Canada Gideons Withdraw From The Gideons International

by The Gideons International on April 1, 2011

After almost 100 years, The Gideons of Canada have decided to dissolve their association with The Gideons International.

In a called meeting of the Gideons in Canada on January 15, a change to the by-laws of the Canadian organization was approved by a large majority of the membership present. According to the by-law amendment, the Gideons in Canada will no longer be governed by the Constitution and By-laws of The Gideons International and they will cease to have a representative from the International Cabinet of The Gideons International serve as a member of the cabinet of the Gideons in Canada.

In light of the decision made by the membership in Canada to no longer be an integral part of the governance and policies shared by the other 193 Gideon countries in which The Gideons International is organized, the International Cabinet of The Gideons International voted on February 18th to acknowledge the by-law amendment change in Canada. Since the amendment puts the Canadian association outside of the International Constitution and By-laws, the International Cabinet regrettably accepted the action taken by the Canadian Gideons to sever organizational ties.

Canada is the only country that was, from its beginning, organized separately from The Gideons International. As such, this decision by Canadian Gideons does not affect the membership or distribution policies of any other Gideon country or our association as a whole.

In reaction to the actions taken by the Canadian and International cabinets, Craig A. Warner, the Executive Director of The Gideons International stated, “We regret that after such a long and effective association, the Gideons in Canada have decided to implement these changes and remove themselves from The Gideons International. We ask all members worldwide to pray that God’s plan will prevail in Canada and they will be successful in reaching their fellow Canadians for Christ.”

In light of Canada’s decision, the international cabinet of The Gideons International voted on February 18th to acknowledge the by-law amendment change in Canada, effectively ending a relationship that had lasted nearly 100 years. Here are some highlights:

  • The first Canadian camp was organized in Toronto on December 27, 1902. This was the first Gideon camp outside of the U.S.A. Another Toronto camp was organized in late 1910.
  • In March of 1911, the Canadian Gideons organized on a formal, national basis.
  • In 1911, the first hotel Bibles were placed in Canada at the King Edward Hotel in Toronto. These were the first Bibles placed in a hotel outside of the U.S.A.
  • 1913, the first international convention of Gideons was held in Toronto.

This early history shows that Canada has long been not only a close neighbor, but a valued missionary partner. Close to 26 million Scriptures have been distributed in Canada during the past 100 years.

The Gideons International continues to provide God’s Word in more than 190 countries around the world in more than 90 languages. We will continue to fulfill our mission of winning men, women, boys and girls to Christ by sharing our faith and God’s Word in approved areas of Scripture distribution.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Dr. Jordan Patrik April 1, 2011 at 7:14 pm

I am very sad to learn that Canada Gideons are no longer with us. We all in our Sahiwal Pakistan camp are praying for them, and we proclaim that some day God will unite us again.

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Clemence Machadu April 1, 2011 at 7:25 pm

I am a Scripture Chairman for a Gideons International camp in Zimbabwe. We keep on hoping that the Canada Gideons will continue to be guided by the founding principles of The Gideons International.

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jaime sierra April 2, 2011 at 2:04 am

Lamento la separación de los gedeones de canada de l cuerpo principal ya que dejan un vacio en la asociación hermanos unámonos en oración para que consideren su desicion y vuelvan a donde pertenecen.

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jaime sierra April 2, 2011 at 2:10 am

I regret the separation of the Gideons of Canada leaving the main body and leaving a void in the association. Brothers, unite in prayer to consider their decision and return them to where they belong.

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David Lubuli munyengo April 6, 2011 at 12:40 pm

I REGRET THE SEPARATION OF THE GIDEONS OF CANADA BUT I AM SURE THAY A DAY WE WILL BE AGAIN TOGETHER

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Randy Schwacofer May 17, 2011 at 1:21 am

I too am saddened by this event. I’m sorry that the now two organizations have chosen to not divulge what is behind this decision. The International organization remains silent on what motivated the Gideons in Canada to withdraw when they have been part of International Gideons virtually from its inception. We are left to wonder what conflict arose to result in a complete breakdown, especially with no dialog with the other member countries and their members. I pray that more will be understood in the future days.

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Dale Hundeby May 22, 2011 at 9:18 pm

As a Canadian Gideon I am disappointed that we are no longer associated with Gideons International, however this decision was not taken lightly, there were many prayers and tears before action was taken. This move was made because changes had to be made in our policies and bylaws to abide by Canadian laws as put foreward by the Canada Revenue Agency, if we did not comply we were in danger of losing our charitable status which would have significant implications on furthering the mission of sharing the Gospel here and around the world. Its regretible that by doing this we no longer fit under Internationals bylaws and no remedy was found to continue our relationship. May God bless the direction we have taken.

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Alicia Jerome August 2, 2011 at 11:12 am

Thank you for this post.

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carrt7 November 18, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Alicia, as a Canadian I help elect our government. I am aware that they are becoming increasingly unfriendly towards Christian organizations (they have now deprived many Christian children’s camps of their charitable status, so the kids have to pay more).

Please tell us what demands CRA made that necessitated leaving Gideons International. So we can write to our MPs.

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Imran Aslam Sandhu June 9, 2011 at 8:34 am

We will miss our Canadian Gideons therefore I strongly pray that God’s plan will prevail in Canada in order to save others for the Lord Jesus Christ.

Imran Aslam Sandhu, Church Ministry Coordinator – Pakistan

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Tunji Oba July 11, 2011 at 4:25 pm

I am so sorry for Canadian Gideons.

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Jim V September 14, 2011 at 5:34 pm

I think the junk about contributions was only a front so they could be able to let unqualified men to be Gideons. They also would not comply with our scripture version policy. Why don’t they ‘fess up?

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Lyndon September 15, 2011 at 8:19 pm

Jim, I also figured it probaly was something to do with the membership qualification. I have been a Gideon for about 22 years now and many times I have heard grumblings from other Gideons such as a Gideon has to be a nonsmoker or we should change from the KJV. We don’t always understand why we have certain requirements but I learned a long time ago that everything in those bylaws are there for a good reason and we should always abide by them. Everytime we do something that can possibly jeprodize this ministy we should remember that it can also jeprodize the ministry in the other 193 counties we are in. Our late state president of Ga. Eldred Huff would remind me often is to always remember, “we joined the Gideons, and that the Gideons didn’t join us.” Finally, I have a problem with the fact if it is so, that just because the government is challenging us to make changes in the way we do things or loose our tax exempt status that we should change. I know most Gideons don’t give just because it is a write off on their taxes, they give because they want people to know Jesus. We have already seen many churches and misistries compromise thier beliefs because the government threatend them with loosing their tax exempt status. What a shame to let the government influence or dictate our fundemental beliefs when there are many Gideons in other countries who face persecution and death just to support this ministry.

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Bill November 24, 2011 at 7:55 am

The following link to “Christian Week” Sept 2010 gives another perspective.

http://www.christianweek.org/stories.php?id=1073

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Josue March 22, 2012 at 9:44 pm

I understand the no-comment position that was taken, but the problem is more than a law problem IN CANADA, some people from Canda were visitng churches IN BOLIVIA, so the questions is, Was that just a problem with the government in Canada? or it was an excuse to DIRECTLY go against the FAITH principles adopted by The Gideons International. Details such as the places where we distribute or the versions of Bibles we use, in my personal opinion, were just EXCUSES. Come on! brothers in Canda! IF GOD IS WITH US who (governments) IS AGAINST US? Let’s belive what God says.

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William Ridener March 23, 2012 at 12:07 am

Yet another perspective dated April 5 2011
http://www.christianweek.org/stories.php?id=1533

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