Nurse Sheree Trecartin
sees someone at the
hope Mission clinic.
Main Street Baptist
St. John, N.B.
How can a church planted in 1842 still be relevant today?
Main Street Baptist in Saint John, N.B., is a great example of how with each new generation a church can experi- ence new life and negotiate change. Today it describes
itself at www.mainstreetbaptist.ca as “a mosaic of diverse people
from different ethnic, economic and age backgrounds,” reflecting
core values in phrases like “beautiful church – mission DNA –
journeying community – moving forward.”
Like any journeying community, it has needed to deal with
many ups and downs since its birth – in Main Street’s case,
way back in 1842. It was originally founded, like several other
churches in Saint John, by an uptown congregation affiliated
with Canadian Baptist Ministries.
One of those “up times” for Main Street Baptist was the 1960s,
reports Rob Nylen, senior pastor. At that time it was the second
largest CBM congregation in Canada
But over the past 30 years its Old North End neighbourhood
has become “a large concentration of low-income families,”
according to John Knight, community outreach pastor. Single
parents live on limited incomes. Many face employment chal-
lenges. About 85 per cent rent rather than own their homes,