Welcome to the story of the early settlement of Eston and it's first established evangelical church.
At the turn of the century, settlers from the south and east were homesteading on the prairies. Towns sprouted across Saskatchewan and Alberta. Eston, established in 1916, was one of them.
History of Eston, SK
Rev. Frank Small
An evangelical movement spread across the newly settled prairies.
Rev. Frank Small, from Winnipeg, was an evangelist who held tent meetings in Eston.
In 1917, two Pentecostals from Houston Texas, Rev. Hugh Cadwalder and Andrew Crouch, continued Frank Small's work in the town.
These men set up meetings in the Orange Hall - used for all public meetings. A rugged uphill battle began. They, believing their steps to be divinely ordained, prayed fervently for God to move upon the people of Eston. The Orange Hall could not contain all the people who wanted to attend these meetings.
Some of the townsfolk were getting irate. Phrases like "crazy", "holy rollers" and "off their rocker" were blurted out. Even the police were called at one point. The controversy caused The Orange Hall to be closed to the Pentecostals but they still needed a meeting place. Gatherings were too large to meet in houses so a church of their own became a must.
First Church in Eston
Shortly after the arrival of Rev. Cadwalder, a Pentecostal church was built on main street in just three months by local labour. It was the first church building in town - The Pentecostal Church and Mission, The name expressed the outreach emphasis of the church. The church grew and attracted many from nearby communities.
The Bible Belt
The Canadian Prairies
During this time Canadian Bible colleges were being founded. The first of these was D.L. Moody's college in Toronto.
Similar colleges were soon established in Western Canada. In Outlook Saskatchewan the Lutheran Bible College began in 1915. In Three Hills Alberta, the Prairie Bible Institute was formed under the leadership of Mr. L.E. Maxwell in 1922.
In Eston, The Full Gospel Bible Institute, under the direction of Glen.S. McLean was founded in 1944.
Because of this strong evangelical movement presence, Southern Alberta and Saskatchewan became known as the Bible belt.
Inside Tent Meeting
The tradition of Tent Meetings continued into the 1950's. The next four pictures show this tradition.