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Historical Back To The Bible Hour Radio Documents
in PDF format.

(Large files necessary to preserve the original clarity of the documents. Be patient for the download to take place.)

The Five Heard Most On Radio Show: (ca. 1931)
Lower Row ( l to r) Dr. Imrie ( Pastor ) Dean Aberhart (Lecturer)
Ernest Manning (Insitute Teacher)
Standing Miss Muriel Preston, L.A.B. (our efficient pianist)
Mrs. M. McElroy, (well known Cornetist)
Note that Muriel Preston would become Ernest's Wife some seven years later. (Closeup Below).

Click to Hear Cyril Hutchison as he talks about
the early years of hearing Aberhart preaching in the Grand Theatre
and plays a later recording of Aberhart's Preaching - MP3

Notice use of Oratorical Dramatic Voice and Emphatic use of
the pulpit wood acoustics.

Radio Notice of Aberhart's Death - Federal - pdf

Muriel Preston as Pianist - ca. 1931

Muriel Preston at the Piano

Lecturer and Staff Member
Calgary Prophetic Bible Inst and Radio Program

Calgary Prophetic Bible
Institute Choir

Front Row (Sitting): Catherine Gorrie, Mrs. Dodds, Mrs. Clarke,
Mrs. Greaves, Elsie Read, Mrs. Wormald, Mrs. Cooper and Mrs. Gordon.
Second Row (Standing) : Miss Williams, Kathleen Bulmer, Margaret Dyson, Alice Eby, Marion Bulmer, Mrs. Randall, Mrs. Perkins,
Berry Harvey.
Top Row (Standing) : F. Funston, Charles Aked, Penard Hauge, Mr. Cooper, Mr.George Walker, Mr. Randall, Mr.Charles Underwood, Dr. Clarke, and Charles Pearce.

Back to the bible hour musicians
from those who knew them

Back To The Bible Hour Musicians
Gospel Road - March 11th, 2012 - mp3 - 1 hr.

As We Remember Them
A Back to the Bible Audio Journey
of the Musicians and Music of the Broadcast - mp3 56mins.

and Introductions to Aberhart's preaching of September
12th, 1937 by Ernest Manning and Charles Peace

WillIam Aberhart Radio Preaching
Starting in November of 1924 from the Palace Theatre in Calgary
the Back to the Bible Hour on CFCN was an outgrowth of the lecture meetings of Aberhart Prophetic Bible Conference. More details and documents are found lower down on this page

MoneyChangers In The Temple - 1 hr
Gospel Road, January 10th, 2010

William Aberhart On Mixing Religion With Politics
& Bible Distinctions on Jew, Gentile, and the Church - 1hr.

Gospel Road, September 12th, 2010

The Monetary Cause of Wars and Their Remedy
featuring William Aberhart, John Blackmore,
1941 Federal Canadian Election
and Clifford Douglas 1935 - 1hr.

Gospel Road, May 22nd, 2011



William Aberhart's Massive Prophesy Wall Chart (Below)

which accompanied his lectures to both live and radio audiences in both the Palace Theatre and the Calgary Prophetic Bible Institute. It measures 16.7 feet long by 4.5 feet tall. (Click Image to See Large Size)

Download Prophesy Chart in
11 x 17 inch format for Printing - pdf
( Includes Legend Notes from William Aberhart )

Aberhart's Pioneer Use Of Radio
Effective in Power and Hours
- pdf.
In 1937 - Aberhart Programs on CFCN totaled
four hours each Sunday!

Samples Of Aberhart's Handwritten Radio
Programs from 1933. -pdf

(Given to Ian F. Smith
in 1982 by Mrs. Muriel Manning.)

Our Glory Train Song
was Often the Closing Theme of the Broadcast

- pdf


Back to the Bible Club Souvenir Treasure Chest


Family Altar League Certificate for Listeners
Back to the Bible Hour

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The Ernest Manning led
Years of the Broadcast
June 1943 - 1990 ?

The Program Was eventually renamed to Canada's National Bible Hour
and remains as such on the half-hour
broadcasts today.
(In Calgary Area on AM1140 Radio High River
Alberta at 8:30 am each Sunday )
The first Sunday of Each Month stills has
a recorded Ernest Manning giving the message.

ernest Manning radio pamplets
Why Did He Come?

Captital Punishment

economic security
Ernest focuses in on the story of
Joseph Administering the
famine of 7 years and compares it
to what happens to people when
all their security is dependent on the State. ( written during the time
of Anwar Sadat in Eygpt when he made peace with Israel . 1979-81 )

Middle East Conflict
December 1973 - pdf

Manning View of Second
- pdf

Ernest and Muriel Speakers
at the Aug. 4th, 1951 Dinner
of the Christian Business Men's
at the Vancouver Hotel.


Radio Ministry

National Back To The
Bible Hour
65th Anniversary

&Founder's Club
(PDF 31 pages)

50th Bible Hour
& News Clip
Jan. 3 - 1976


25th Anniversary
Sourvenir Song
Sheet (1950)

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Muriel Manning As Musical director
of Back to the Bible Hour

Muriel Manning's Music Teacher was the renowned
Annie Glen Broder who also taught Bible Hour violinist
Mary Shortt. ( see below ) The quality of music
on the broadcasts was always of a high standard.
Annie Glen Broder was instrumental in bringing the
prestigious Associated Board of Royal Schools to establish a musical examination branch in Calgary as a branch to Calgary.

Annie Glen Broder

See Jennifer Hamblin's Article on the Associated Board
in the Summer 2009 edition of Alberta History.
( Vol. 57, No. 3 )

In the 1934 Annual Meeting Booklet of the
Canadian Medical Associaton, which met in Calgary that year,
Annie Glen Broder wrote the article
Calgary as a Centre of Musical Culture. - pdf.
Training from such British trained professionals was responsible for the high quality of musical talent that the Bible Hour had to draw upon in Calgary after the start in 1925.

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Back to the bible hour music

14. Of Answered Prayer - Violin solo by Mary Shortt
15. Abide, and Keep On Abiding - alto solo
16. Yielded Lord To Thee - alto
17. The Love Of God - Mary Diver
18. Someday He'll Make It Plain
19. Down By The Riverside - Ambassador Quintet
20. The Beautiful City of God - alto
21. Fairest Lord Jesus - Mary Diver
22. I Heard The Voice Of Jesus - Instr Violin Mary Shortt with Ernest Manning voicing verse.
23. Blessed Is He That Readeth - Ambassador Quintet


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radio Sunday School Mission

These Original Aberhart
Lessons are still ministrying in updated form
by UB David
& I'll B Johnathan

mailing from Calgary
"God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh." Hebrews 11:4 KJV
More Radio Sunday School Lessons

The Lost Sheep
The Finding of the Coin
The Ninety and Nine - pdf

Radio Sunday School Mission
(Begun in 1925 by William Aberhart, BA.)

Lesson Sample Beginners
B, Ages 6 & 7

The Story of Rebekah

Lesson Sample Grade 1B,
Ages 8 & 9

Ruth the Gleaner

Lesson SampleGrade 2B,
Ages 10 & 11

Abrhaham and Lot
(13 Pages Each, PDF)

Later Day Report Card For Radio Lessons

(1 page PDF)

Sample Updated Version
Rebekah's Decision

Radio Sunday School

Radio Sunday School Workers ca. 1930
Top Row (Standing) George Walker, Mrs. Walker, Dean Aberhart,
Mrs. Randall, Charles Pearce (Superindendent)
Bottom Row (Sitting) Mrs. Capocci, Mrs. Hodgkinson, Miss Way,
Mrs. Campbell, Mrs. Pearce

Award Poster for Radio Sunday School.

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Mass Rallies of
Canada Nation-Wide
Back To the bible hour

In Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary, Vancouver
from June to August 1951

Ernest Manning Speaks at Winnipeg Rally while Mary Shortt Plays Violin in Background - June 10th, 1951
Winnepeg Municipal Auditorium
(Click Here to See Larger Picture Size)

Rally Souvenir Program & Winnipeg Poster - pdf

1952 Special Edition of Back To The Bible Hour Classics
on 78

Music of the Male Chorus of Canada's
National Back To The Bible Hour on 33-1/3 speed (45 size)

Selected Radio Music Cover and Related Photos ( Large File) pdf


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Mary Lesingham Shortt
Violinist On Canada's
National Bible Hour
Jan. 22, 1918 - Oct. 23rd, 2009

mARY'S Selected rADIO vIOLIN sOLOS (Mp3)

The Lord's Prayer

He Always Say, I Forgive

Peace In The Valley

Mary's Promo for 1951 Back to the
Bible Hour Mass Radio Rallies
- pdf

Mary Shortt performs during one of her many
summers with the Jean Cotton string trio at the
Banff Springs Hotel

(Jean Cotton's name is in the Westbourne baptist
youth group list in the Cheer Up in 1925, where
Muriel Preston and Ernest Manning attended.)

Mary Shortt Funeral - Order of Service - pdf

Mary Shortt - News Clippings of
Early Life, Training In England
Teaching, Students, & Performance
in Calgary - pdf

Mary Shortt began her musical education in piano at home
under her mother, Mrs. Lesingham Shortt, then under

Annie Glen Broder ( see above ) and also with
the guidance of Grigori Garbovitsky, Founder and first
Conductor of the Calgary Symphony Orchestra.
Her earliest appearance on the Back to the Bible Hour
is still being researched.

Grigori Garbovitsky


Accomplished Baritone Ian Smith
Sang with His Wife Marion on
Both Aberhart and Manning Era's

Marion & Ian Smith
Ian as well as being a well known Baritone
on the Back to the Bible Hour under both
Aberhart and Manning and in Calgary's music
scene also served as VicePresident of the
Alberta Social Credit League and President
of the Calgary Area Council of SC.

Contra-Alto Marion Smith sings a closing
theme invitational - Come As You Are - mp3

See Eva Reid and Jack Peach Articles on Ian Here.

1950's Bible Hour Tour Picture


Madge Thomas ( Clarke )

Madge Also Played the Aberhart Memorial
Organ at the Prophetic Bible Institute.
She married a quartet member named Earle
Carke. See Her Family Bio

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Olive Sproule mp3- as recounted
by her son Winston Sproule Of
Strathmore area

Herb Miller of Wetaskwin -mp3
as recounted by Winston Sproule

Esther Siemens (Crayford) of Cowley -mp3
Esther remembers the family trip
to the neighbours who had a radio

Premier Ernest Charles Manning mp3
1965 - 30th Anniversary of Social Credit Government - Ernest shares
about his conversion as a Saskatchewan
farm boy under Aberhart's preaching
and the lifelong friedship they shared

Ernest Manning on his estimation
of Aberhart's Bible Teaching mp3

Ron & Margaret Underwood
of Red Deer Remember
the Closing Song of the Broadcast in Aberhart's
Time and Eva Underwood who was a
bridesmaid to Muriel Manning. - mp3

Aberhart Clear Public Testimony
Even During the Controversy of
Introducing Social Credit
during his broadcasts
Convinces one lady of her need to become a Christian. (pdf 1 p )

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Social Credit Mixed with
Bible Broadcast
That Storied Sunday in 1932 when Social Credit Combined with Evangelistic Preaching led to the changing of Depression Alberta

Charles Pearce
As Institute Treasurer and Radio Sunday School
Superintendant Charles recalls the day Aberhart
asked permission to include Social Credit Teaching
in the Broadcast of the Back to the Bible Hour and why


Why Politics On A Bible Radio Show? -mp3
William Aberhart explains why on a
Sept. 12th,1937 Broadcast

Criticism of Aberhart Mixing Politics with Religion
recounted by Ron Underwood - mp3

For Aberhart Legacy Series (18 hours)hosted by Larry Heather on Gospel Road on AM1140
Click Here!

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On CFCN "The Voice Of The Prairies"
The Jack Benny Radio Show
Followed Aberhart's
Back To The Bible Hour ( 2 hour show )
But Aberhart drew more listeners that the popular comedian on CFCN Radio 'The Voice Of The Prairies'
The Bible Hour at it's peak drew a listening Audience
of up to 350,000 from four provinces and at least 3 nothern States. Such a powerful undirected transmission
pattern as CFCN had, is restricted now by regulation.

Jack Benny on Radio

' the voice of the Prairies'

w.w. Grant
W.W. Grant, a decorated veteran from the 1st World War for his accomplishments in wartime radio, sets up what was likely Canada's first regular broadcast from a station he constructed in Halifax. 1921
constructed a 50 watt station at High River, Alberta, over which Western Canadians heard their first broadcast concerts. As few people actually owned radio receivers, Grant built his own labeled battery powered
receivers sets and distributed them to listeners in the broadcasting area. ( See Picture Below )

In the spring, Grant moved the station from High River to Calgary and the call sign was changed to CFCN. The government issued a commercial licence to Grant, after The Herald's CFAC received its licence. CFCN had the distinction of being the first station in Canada to receive compensation for commercial broadcasting. CFCN broadcast over a frequency of 1010 kHz with a power of 750 watts and shared time with station CKCX.
The station increased power to 1,000 watts, and shared 410 metres, splitting airtime with CKCX and CHBC.
Studios were at 708 Crescent Road N.W., and CFCN was now sharing time with CFHC, CHCM, CKCX, CNRC.
CFCN moved to 690 kHz which it shared with CFAC, and power was reduced to 750 watts.
Aberhart began broadcasting on CFCN in the fall from the Palace Theatre in Calgary.
CFCN increased power to 1,800 watts.

W.W. (Bill) Grant History Escerpt by Jack Peach

CFCN Radio History Document
( pdf )

More CFCN History
in Discovering Antiques, May/June 2009
by Fred Hauck & W.W. Grant's Radio Giveaways.


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Palace THeatre

(Allen's) Palace Theatre 219-8th Avenue S.W. Calgary
Built: 1921
Currently, a historically designated building, but
used as the Calgary Flames Central Sportsclub.
The plaque supplied by the Province
has not been installed on the front of the
building however, for reasons unknown.
However, The Heritage Canada Plaque is Installed
Below the West Ticket Window and give a brief
Reference to Willilam Aberhart's Broadcasts.

It is a suggestion that the two old Ticket
windows be used as historical signs as well, one outlining the entertainment history of the building and one detailing the Aberhart broadcasts
which began in the building, be placed there as well. Unauthorized alterations done to the original signboard by the installation of the Flames central sign is a sore point
with the Calgary Heritage Authority.

See Public Library Cornerstones
Project History on Allen ( Palace ) Theatre

Aberhart Addresses His Vast Radio Audience

Radio History Made From this stage of the Palace Theatre in the fall of 1925.

The Calgary Prophetic Bible Conference established by Aberhart to share Prophecy Lectures in 1918 led to increasingly larger crowds when it was moved to Sunday Afternoons first at the Grand Theatre with 1600 seats,and then came finally to rest at the spacious 2,200 seat theatre of the Palace in 1923. In addition to a seating capacity of 2,200, this theatre had better facilities for musical programs and was closer to street-car transportation.

The Elegant Sherman Grand Theatre held 1600 seats which the Prophetic Bible Conference
under Aberhart's preaching outgrew, forcing a move to the Palace

And sometimes into the evening hours as well of various Prophetical Topics

Aberhart Prophecy Crusade April 1924?
Hillhurst Baptist Church Calgary - pdf

NewPaper Ads and Topics of
Prophetic Bible Conference Meetings
- pdf

News Ad of Westbourne and Prophetic Bible Conference
during Ernest G. Hansell Era -pdf

Tabernacle Hymns No. 2
Inner Page of Songleader's Book - Ernest Hutchinson

Palace Theatre Stage
Aberhart's overflowing audiences
heard Prophecy Letures with music
from 3 to 5 pm every Sunday Afternoon.

"When William Aberhart took the rostrum, the personality and voice combined with all their compelling power….There would be music, and he in contemplative mood, seeming remote from its surroundings. Next a hymn and he would join, heart and soul with the singing. Then the pause of expectancy, the quiet that waited for his voice. A clear pleasant voice which, having naturally a great range of volume, was trained in the manipulation of its deeper undertones for dramatic effects. There he would preach… Bible in hand, with audience in rapt attention.

"The early days of radio were momentous days in Canada. A new medium of communication. An unheard-of outreach of sound, carrying the human voice into the silence of remote outposts. Almost overnight, it became possible for a single man to speak to, and influence his fellowman in their thousands on the prairies.
It was inevitable that William Aberhart, master orator that he was, would also master this new medium of mass communication. W. W. Grant, owner of the pioneer Calgary radio station C.F.C.N., "The Voice of the Prairies" proposed to put Aberhart on the air to broadcast the existing meeting of the Prophetic Conference that had been packing in capacity crowds there since 1923.

On Sunday October 11th , 1925, Aberhart watched the radio crew stringing wires about the stage of this Palace Theatre. There was a telephone connection to the studio, and at this end a gadget called a microphone. At 2:30 , a quartet sang a hymn in a close cluster around this bug-eyed contraption., and as they departed, Aberhart trembled with temporary "mike fright." He soon warmed to the on air presence reassured by the accents of his voice, and he never looked back. It was a fateful moment for the history of Alberta.
The first broadcast was successful beyond all expectations. There was a flood of letters, many with contributions of money. A few Sundays later, the paying members of the new radio club passed the 500 mark. The amazing radio appeal of William Aberhart had become a demonstrated fact. The momentum established by the radio broadcast from the stage of this theatre brought in it's wake , a massive listening audience (over 300 hundred thousand out-drawing the Jack Benny show which followed after), the building of the Prophetic Bible Institute a few block east on this same 8th Avenue. And from that center the launch of the Social Credit movement which was to sweep to power in the mid depression election of 1935.

Material adapted from with some date revisions from:
Aberhart of Alberta
L.P.V. Johnson and Ola McNutt
Institute for Applied Art, Edmonton 1970. pp 53-54 & 63-64

See Palace Theatre History Excerpt by Jack Peach

Sunday Ads including Westbourne
and Prophetic Bible Conference
( Back to the Bible Program
on CFCN Radio )

transcription Records

Radio Stations would often take a live broadcast of a Radio Show like Aberharts and record it onto a LargeTranscription Record Platter (vinyl and about 12" in diameter). These could then be archived or copies sent for rebroadcast on other stations. Many hundreds were made of Aberhart's broadcasts but only a few are currently in museum archives. If you know of any 'out in the wild' the Aberhart Foundation is interested in obtaining them for future preservation. See contact page for details.

CFAC Transcription Radio Disc Above
One of Two Discs for the Oct. 8th, 1959
Back to the Bible Broadcast
Each radio disc has about 13 minutes of recording time.
The first disc of a recording would start at the outer edge, the next disc
would be played from the inside out and so forth. This way the speed change from disc to disc could be kept less noticable.

Label for Electrical Transcription Disc with Instructions

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edmonton Prohetic bible Conference

Strand Theatre
10209 Jasper Avenue
The Layman's Forum was likely the
First Name of the Edmonton Meetings of Aberhart
when he and Ernest Manning relocated to the Capital
of Edmonton to assume their duties in the new Social Credit
Government in 1935. The Strand Theatre was used and then later when Manning took over the Capitol and then the Paramount became the new
theatres for these meetings renamed the Edmonton Bible Conference.

Hear Orvis Kennedy Recount the Challenge to Aberhart to start the
Edmonton Prophetic Bible Conference - mp3
Eventually, the Back to the Bible
Hour Broadcasts transferred from Calgary up to this Theatre. At first, Manning and Aberhart would alternate Sundays between Calgary Prophetic Bible Inst. and the Strand Theatre for several years.
Paramount Theatre on Jasper Ave.

Still Used As A Downtown Church
A well Maintained Theatre Space

Edmonton Bible Conference Songsheet - pdf
circa later 1940's

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radio & prophetic bible conference
written materials

Book of Galations Study Outline
Prophetic Bible Conference (pdf)

A Business Man's Experience - pdf
A Moody Bible Institute Tract handed out by the
Calgary Prophetic Bible Conference

Roll The Press!!

Charles Pearce, LongTime Prophetic Board
Member - Ran the Printing Press in the Basement of the Institute and led the Radio Sunday School Department in distributing thousands of lessons by mail each month.

See Extract from this Edition
on the bottom of this webpage
where William Aberhart (editor)
in a section called Clippings
reports on an item from another
prophecy magazine and gives his
view on how he believes the public
should examine the teachings of both others and himself.

The Prophetic Voice
Bible Conference Edition
October 1924 - pdf

(first published
October 1924)

The Prophetic Voice
Bible Conference Edition
January. 1925

PDF 45p.

The Prophetic Voice
Bible Conference Edition
December 1926

The Prophetic Bible Conference Voice was Forerunner
to the later
Calgary Prophetic Bible Insttute
The Prophetic
Restarted Publication
in July 1942 and continued until early 1970's See These on Prophetic Dean Page


Early Copy Of Radio News
distributed to
listeners of the
Back To The Bible Hour
from the Prophetic Bible Institute
(16 pages)

gods great prophecies series

Listing of Pre Wesbourne & Westbourne
Prophetic Bible Conference Board Members
with Listings of God's Great Prophecies ( Mid - 20's version and Post Aberhart Passing Printing.)

Their appears to be at least 3 different publications
of God's Great Prophecies which have some differences
in Lecture Numbers and Titles:
1. Early Prophetic Conference Edition(s)
2. Westbourne Era Edition(s)
3. Post Passing of Aberhart Edition
published by the Prophetic Bible Inst. - 1943 or after.

Aberhart's Prophetic Series
(Earliest Edition )

Great Prophecies
Section 1

(An early version, pre 1925? of
the Prophectic
Bible Conference Series
This Material is arranged and has different subjects that the later series which follows.

Binder Cover
For God's Great Prophecies
(sold for 60cents each)

It was this series of lectures and more that began a mass public movement in halls and Theatres (Grand & Palace at which the later Theare the vast CFCN Broadcasts began.


Great Prophecies
Book 1
1 & 2

38 pp pdf
Lecture One:
The Ear-Marks of the True Religion

Lecture Two:
God's Great
Divisions of the World History

God's Great Prophecies Book No. 2
3 & 4

(24 pp - pdf)

Lecture Three:
Is Christ's Coming Again a Reality or a Mere Fancy.

Lecture Four:
The Signs Of The Times, or Is Christ's Coming at Hand?

God's Great
Section Two:


Lecture No. 4
The Second Coming Of Christ and Its Signs and Shadows

Lecture No. 5
The Zionist
Movement, or the
Restoration of the
Hebrews to Palestine.

Lecture No. 6.
The Sign Posts on the Way to the Millennium, or the
Period Divisions of Daniel's 70th Week


God's Great
Sect. 3:
Lectures 7,8,9
18 pp, pdf
(Note: Numbering Scheme changes here - Lectures
5, 6 have maybe not have been printed or reassigned.)

Lecture Seven:
The AntiChrist:
Individual or System?


The AntiChrist
Man or Demon?

Lecture Nine:
The Battle of Armageddon, or Climax of Battles.

God's Great
Lecture 10

10 pp, pdf

Lecture 10: Prophetic Exactitude or the Seven Times of Israel


God's Great
Lecture 11
pp. 12, pdf

Lecture 11
The Present Eastern Question
What The Bible Says About Turkey


God's Great
Lecture 12
15pp., pdf

Lecture 12:
The Latest of
Modern Movements
What About the Revised Version of the



God's Great Prophecies
13 and 14
25 pp, pdf

Lecture 13:
The Future Metropolis of the
World's Commerce

Lecture 14:
Babylon, Rome, and Denominationalism
or the Trend of Religion Down the Ages.

Great Prophecies
Lecture # 15

The Problem
Of The
Up to date.

Book on
Wisdom 'Under
the Sun.'


God's Great Prophecies
Lecture 16

22pp, pdf

Lecture 16:
God's Masterpiece of Prophecy
in 3 discourses.
*Point Of View
*It's Majestic Form

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churches where the
William aberhart
presided AT
or which derive from his legacy

Save The Old Westbourne
Baptist for an Aberhart
museum !!
See Op-Ed Article published
in Jan.22nd, 2009 of the Calgary Herald
and February 2009Ed of the
City Light News - pdf

Four Gospel Road Radio Specials on westbourne baptist

To obtain a two week CD radio show
on AM1140 Gospel Road
on either volume of Early Days of Westbourne Baptist
Click Here! or
Listen Below! (mp3 - 4parts - 1 hr. each)

Volume One: Week One - Early Days of Westbourne Baptist Church
Broadcast on AM1140 - March 13th, 2011 - mp3

Volume One: Week Two - Early Days of Westbourne Baptist Church
Broadcast on AM1140 - March 20th, 2011 - mp3

Volume Two: Week One - More Days of Westbourne Baptist Church
Broadcast on AM1140 - Jan. 13th, 2013 - mp3

Volume Two: Week Two - More Days of Westbourne Baptist Church
Broadcast on AM1140 - Jan. 20th, 2013 - mp3

westbourne baptist
Aberhart Lay Preacher from
Dec. 5th, 1915 - 1929

After preaching for Bible classes around Churches in Calgary, William Aberhart preaced his first sermon to a struggling Baptist mission church in Victora Park. It had
been planted by Dr. Willard Litch of First Baptist Church
back in 1905, after starting as a Sunday School outpost 2 blocks to the east on 13th Ave.
( SeeBuilding Permit pdf below. )
While Aberhart maintained his principalship at Crescent Heights High School, he became a unpaid lay preacher
at the Westbourne Baptist Church. Not being ordained, Aberhart called in others to do official duties. In 1922 a
fulltime pastor, Rev. Ernest G. Hansell was called
to assist Aberhart in the work and perform the official pastoral duties.

Rev. Ernest George Hansell
In 1917 he gained the position of Cartoonist for the Calgary News Telegram.

Letterhead in use by Hansell in 1922

Some Cartoons of Ernest G. Hansell - pdf

Newspaper Announcement of Hansell's Arrival
at Westbourne Baptist in Nov. 1922

1924 Annual Report and Elections
Memorization Award 1925?
Church Brochure - pdf

He also had an active testimony and ministry
in other churches using his cartoonist expertise
on the Chalkboard. Note special gospel vocal music includes his
wife and John. W. Lucas, who later became and remains as
the speaker on the 75 year old Broadcast,
The Sunrise Gospel Hour. ( See Website )

Evidence of these skills surface in the
Westbourne Youth Cheer Up - Later he would draw Social Credit
Cartoons while he was a Social Credit Member of Parliament.
(See Cartoon PDF Under Premier's Page)

This Church is still a historically preserved
building with later additions build after the
time of this photo
It is rumored to be moved to the Youth Campus by the Elbow River by the Stampede Board.. a move we hope will not happen
as much of the Historical value derives from
the history that took place in this location.
And the loss of the basement and annex will
greatly reduce the floor space.

Recent Window Inserts on the Old Westbourne
indicate it's future use as a performing
arts rehearsal space. Does this really
preserve the history of what happened within
that changed Alberta history?

We are hoping that a Foundation museum
dedicated to Aberhart- Social Credit - and Church History may be established here.
(Patrons to support this are welcome.)

The Old Westbourne Below as it looked in 1944

See Interior Shots of Buiding During
Stampede Construction All Around the Block

See Slide Show of Additional Interior Pictures
of the Old Westbourne Baptist Church - Feb.2007

Document History of Westbourne and Mother
Church 1st Baptist

Building Permit Tag Discover after 100 year concealment !
In 2011, Heritage Architect Lorne Simpson
removed bricks from the SE corner of the
building to discover the interior build.
Lo and Behold, Calgary City Builting Permit
was discovered nailed where it wasplace one years
ago in 1911!

( See The Story of the Permit pdf. )

Original Certificate of Alberta Incorporation
June 21st, 1923
After Aberhart's move to withdraw from
the Baptist Union to become Independent Baptist

Westbourne Baptistry BackDrop Painting
( from a smaller painting here )

This Painting of Mount Rundle in the Canadaina Rockies, which hung in the home of Deacon John & Annie Dick
( she was a Prophetic Bible Life of Christ Teacher who had a young Ernest Manning in her class) became the model from which a visiting Scandinavian Evangelist
painted the backdrop on the wall behind the Baptistry.

Early Communion Set of Westbourne's
1915 - 1920's??

No Tipping Head Back Communion Cup Ad
Methodist Year Book 1918 USA

Calgary Prophetic Bible Conference
Launched From Westbourne

It was from this location at 13th Ave. and 4th St. East that the popular evening lectures series by Aberhart on Prophecy, led to the formation of the Weekly Prophetic Bible Conference. It soon outgrew a number of venues
ending up in the 2,000 seat Palace Theatre, where
Aberhart started the Back to the Bible radio ministry and Radio Sunday School Club in the fall of 1925. He also
gained among his listeners a huge response to
start a Bible Training School to train students
in an atmosphere free from the prevailing modernism of the times.
For a brief period from 1927 to 1929, the Westbourne
Baptist congregation changed homes and followed
William Aberhart to the Prophetic Bible Institute Building where the congregation then held it's meetings. In 1929, a division over doctrinal and governance (ie. rent) issues caused many of the Westbourne congregation to return to the old location in Victoria Park.

Harry Scrimgeour led a group of Westbournites
back to the old building, to restart Sunday School and
services in the old location. In the previous interval, students
from the Prophetic Bible Institute had their first experiences
preaching from the old building with those attending from the area.

At the Insitute Building, the remaining church members under William Aberhart established a new entity, naming it the Bible Institute Baptist Church (later Bethel Baptist), the start of a new denomination which would come to be known as the Gospel Missionary Association.
As is the case it seems, even groups which split off
from the Aberhart work, continued to do well. And
we see here 3 developments which mirrored
Aberhart's pattern.

In February of 1930, the old Westbourne Church
used to a high standard in preaching, hired another dynamic new Pastor from Ontario, the Rev. Morley Hall.

Early Westbourne Congregation under Morley Hall - 1930's

Morly Hall, like Aberhart, also began a new radio ministry, (a.) The Back Home Gospel Hour, which
reached out into the city and far into the country
on the same station as Aberhart, CFCN.
Requests from listeners in Drumheller
Brooks, Benalto, Crossfield, Edmonton Norwood, Northwood in Therien, and Bellevue,
led to the establishment of a new group of Regular
Baptist Churches which became the Alberta core of the current Fellowship of Evangelical Baptists.
A mission point was also started in Edson.

See Regular Baptist NewsLetter of April 1944 - pdf

Board of Management For the Radio Program Initiated Regular Baptists of Alberta.

Dr. Morley R. Hall

Morley Hall, amidst a congregation that had
already supported the start of a Bible School
soon realized the need for another Bible School
for like-minded fellowships being established. The
Rev. George Dawe came to assist him in this work.
Below on the left is Morley Hall leading the very
first class of (c.)The Western Baptist Bible College with the first students on October 4th, 1934.

See March 1965 Tribute to Morley Hall
in the Evangelical Baptist Magazine - pdf

First Class in 1934
t was in this era that the back annex was added to the Church
for the College offices and perhaps an extention of the front foyer entrance

Freshmen Class Lists of the Western Baptist
Bible College at the old Westbourne - pdf

Student Body and Faculty 1936 or37?

The first graduating class came in the spring of 1937.

Western Baptist Bible College
Graduation Class of 1937.

Men L-R - David Milligan, Ceil Birch, Don Hills,
Bill MacDonald, Albert Phillips
Ladies L-R - Eileen Clarke, Jean Dougan
Ruebena Hurd, Kathleen Ashely

This College was closed in the Second World War years as the young men went off to do their patriotic duty and women
filled their spots. It was later reopened after the war
in Port Coquitlam BC as the NorthWest Baptist Bible College.
( Surviving currently as a denominational seminary in Langley BC)

Morley Hall Family, Calgary 1942

Westbourne Building Sign
This Gives an idea of the active congregational life of the church
Note that the Pastor's residential address has been blacked
out on the sign, perhaps due to unexpected visitors.

Stylish Faculty & Grad Program Momento from
1937 Gives Faculty Positions Below

1938 Faculty and Grads

See an account of Morley Hall's ministry
written in 1998 by his son Raymond Hall. - pdf

(Note: date of Aberhart's first preaching in
Westbourne was Dec. 5th, 1915 not 1920 as recollected
by Raymond Hall.)

A Short History of the Western Baptist Bible College
by the Rev. George Dawe
1998 - pdf

Another Brief History Of Western-Northwest Bible
College by Merle Pierce in relation to
Fairview Baptist in Calgary - pdf

Pastor Morley Hall led Wesbourne from
1930 to 1944when he left to minister back in
his home province of Ontario.

Many Pastors (Regular Baptist which merged

to become Fellowship Baptist) pictured here in later years
in this late 1940's photo were graduates of the Western Baptist
Bible College at Westbourne. Names below
Back Row(l to r):
Jack Pickford, Mr. Bye, J. McKay, John Cunningham, Mr. Lotimer
Front Row (l to r) :
G. Reeve, David Milligan, W. Tompkins, R. Beck,
J. W. (Bill) McDonald.

After Pastor Morley Hall moved to new works in Ontario, Westbourne Called Pastor John Cunningham to take the lead.

Pastor John Cunningham. He established
the church plant in the Calgary Community
of Killarney. Leaving Westbourne, he later affiliated with the Southern Baptists when they arrived in Canada
and formed the new Cambrian Heights Baptist.

Meeting of Westbourne Congregation and
a Southern Baptist Delegation.
(The proposed merger was rejected bymost of Westbourne)
A good period shot to study the interior of the back part
of the Westbourne Sanctuary of that time.
Note Alfred Girling's Pulpit woodwork in foreground
with embedded letters "We Preach Christ Crucified"
and SignBoards on Wall At Back ( See Alfred J. Girling Below )
'Keep Thyself Pure' & 'Preach The Word'
also Girling's work. (see below on missing signboards)
The unseen Platform Motto Board overlooking the Pulpit read:
"Christ Died For Our Sins According To The Scriptures" -ICor 15:3b

Link to
Larger Whole Page Image to Identify Audience.
Additional Names to Match the Faces are welcomed.

Alfred J. Girling

Talented Wood Craftsman and Westbourne
Deacon lends his skills to adorn Westbourne Church
and the lives of those he loved. He may have attended during the time of William Aberhart before
the Morley Hall era.

Alfred J. Girling and wife Elizabeth - 1932
Deacon Girling was a CabinetMaker who added stylish
woodcasings and shelfs. on the railcar interiors of dining and other cars
at theOgden Shops of the Canadian Pacific Railway.

Alfred Girling Built this Pulpit (pictured in original setting above, date unkown) and a Matching Communion Table for the
Westbourne Congregation. Front is adorned
with 'God Is Love' and Canadian Maple Leaves.
Top of lecturn has embedded wood of another kind
reminded the preacher that, "We Preach Christ
Crucified" A warning of earlier struggles with
modernism and the Social Gospel replacements.

Girling Communion Table (text on 3 sides)
Flash - Missing SignBoards
Alfred Girling had also made signboards one of which
crossed the front of the platform and said
"Christ Died For Our Sins According To The Scriptures"
Two others at the back wall read
"Preach the Word" & "Keep Thyself Pure"
The signs were taken up to the new Church meeting area
in Thorncliffe but have not been seen since.
On a trip to Crossfield, Aberhart Foundation researcher Larry Heather
was informed that a similiar set of pulpit, communion table,
and signs were there. And when examined, It is no doubt more of Girlings work and the same scripture message is on the two boards found there.

The Girling SignBoards at Crossfield Baptist
(Inlaid letters of a different wood)

Girling also liked to remember his family
and special anniversary with his own
special creations in mixed woods.
( A manager he knew from Eau Claire Lumber
would give him scraps of exotic woods.)
MarQuetry - A Girling Tradition

Marquetry (also spelled as marqueterie) is the art and craft of applying pieces of veneer to a structure to form decorative patterns, designs or pictures. The technique may be applied to case furniture or even seat furniture, to decorative small objects with smooth, veneerable surfaces or to free-standing pictorial panels appreciated in their own right. Parquetry is very similar in technique to marquetry: in parquetry the pieces of veneer are of simple repeating geometric shapes, forming tiling patterns such as would cover a floor (parquet), or forming basketweave or brickwork patterns, trelliswork and the like.
Marquetry (and parquetry too) differs from the more ancient craft of inlay, in which a solid body of one material is cut out to receive sections of another to form the surface pattern. The word derives from a Middle French word meaning "inlaid work". See Full Wikipedia Definition

See the Woodwork of Alfred J. Girling - large pdf

westbourne Young People's Society
Cheer Up NewsPaper
aberhart era

The Cheer Up Newspaper is preserved in existing copies
so far from May 1924 to 1931 and covers parts of both Aberhart and Pastor Morley Hall's times at Westbourne.
In 1924 the editor is Rev. Ernest G. Hansell who began
as official acting Pastor in 1922, while Aberhart remained
the lay preacher. Hansell took his training at the
Bible Institute of Los Angeles, but had earlier worked
as a cartoonist for a Calgary newspaper. This talent
can be seen in the Cheer Up Ilustrations until
Hansell left as Pastor in Oct. 1926.

The Assistant editor was young
Cyril Hutchison and he likely did most of the writing and leg-work. His Brother Noel Hutchinson was the President of Young People's for some time before and after his marriage. Cyril in 1926 becomes President, but in April of that year, Aberhart
himself seems to be writing and editing the paper.
References to the Radio Ministry and Upcoming Bible
Institute began to appear in the Cheer Up. See
the following, likely written in Aberhart's own hand
in the Mon. May 23rd, 1926 edition.

Radio Theme Banner
& Poem. The Sunday Afternoon Radio Broadcasts on CFCN
from the Palace Theatre on Stephen Ave. Calgary
had just begun seven months earlier.

The humour and variety of the 'Cheer Up'
does not at all fit the dour sour fundamenalism
that the Media often portrayed Aberhart's work as
being. Below Cyril Hutchinson likely sketching himself,
refers to the Youth drive to contribute by sacrifice, to the
Gull Lake Bible Camp Assembly Hall project.

Exhortations to Attend Young People's and Prayer
were part of the Westbourne expectations

A little self-depreciating humour
with a sketch of Aberhart is included

And Portraits of the Young People were often
part of the fare.

Cheer Up deals with Bachelor Support Op's
Dec 20th, 1929

Notable 'Cheer UP' Mentions

Ju ly 5th, 1926 Edition
Muriel Preston (future wife of Ernest Manning)
is listed as a member of youth group 'C'

July 12th, 1926 Edition has the Program
of the 1926 July 31 - Aug. 1st Baptist Young
People Union (BYPU) Convention at
McLaurin Beach .Gull Lake Alberta
The Westbourne Trophy was a Silver Cup donated
by the Church to the denomination as an Annual
Young People's Prize for individual speeches on
Christian Missions and Bible Characters.
One is reminded of the Aberhart Instituted Rutherford Cup
for Debating, so often won by students of Aberhart's
Crescent Heights Collegiate High School. (See Principal's Page)

The Inclusion of a Nov. 9 - 1926 Baptist Young People's Union Rally Flyer pdf at First Baptist is found in the Nov. 1st Edition of Cheer Up.
The Westbourne Oratory Trophy is to be presented to it's namesake young group who won it at the Gull Lake convention. Westboune became independent from the denomination of it's Mother Church, First Baptist in 1921 partly due to doctrinal differences with the Baptist Schools in the East (ie. Brandon College was where Tommy Douglas was trained.)
But co-operation in the Youth Camp and Rally continued at least
five years later and does not evidencethe narrow sectarianism
that Aberhart is often accused of. The wide appeal of
his radio broadcast argues against this as well.

Sometimes the jokes section contains the names of
youth group members as in Nov.1st -1926 Cheer Up
Muriel (ie.Preston) - "How did you find yourself this morning?"
Isobel (ie. Logie) " I just turned back the sheets and there I was!"

Westbourne Youth like Cyril Hutchison, scrimped their
allowances to raise money for the Gull Lake Camp
Assembly Hall. (foreground)

The Cheer Up - Selections of Westbourne Young People's Society News 1924-31

More to Follow on the Morley Hall
Cheer Up Volumes as they are digitized. Any missing
issues are welcome!

Westbourne Baptist Dedication of New
NW Calgary Church in September 14th, 1975
In 1965 under Pastor Fred Meyer (early 60's till 67)
the old Westbourne Building was sold and
temporary quarter were found for Westbourne congregation in the Thorncliffe
community hall until a new church was built
under Pastor Fred Adkins
See 1975 New Westbourne Building
Dedication Program and History - pdf

Westbourne Baptist 75th Anniversary
of Incorporation (1923)
June 14th, 1998

Service Program of 75th and Related Histories - pdf

Letters Of Members To 75th Organizers - pdf

Westbourne Baptist 100th Anniversary
of Founding (1905) Sept. 10,11 - 2005
Under Pastor Dennis Burriss

Albert Stewart, Allan Tuck, ........Emma & Avre Wilkinson

See 100th Anniversary Anniversary
History 'Footprints' - pdf

Wesbourne History to 2007 - pdf
Note: Aberhart actually first started
preaching at Westbourne in 1915

Westbourne Baptist Replica Dedicated on Stampede Grounds
October 17th, 2018

See PDF Story on this dedication


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bible Institute baptist church
April 18th, 1929 - 1950

Dr. Andrew Imrie was called to be
Pastor in 1930, leaving William
Aberhart to continue as Board
Chairman and the Main Radio Preacher.
Dr. Imrie also participated in the Broadcasts.

Below - Aberhart and leadership had a strong emphasis on active
'meat not milk' discipleship for mature believers, if you did not use your
gifts, you were placed on the non-voting roster of the membership.

Church Choir Below Also Sang on Broadcasts
Zoom in By Browser Page control to see names

The Bible Institute Building Served As the Buiding
for the Bible Institute Baptist Church and was formed
after a group left to return to the original
Westbourne Baptist in theVictoria Park District

One Member of the Choir was Also Head Usher
and the Farmer Character on the Social Credit Broadcasts
Charles Underwood

His Grandson Ron Underwood of Red Deer,
tells us of his memories of Charles Underwood
and the Animal mimic sounds he would do on the Broadcast. - mp3

Charles & Elizabeth Underwood
Kathleen Irwin (Whiteside) remembers that
they resided in the back apartment on the lower floor of the Bible Institute where they served perhaps as caretakers as well, and the students had nick named him" Daddy Underwood."

The Bible Institute Baptist Church met in
Prophetic Bible Institute Building
516 Eight Ave. West Calgary

1947-48 Church Board and Staff Photo

After earlier Pastors, in the late 1930's as Aberhart Moved
to Edmonton as Premier, Bill Laing and Arthur
Cornell shared pastoral duties. In 1941 the
congregation selected Bill Laing as the senior
pastor and Arthur Cornell took the position
of Church Chairman.
(Both also served on Bible Institute staff.)
The extention & home mission work of the Bible Institute
led by Arthur Cornell and others, was instrumental
in establishing numerous branch churches which under Aberhart's time had become associated as the
Gospel Missionary Union.

Bible Institute Baptist ( Bethel ) 40th Annivereary
April 1969 news account

Bethel was one of 17 Alberta Churches to have it's roots
in Aberhart's Prophetic Bible Institute.

Bible Institute Baptist (Bethel ) Church 50th
Anniversary ( Newspaper Account )

Gospel Chimes
Jan. 1943


The Official
Baptist Church
(Note last
page with
Board Members List)

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Bethel baptist church
1950- 2007
Shortly after the Berean Bible Institute suceeded the
Prophetic Bible Institute - The Bible Institute Baptist Church
also began to meet in another location, and built a new chuch
on 7th Ave. and 8th Street SW.

Downtown Location Of Behel Baptist Church.
In 1975-76 this property was sold and replaced by the Sandman Inn, and a new church built in 1977 in a western suburb of Calgary. The Church remained for many years in the Aberhart initiated Gospel Missionary Union and in close association with the Berean Bible College.

Pastor William J. Laing at the downtown Bethel Office.

Last Night At Downtown Bethel -August 29-1976 - mp3

This last service contains remembrances of Gordon Moodie about early Church
days at Bible Institute Baptist, a slide show with commentary by Arthur Cornell
and Pastor Bill Laing, and a closing prayer by Phil Hutchinson.

Bill and Irene Laing in later years

While the old Bethel was sold to make way
for the Sandman Inn owned by the BC Social
Credit Gaglardi family, the church met for
a short time in a school while their new Bethel
Baptist Building was completed in the
Glenbrook Community on 49th St. SW

Hear the 1977 Dedication Service
recorded at the new site of Bethel Baptist
in the Glenbrook Community of Calgary

Broadcast on AM1140 Radio on Jan. 9th, 2011

To obtain a two week CD radio show
on AM1140 Gospel Road
on the Bethel Baptist 1977 Dedication
& The 1980 Memorial Service of Cyril Hutchinson
(See mp3 on Prophetic Dean page)
Click Here! or
Listen Above! (mp3 - 1 hr. each)


Greetings in Service from MLA Neil Webber, Aldersman
Bob Simpson, Rev. James Sinclair for Gospel Missionary
Association Superintendant, Ministerial Rep.
Rev. Norman Reimer and Dedication Message
by Berean Bible College President
Cyril Hutchinson on "Bethel The House Of God"

In 2010, the name of the Bethel Baptist Church
was changed to Abundant Life.
To obtain a two week CD radio show
on AM1140 Gospel Road
on Pastor Bill Laing Click Here! or
Listen Below! (mp3 - 2 parts - 1 hr. each)

Pastor William J. Laing - Week One: Pressing Towards The Mark - mp3- 1 hr.

Pastor William J. Laing - Week Two: Pressing Towards The Mark - mp3- 1 hr.

Obituary: Mrs Irene Laing - November 23rd, 2017

Funeral Service Bulletin for Irene Laing

Bethel Pastor and Prophetic / Berean Grad
John L. Teibe

John L. Teibe - Obituary and Funeral Bulletin - pdf

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Established from Aberhart Era
Radio Funds held in trust.

In 1974, Khona Louise Cooper (nee Aberhart) donated a dedicated radio proceeds fund to the Northwest Baptist Seminary, now of Langley , BC , in the memory of her father
William Aberhart
for the purpose of Bursaries to be awarded annually to qualifying students who were training for the pastoral and preaching ministry.
The funds had come from proceeds left over from the Radio Fund gathered during the time of William Aberhart's Ministry on the Back to the Bible Hour.
In this way, the legacy of the radio ministry and William Aberhart's love of Biblical, Expository preaching continues to encourage new ministry students in the upcoming generations.

Below are the audio testimonies of two of the students who have recieved the Bursaries in recent years, and a background on the busary fund. Seminary President Dr. Larry Perkins also speaks about the background of the fund and how it encourages students to pursue the call of God to the ministry.

hear the students speak
Click on their picture to start the audio mp3 file. Click Back Button to Return to this page

Keith Ikoma

Andre Van Wouden

Dr. Larry Perkins - Seminary President

Link to Northwest Baptist Seminary Website

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aberhart & other extracts from
the Prophetic Voice

The following is an extract from the Clippings section
of the Prophetic Voice magazine of the Calgary Prophetic Bible Conference.(Jan, 1925 , pp. 9, 10) It explains how the public should evaluate the scriptural teachings of both himself (Aberhart as teacher and editor) and of other teachers. (in this case a quote from Our Hope.)

William Aberhart began his citywide ministry under the Prophetic Bible Conference organization, starting in the small Westbourne Baptist Church in Calgary. (see Church Histories below ) Increasing crowds, hungry for the authoritative teaching of the Bible as the inerrant Word of God, prompted him to move to ever larger facilities (Grand Theatre)until the 2,000 seat Palace Theatre was being filled to capacity every Sunday afternoon.

With the persuasion of W.R. Grant, owner of the powerful CFCN Calgary radio station, he began to broadcast his service in 1925, and soon was reaching an audience of thousands of enthusiastic listerners.
Along with the broadcast of his sermons and the music going along with them
, he also started the Radio Sunday School Mission, a mail-out version of Sunday School lessons which also reached thousand of homes over the years.

Palace Theatre History

Grand Theatre History

the Preacher
Aberhart Page Index

Churches where Aberhart
was in Leadership
or a Founder

Westbourne Baptist