Evangelical, Pentecostal, and charismatic Christianity are terms that refer to a number of modern Christian churches, denominations, and people. Broadly these groups believe in a more direct and personal experience with God as opposed to the more structured and liturgical systems in the Catholic, Anglican, or traditional Protestant churches. The exact experience and doctrine changes from group to group, but is often marked by the believer directly communicating with God or His plan in some way, whether it be literal or metaphorical, and then becoming more devoted towards Him. Additionally, these groups often seek to help others, both christian and non-christian, through conversion.
Historically, evangelicalism began developing in the 18th century, and would continue to grow and spread until the 20th century. This development was aided by numerous Great Awakenings, periods of religious revival that increased interest in evangelical and religious ideals. These movements were initially located primarily in the English-speaking world, but as time passed they began to spread around the world.
During this period, evangelicals came to New Brunswick to spread their faith. Pentecostalism, for instance, arrived in New Brunswick shortly after the first world war, as many small groups such as the Holy Rollers and the Davis Sisters began to congregate in the larger cities like Fredericton and Saint John. As these developed they then spread out into the rest of the province to organize the community and plant new churches under the leadership of pastors like C. B. Dudley and J. Rolston. Furthermore, other Pentecostals from New Brunswick such as Bill Drost would venture beyond the province to act as missionaries.
Today, there are approximately 350 evangelical churches in New Brunswick of various denominations. There is typically at least one in any small town, and the major cities have several each. Many of these churches are associated with larger organizations, the most common of those being the following:
The United Pentecostal Church International (UPCI) is a Oneness Pentecostal organization with churches, ministers, and members across the globe. Their mission is to use preach the gospel through missionaries and to evangelize, create, and strengthen Pentecostal churches and beliefs around the globe.
They believe that the Bible is the infallible word of God and that He is the only God. Everyone has sinned and needs salvation in the form of repentance, water baptisms, and the baptism of the Holy Spirit, first signaled by speaking in tongues. Further, the Spirit gives supernatural gifts such as healing, and the believers in Christ should love God and others, living a holy life in preparation for the return of Christ and the final judgement.
The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada (PAOC) is a Trinitarian Pentecostal Fellowship of more than 1,100 churches across English- and French-speaking Canada. They seek to spread the word of Christ and plant churches all around Canada in order to give non-believers the compassion of Christ.
They believe that God is a trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and that the Bible is His word. Everyone has sinned, but anyone can gain forgiveness if they put their faith in Christ and enter a personal relationship with Him and His teachings. They believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit signaled by speaking in tongues.
“The Wesleyan Church of Canada is a Christian denomination, part of the much larger group of “Methodist” and “Holiness” churches which are noted for their belief in God’s ability to transform the hearts and minds of believers. Wesleyans have an exceptionally high allegiance to God’s Word (the Bible) and are orthodox in their beliefs, and conservative in lifestyle practices. The denomination is best described as an evangelical, Protestant denomination which is committed to: worship, evangelism, Christian discipleship, outreach/community service, fellowship, social justice and compassion ministries.” (From the Wesleyan Church of Canada’s website)
Further information on Evangelical Christianity in New Brunswick, such as the map of all the evangelical churches in the province, may be found in the following links: