language which would deny them access to the highway to heaven.” What an amazing team that Phil and Jen were!  May they inspire us to fly to the altar of revival.

Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, Rector

St. Simon’s Church North Vancouver

Anglican Mission in Canada

-an article for the Light Magazine

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback andebook form. In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook. It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, 1008- 555 West 28th Street, North Vancouver, BC, V7N 2J7, Canada.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ‘Ed Hird’, #1008-555 West 28th Street, North Vancouver, BC V7N 2J7. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $9.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to download a complimentary PDF copy of the Battle for the Soul study guide :  Seeking God’s Solution for a Spirit-Filled Canada

You can also download the complimentary Leader’s Guide PDF: Battle for the Soul Leaders Guide

 


Leave a comment

Dr. James Eustace Purdie: a Canadian Dennis Bennett

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird 

Born June 9th 1880, Dr. Purdie attended St. Paul’s Anglican Church on Prince Edward Island and was converted at age 19 through his mother’s oldest sister.  Following his conversion, Dr. Purdie reported: “The call of ministry began to impress on me. I had to preach the gospel or die.”  He moved to Toronto in 1902, where he studied for five years at Wycliffe College.  Dr. Purdie saw Wycliffe faculty as “champions of the Evangelical truths of the Bible and the Reformed faith of the Reformation.”  He called them “scholarly men who were out and out for God”, the highest compliment that Purdie could pay anyone.  Wycliffe became the future model for Dr. Purdie’s own Western Bible College where he trained 600 clergy over twenty-five years.  After pastoring three rural Anglican congregations in Manitoba, Dr. Purdie joined the staff of St Luke’s, a large Anglican congregation in St John New Brunswick where he led open-air meetings on Sunday night for as many as five thousand people.

 

In 1911, Dr. Purdie first heard of the renewal of the Holy Spirit through a booklet he received in the Maritimes.  In 1917, Dr. Purdie moved to St James Anglican Church, Saskatoon, which had dwindled to just twenty-five people.  When visiting renewal speakers Mr. and Mrs. Crouch visited St. James in August 1919, they prayed for Dr. Purdie in the rectory.  Dr. Purdie was powerfully filled with God’s presence, resting in the Spirit, and beginning to pray in a supernatural language.  In those early days, well before the impact of the Rev. Dennis Bennett author of Nine O’clock In The Morning, very few Anglican clergy were familiar with the charismatic gifts.  This experience was described by Dr. Purdie as ‘a fresh refilling of the Spirit of Life’.  Dr Purdie saw his release of the gift of tongues as very similar to that of Vicar A.A. Boddy of All Saints Anglican Church, Sunderland, in 1907 where the Holy Spirit powerfully impacted all of England.  Before Dr. Purdie left St. James, it had the largest Sunday School and most generous giving in the entire diocese.

 

In August 1925, Dr. Purdie was contacted by R.E. McAllister, the PAOC (Pentecostal Assemblies of God) General Secretary http://www.paoc.org , informing him that he had been unanimously elected as founding Principal of Western Bible College in Winnipeg.  Dr. Purdie took two months praying and reflecting before he accepted the offer.  Tom Johnstone, PAOC General Superintendent, said that ‘there isn’t a man in all of Canada who contributed more of a lasting nature to the PAOC than J. Eustace Purdie.  He has laid a foundation of biblical doctrines that has paid dividends.’  The Rev. Dr. Ronald Kydd of St Peter’s Anglican Church in Cobourg, Ontario, said that ‘the one who made the greatest individual theological contribution to the PAOC was undoubtedly J. Eustace Purdie.’  In 1950, Dr. Purdie was commissioned by the PAOC General Assembly to write their official Catechism, a 567-Questions & Answers Book entitled Concerning the Faith, a catechism that drew heavily from the 39 Articles and the Book of Common Prayer.  In Question 86, Dr. Purdie asked: What is the most terrible of all sins recorded in the Bible?  Dr. Purdie memorably answered: ‘The most terrible of all sins is unbelief.’

 

Dr. Purdie commented to the Saskatoon Bishop: ‘In my heart I never left the Anglican Church for one moment in all these years.’  The first Sunday of every month for over fifty years, Dr. Purdie would either preach or help celebrate Communion at St. Margaret’s Anglican Church, Winnipeg.  Canon Jim Slater, the former St. Margaret’s Rector, commented that Dr. Purdie ‘was an Anglican till he died…he was a holy man and prayed for my ministry every day.”  As an outstanding theologian, Dr. Purdie has been compared to Dr. JI Packer.  Others would see him more as an early Dennis Bennett, another famous pioneer in Anglican renewal.  Dr. Purdie is fondly remembered by many Pentecostals for his practice of always wearing his Anglican clerical collar and for using the Anglican lectionary/bible readings in his sermons.  One of his early students George Griffin described Dr. Purdie this way: “As a man, he was a gentleman indeed with a great heart concern for each individual under his care.  No unapproachable austerity, but a heart-warming friendliness…a sense of humour which enjoyed good wholesome fun.  Who has not heard his hearty laugh echo along the way when we hiked through the woods or park with him?  His presence was enough to settle a problem of discipline when other methods failed; so great was the esteem in which he was held.”

 

Dr. Purdie poignantly commented: “The failures throughout the history of the Christian Church are largely due to the fact that the Holy Spirit’s baptism has not been given its rightful place in the Church.  To reject it is to reject the greatest asset for labour, service, and ministry that is the privilege of men to enjoy.”  What a great challenge to renewal-oriented Canadian Anglicans in the early years of the 21st century!

 

At close to ninety-seven years of age, Dr. Purdie was ‘promoted to Glory’.  He was still preaching over ninety times a year at the end of his life.  Fittingly, Dr. Purdie’s funeral was conducted by both Pentecostal and Anglican clergy.  Pastor Herb Barber who took his funeral at Calvary Temple said that Dr. Purdie established the PAOC on a solid theological and biblical basis.  Pastor Ed Austin, a student of Dr. Purdie, said. “Dr. Purdie was a real prince, a great scholar, a tremendous teacher.  We all loved him.”

 

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, Rector

BSW, MDiv, DMin

St. Simon’s  Church North Vancouver

Anglican Mission in Canada

Past Chair, Anglican Renewal Ministries of Canada

-previously published in the Anglicans for Renewal Canada magazine

-award-winning author of the book Battle for the Soul of Canada

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form. In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook.

It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook ), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, 1008- 555 West 28th Street, North Vancouver, BC, V7N 2J7, Canada.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ‘Ed Hird’, #1008-555 West 28th Street, North Vancouver, BC V7N 2J7. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $9.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to download a complimentary PDF copy of the Battle for the Soul study guide :  Seeking God’s Solution for a Spirit-Filled Canada

You can also download the complimentary Leader’s Guide PDF: Battle for the Soul Leaders Guide