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Fri, Jan 22nd - 8:08AM

Charles William Gordon (1860-1937)

Charles William Gordon Charles William Gordon was a Canadian clergyman and author, who wrote internationally best-selling works of popular fiction under the pen name Ralph Connor.

The son of a Presbyterian minister, Gordon was born in the pioneer area of Glengarry County, Canada West (now Ontario). After earning bachelor's degrees at the University of Toronto in 1883 and Knox College in Toronto in 1887, he studied theology for a year at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Gordon was ordained as a Presbyterian minister in 1890 and undertook mission work for 3 years in the Banff, Alberta area. In 1894 became pastor at Saint Stephen's Church, Winnipeg, Manitoba where he worked for the rest of his life.

During World War I he served as a chaplain in the Canadian forces and undertook a lecture tour of the United States in 1917 to encourage the United States to enter the war. From 1920 to 1924 Gordon chaired the Manitoba Council of Industry, a body formed to mediate labor disputes in the wake of the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919. From 1921 to 1922 he served as moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Canada.

Gordon was the most successful Canadian novelist in the early 20th century. He wrote his first fictional story in 1896 about mission work in the West as a fund-raising effort. The success of his first tale led to more short stories which was later collected in Black Rock: A Tale of the Selkirks (1898). Black Rock found immediate popular international acclaim, and Gordon followed it with a string of successful novels of missionary adventure. His first three novels, Black Rock, The Sky Pilot (1899), and The Man from Glengarry (1901), sold over 5 million copies worldwide. In all Gordon wrote over 20 novels as Ralph Connor.

Parkland First Presbyterian Church

Parkland First Presbyterian ChurchParkland First Presbyterian Church, Spruce Grove, Alberta meets at the Pioneer Centre, beside the City Hall. It began as a Bible Study group in the mid-1990's and officially became a congregation in 1997. They called their first minister in 2005.

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