The Reformed Baptist Alliance of Canada, the forerunner of the Atlantic District of The Wesleyan Church, was organized in Woodstock, NB on October 20, 1888. During the first year of existence of the Reformed Baptist Church, there was rapid development of churches and members.
In the seven months following the date of organization, twenty-two churches were organized with a total of 540 members. Of these churches, eighteen were in New Brunswick and four in Nova Scotia. In the years since then, the district has grown to sixty churches with more than 9500 in weekly attendance. Of these churches, twenty-six are in New Brunswick, nineteen in Nova Scotia, eleven in Maine, two in Prince Edward Island and two in Newfoundland.
Beulah Camp, Brown’s Flat, NB, was founded in 1894. This facility has grown over the years to now occupy some 75 acres with more than 300 buildings. The annual camp meeting early each July taxes the facilities to their maximum capacity. There are also activities various times throughout the year at Beulah and a small but increasing number of retirees are making Beulah Camp their year-round residence. The district also operates Riverside Camp, Robinson, Maine. Riverside has operated effective family, youth, and children’s camps for more than one hundred years.
In the late 1980’s the district acquired Caton’s Island, an historic 122 acre island in the Saint John River about 2 kms north of the Beulah Camp property. Youth, children’s, and specialty camps are operated throughout the summer months.
The first foreign missionaries were commissioned in 1901 to South Africa. The Atlantic District has maintained a strong missionary presence overseas continuously since then and presently has persons serving in Albania, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Ukraine, Taiwan, Africa, Japan and Central Asia. Through the worldwide ministries of The Wesleyan Church, we share in ministry in more than 90 countries around the world.
The Reformed Baptist Church launched Kingswood University, located in Sussex, NB, in 1947. Known as the Holiness Bible Institute and Bethany Bible College, operating first in Woodstock, NB, then in Yarmouth, NS, and since 1965 in its present location, the university has grown to a student population in excess of 200 and is accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education.
In 1966, the Reformed Baptist Church became a part of a much larger denomination now known as The Wesleyan Church, headquartered in Indianapolis, IN. Our name was changed to The Atlantic District of The Wesleyan Church and we continue to be committed to doing all possible to turn darkness into light.