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First seen in Truth & Life Magazine, June 2024

 

Our Story

Back to the Bible began in 1939 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Theodore Epp began it as a Bible teaching ministry using the reach of radio. It found a national reception, so much so that by the 1950’s, it could be heard globally at any given minute. With the retirement of Theodore Epp, other Bible teachers carried the legacy of trustworthy Bible teaching. Warren Wiersbe and Woodrow Kroll continued the expository explanation of God’s Word over the airwaves.

In 1957, Back to the Bible began broadcasting in Canada. It continued under the umbrella of The Good News Broadcasting Association of Canada, a Canadian charity. God’s Word has no nationality. It suits every culture and generation. Still, effective communication requires context, and a specific Canadian context was absent until 2011. That year marked a shift of emphasis for Canadian listeners.

This issue of Truth and Life tells the story of Back to the Bible Canada and speaks of key individuals God used to develop a Canadian perspective in our ministry. We invite you to follow its pages and trace the hand of God’s blessings as His word is taught from sea to shining sea.

 


 

A Time for Renewal  

Back to the Bible from the US began to broadcast in Canada in 1957. The ministry took root with a deep appreciation for the consistent teaching of God’s Word. Faithful leadership and staff provided the necessary support for the broadcast and connections with listeners. Yet, there was the potential for future growth. The roots were deep, but the greater fruit was yet to be seen.

In 2011, Ben Lowell became the Chief Executive Officer for Back to the Bible Canada. Ben’s focus is on the direction, programing, innovations, and development of ministry. Steve Biggerstaff joined in the same year as Chief Operating Officer. Steve oversees the Finances IT, Human Resources, and partnerships with Canadian radio stations and international opportunities.

They brought with them a vision for Bible teaching across Canada, which reflected a Canadian perspective. Ben was drawn by Back to the Bible’s legacy of expositional Bible teaching, and he was committed to “do ministry in Canada for Canadians.” A new chapter had begun.

 

Days of Transition

2011 was a year of transition. The ministry faced the need for restructure and relocation. The office would be moved from Chatham, Ontario to Abbotsford, BC. The vision was to partner with “like-hearted and like-minded ministries and organizations’‘ to spur and support the staffing and resources necessary for a fresh beginning. Ben reports, “In those difficult and challenging days there were people who were steadfast and kept the daily operations going.” Steve adds, “The only reason there was something to build upon was because of the faithful perseverance of the staff at that time.” God had planted the seeds for this new direction, and they were nurtured by the faithfulness of dedicated staff. It was now time for God to do something new.

 

God Shows Up

The challenges of a relocation and renewal of direction were many. One of the first was financial. In the early days of transition, Ben and Steve added up the fiscal requirements for a fresh start; they came to $100,000. The very next day a legacy donation of $99,000 was given to Back to the Bible Canada. It was enough to meet the needs and still left room for faith to grow! The ministry was challenged by obtaining new offices, staff, and Board members. God was faithful for each instance. A local printer gave the ministry printing for 6 months at no cost. Increased office space was offered for the same rent being paid for cramped quarters. God brought people to the ministry who were dedicated to the mission of Bible teaching.

Affirmations of this specific Canadian direction were voiced by listeners across the nation. Strangers who met Steve and Ben in coffee shops discovered they were with Back to the Bible Canada and voiced their excitement and support. Steve notes that all this feedback “helped us to realize what this ministry means to Canadians.” Despite the challenges and difficult transitions, Ben speaks of his encouragement. “If we did ministry with spiritual integrity, God would provide just what we need, just when we need it.” It seemed clear that individuals and families in every province needed and wanted daily Bible teaching they could trust with a Canadian context. It was also evident that God was building that very thing. It wasn’t long before God provided a Canadian preacher to teach His truths across our land.

 

Looking Forward

The changes since 2011 are many and significant. There has been an increase of listeners and stations. International opportunities have allowed Canadian content to be utilized around the globe. New programming such as Laugh Again and INDOUBT team with Back to the Bible Canada to reach new generations and minister hope with a smile to the struggles of life. What hasn’t changed is the commitment to the values and mandate established from the very beginning. Ben thinks of the days to come and affirms, “maintaining faithfulness to our mission – engaging people with the Word of God without compromise and finding creative ways to do so. Our mission is to maintain the legacy of expositional teaching of God’s Word across Canada.”  It has been a mission God has blessed.

Dr. John Neufeld

Dr. John Neufeld

Dr. John Neufeld is the national Bible teacher at Back to the Bible Canada. He has served as Senior Pastor, church planter, conference speaker and educator, and is known both nationally and internationally for his passion and excellence in expositional preaching and teaching.

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