Loading...

William Aberhart

1878-1943. Baptist lay preacher and politician. Born in Ontario, he graduated from Queen's University in 1906 and as a young schoolteacher migrated to Calgary in 1910. From 1915 to 1935 he was principal of Crescent Heights High School. He was a lay preacher and in 1918 began a Bible class in Westbourne Baptist Church, soon outgrowing the building. After a period in downtown theaters, the Bible class developed into the Prophetic Bible Institute. This was the period of the modernist-fundamentalist controversy, and Aberhart's preaching of the Gospel, with a strong premillennial emphasis, drew a large following. Realizing the potential of radio, he began broadcasting in 1925 and soon was on the air several hours each Sunday. By the mid-thirties, radio evangelism had resulted in a movement of near-revival in parts of Alberta and western Saskatchewan, bringing an unparalleled proliferation of Bible institutes and an army of volunteers for overseas missions. As the worldwide economic