Our Roots

In 1959, the deacons of Mount Hamilton (ON) Christian Reformed Church were inspired to invite 128 deacons from across Ontario to come together and discuss various diaconal ministry issues. This meeting led to the formation of the All Ontario Diaconal Conference (AODC) on October 15, 1960. Its first board members included representatives from the six classical diaconal conferences in Ontario. In Western Canada, diaconates also organized diaconal conferences during the late 1950s and early 1960s. The Northern Alberta Diaconal Conference (NADC) was formed in Northern Alberta and the Paliser Triangle Diaconal Conference (PTDC) was formed in Southern Alberta and Saskatchewan. In British Columbia, a regional conference (BCDC) covering the two classes was organized. Two other diaconal conferences, Canadian Midwest (covering western Ontario and Manitoba) and the Maritimes, later joined the Ontario organization, AODC. In order to reflect this geographical expansion, the AODC was renamed Diaconal Ministries in Eastern Canada (DMEC) in 1993.

The leaders of all these conferences met together during the late 1980s and early 1990s to seek greater levels of cooperation. As a result, Team Canada was formed in 1998. This team was composed of representatives from DMEC, the three western conferences, and staff members Rick deGraaf (then CRWRC), Ben Vandezande (DMEC), and Henry Bosch (NADC). Subsequently, the boards of DMEC and the three western conferences jointly approved the formation of a new organization, Diaconal Ministries Canada.

A new board was formally organized on May 25-26, 2001. The board approved a vision and mission statement and identified a number of strategic goals. The board consists of one representative from each of the 12 Classes of the Christian Reformed Church in Canada.

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