The Third Annual interdenominational Wilderness Family Conference was successfully held the first week in August in Tumbler Ridge and hailed as “the best yet” by one of the participating Pastors, Dr. Bruce Taylor, the Cornerstone Worship Centre, Peace River, AB. Rev. Taylor, one of three regional pastors (Rev. Tim Osiowy, Gateway Christian Ministries, Prince George, BC and Rev. Darrin Lauder, First Baptist Church, Williams Lake, BC), who have preached at the Conference in each of the first three conferences, observed that the Conference “gets better and better each year!”
In keeping with the character and teaching of Christ, the Conference is controversial in dealing forthrightly with the great moral issues of the day. This year Dr. Emil Silvestru, creationist, geologist, hydrogeologist and kartsologist, gave a most intensely stimulating series of lectures presenting creationist views on “the stones and the bones”, the geological and fossil records, of particular interest to residents of Tumbler Ridge and area in light of the recent dinosaur finds in the region.
“It is tragic that the BC public school system denies students the consideration of any scientific theory other than Darwinism, including creationist views compatible with theistic principles upon which Canada is founded as stated in Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms”, Ken Campbell observed. “Some would consider such an academic approach to be ‘subversive’ and certainly narrow-minded, and welcome the intellectually enlightened and liberated approach to the subject as presented by Dr. Silvestru.”
A citation was also presented in honour of five pro-life humanitarians including Rev. Don Spratt of Tumbler Ridge and Denise Mountenay from Morrinville AB, who with her husband and son hope to be moving to Tumbler Ridge shortly.
As usual, the conference program included the finest of local and national Christian musicians. This Conference, directed by international evangelist, Ken Campbell, is sponsored by the Wilderness Committee, composed of five local Christian leaders, businessmen and clergy, led by Chairman, Bill Hendley, representing the participating churches of the Tumbler Ridge Christian Ministerial Association.
A daily “Vacation Bible School” for elementary school age children, was conducted by Pauline Hendley, and held as was the conference, in the High School facilities.
Food services were provided by a ladies committee led by Gloria Spratt. Accommodations were arranged by Don Spratt, some of which were provided by the hearty Christian hospitality and generosity of Tumbler Ridge residents.
Through the courtesy of the Grizfest committee, the use of the tent-band-shell was made available to the Conference for the Monday night Gospel Jamboree.
Official greetings from the Town to the conference attendees from the Region and beyond (as far as Ontario) were given by Councillor Rose College, Saturday night and by Mayor Clay Iles at the inter-church worship service with which the conference concluded Sunday morning.
There was a substantial increase in attendance at this year’s conference and it is expected that the conference will continue to grow in numbers and in benefit to the region in years to come.