Our Origin Story

Going Beyond Women's Ministries: Where Real Life and Ministry Collide

1987 ‐ An ad hoc committee met in Edmonton, March 20-21 for the purpose of beginning a National Women’s Ministry. The first committee: Lyla Jean Coombes, BC, Betsy Wieser, CCBC, Esther Rix, AB. and Ann Funk. Dorothy Madsen was elected as National Women’s Ministries Coordinator.

Some of the original issues discussed were:

  1. Provide Missions Projects to bring a sense of unity across Canada as well as meet needs.
  2. Provide resources for churches.
  3. Address women’s issues and concerns.

1988 ‐ The committee worked on guidelines, a purpose and goals. They had been in communication with other denominations and realized that they were indeed charting their own course. The preliminary goals at that point for National Women’s Min. were visibility, credibility and accountability. Five women from across Canada attended a forum in Chicago. Out of that meeting, some specific goals were initiated including develop and provide leadership training at both local and district levels. Mission project – MOPS – Laval, Quebec – Campbells & Goulets

1989 - Dorothy Madsen & Linda Ozirney went to California to be trained by Hanna Evans for Women’s Ministries Today Seminars. Permission given to adapt the copyrighted material for our Canadian churches. Mission project – MOPS – Laval, Quebec – Campbells & Goulets continued.

1990 - WMT Seminars begin: 15 seminars, 287 women, with 40 churches represented…way beyond expectations a clear affirmation that we were meeting a need. Mission project – HUGS – Haitian women, Quebec

1991 - WINGS first published ~ Women In God’s Service Mission project – HUGS – Haitian women, Quebec continued.

1992 - First District Leaders Forum at Bethel, Calgary, AB. New logo “Caring Connection.” Dorothy and Esther travel to Quebec. Mission project – Poultry, Chicken project for the Philippines

1993 - SURVEY: “How women accepted Christ in the last five years” District Mini-Forums. Begin newsletters to District leaders. CONNECTING newsletter to pastors wives begins Mission project – Poultry, Chicken project for the Philippines, Betty was a funky Chicken!

1994 - Fall Forum for Women’s Ministries Leaders in Large Churches at Ellerslie Road, Edmonton AB. Dorothy to AD 2000, Tennessee Mission project – Roof for Eunice’s house in Ethiopia.

1995 - Global Conference on World Evangelization in Korea. Dorothy attends and doors are opened to Ukraine. Mission project – Thangi’s Vehicle, Assam, India

1996 - Revision of WMT Seminars Mission project – Manna for Matthisens – Mississauga, Ontario.

1997 - Restructuring of National Women’s Executive and District Resource Team. “Women Counselling Women” course available. Trip to Quebec: Esther and Dorothy Mission project – Ukraine Project, sending Dorothy, caring for needy families, and providing Bible studies and resources.

1998 - Women’s Evangelical Network- forum for evangelical Denominational Women’s Ministry Leaders in Winnipeg, MB. District Leaders Forum, Calgary. Mission project – Ukraine Project, sending Dorothy, caring for needy families, and providing Bible studies and resources continued.

1999 - Forum for Women’s Ministries Leaders in Large Churches: New Life, Stonewall, MB. March, Dorothy travels to Ukraine to speak and encourage the women. Mission project – Ukraine Project, sending Dorothy, caring for needy families, and providing Bible studies, resources and Flannel Graphs for Sunday school program. 

2000 - Dorothy Madsen retires, Linda Ozirney appointed Director of BGCC National Women’s Ministries. WINGS title and format revised, renamed Soar on WINGS. Is. 40:30 Mission project – Birth attendants for Tokay, Ethiopia

2001 - Director, Linda Ozirney visits each District, develops and teaches WMT for Small churches, begins process and calls team together to develop School of Women’s Ministries, target Fall

2002 - Esther Rix Retires. Mission project – Resources for Birth attendants in Tokay, Ethiopia. School of Women in Ministry is established in Langley, BC for Canadian Women. 

Mission Project: 2002 – 2004 The Fast Fund- clinics in Manila.

2003 - “Leadership Today” seminar developed and presented in Saskatchewan.  

2004 -  First Graduation of SWM in Langley in May; SWM begins in Regina and a new class in Langley. Mission project: 2004-2006 HIV AIDS Africa (Ethiopia).

2005 - BGC Women’s Lending Library set up. 

2006 -  Mission trip for women to Tehuacan, Mexico. SWM Graduations in Langley and Regina. SWM begins in Calgary and 3rd school in Langley. Mission Project: 2006-2008 Helping at Home (Hermosa’s in Toronto). 

2007 -  Leadership Retreat for Montreal women.

2008 -  SWM Graduation in Calgary & Langley. A new School begins in Winnipeg. 

Mission Project: 2008-2010 Bless the Baha, Ruth Gollings in Tijuana.

2009 - SWM begins in Edmonton. SWM name change from School of Women’s Ministries to School of Women in Ministry. Another school begins in Langley.

2010 - Mission trip to Tijuana, Mexico. SWM Graduation in Winnipeg.

Mission project: 2010-2012 Vietnam pastors wives

2011 - Graduation in Edmonton. School begins in Saskatoon.

2012 - Nanaimo school begins.

Mission project: 2012 – 2014 Babies in Rwanda

2013 - Graduation in Saskatoon. Winnipeg school begins. Linda Ozirney gives notice of retirement for 2014. A Search Committee is formed to fill the Director position. 

2014 - National Pastor’s Wives retreat. SWM graduation in Nanaimo and Winnipeg.  A Holy Land trip for women. Linda Ozirney retires as Director of Women’s Ministries. The Search Committee completes its tenure without a successful candidate. Julie Robinson steps in as Interim Director.

Mission project: 2014-2017 Special Delivery Philippines. 

2015 - The “Elizabeth Project” is in formative stage.

2016 -  A second Search Committee is formed. The Elizabeth Project is introduced and implemented. Christa Eisbrenner is hired as Director. Julie Robinson steps down as interim director. 

2017 - We complete our three-year commitment to the Philippines Birthing Clinic. Mission project: 2017-2020 Hands Extended to Honduras is established.

2018 - BGC Women's Ministries officially changes it's name to BGC Women. A national team of six women representing BGC churches from Vancouver to Ontario visits the ministry partnership project in Honduras, March 16 - 25th. A national forum for women in vocational ministry is held in Winnipeg.

2018 Executive Team:

  • Christa Eisbrenner – Director - serving since 2016
  • Laura Schular – Project Elizabeth Representative (AB) - serving since 2016
  • Marcy Harrison – Spiritual Formation Coordinator (MB) - serving since 2015
  • Pamelina Chang -- Global Ministries Representative (BC) - serving since 2017
  • Jacquelyn Shrimer -- Social Justice Advocate (BC) - serving since 2017
  • Amy Schaffner -- Communications Coordinator (MB) - serving since 2018

Committee Members:

  • Jan Stuckey, AB 2014 – 2016
  • Febe Pantoja, AB 2008 – 2016
  • Valerie Salkeld, AB 2011 – 2015
  • Linda Ozirney, MB 1989 – 2013
  • Sandy Semenyna, AB 1999 – 2012
  • Laurie Bruneski, BC 2006 – 2007
  • Esther Rix, AB 1987 – 2001
  • Betty Patterson, AB 1992 – 1997
  • Linda Berg, BC 1989 – 1993
  • Rae Jarman, AB 1989 – 1992
  • Faith Fisher, MB 1990 – 1991
  • Ann Funk, AB 1987 – 1990
  • Betsy Wieser, SK 1987 – 1990
  • Lyla Jean Coombes, BC 1987 – 1989
  • Dorothy Madsen, 1987 -- 2000 
  • Julie Robinson, MB 1996 -- 2017 
  • Chris Newton, BC 1994 -- 2017
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PDF icon Celebration of Dorothy Madsen6.98 MB