Ethnos Canada is steadfast in its goal of reaching people who have no access to the gospel. That was the vision for our ministry when we were founded in 1942 as New Tribes Mission (NTM), and it is our vision today.
Paul Fleming and five others had no funds or organization behind them when they dared to trust God to establish NTM.
“It seemed that the Lord had pushed us into something, and we were confident that no man started New Tribes Mission; the Lord brought it into existence in spite of us,” Paul wrote.
Ethnos Canada continues to trust God, and God continues to be glorified. Today more than 3,000 missionaries serve throughout the world, and training programs in more than a dozen countries prepare missionaries for service among the thousands of people groups who have yet to hear.
We thank God for the rich heritage passed on to us by a small group of people who decided, in Paul Fleming’s words, “New Tribes Mission’s efforts shall be directed … where no witness of the gospel has yet reached.”
Ethnos Canada’s History in Canada
The first NTM conference in Canada was held in Toronto on June 8-15, 1947. New Tribes Mission missionaries who participated were Lance Latham, Ken Johnston, and Paul Fleming.
In September, 1950, the first Canadian training institute was temporarily opened at a Bible camp in Abbotsford, BC. Then in the spring of 1951, a more suitable location was found just north of Enderby, B.C.
In May, 1951, New Tribes Mission (Canada) was incorporated in Vancouver.
New Tribes Mission (Canada) moved to Ontario when an office to represent the Mission was established in Burlington in October 1959.
On September 11, 1967, a 70 acre property just south of the town of Durham was purchased. The property, once a family farm, served as a summer camp. A dining hall, two older buildings, and a few small cabins and bunkhouses were all that greeted the men who first came on the property.
In February 1968, the missionary training program began, with seven students.
The Corporation Formed
On April 9,1969, the name New Tribes Mission (Canada) was officially changed to New Tribes Mission of Canada; directors were appointed and a Charter was formed.
Training became more comprehensive
Life in Durham continued much the same for many years: students entered the training and then moved on to NTM’s Language School in Missouri, before heading off to overseas ministry.
Over the years the Durham property was developed. Older buildings were removed as new homes and an office were constructed. In 1987 an additional 30 acres was purchased adjoining the original property.
In 1999 the Lord began to impress NTMC leadership with the thought of bringing NTM’s Language School curriculum to Canada. Candidates in the training were leaving home, spending a year in Durham and then a year in Missouri before returning to their home area. It seemed to be much better to offer the two-year training course in Canada, and provide better stability for those in the training – particularly those families with young children.
Plans were developed and construction got underway in 2002. In August 2003 classes began in the new Canadian Language Institute and on May 29, 2004 our first class of 16 students graduated.
From the start, our purpose has been two-fold: to train and equip believers to be involved in the task of planting tribal churches, and once finished the training to support and assist them by providing leadership, encouragement and business administration. In so doing, we also serve as the crucial link between the missionaries and their sending churches.
Ethnos Canada becomes the new name, the vision remains the same.
In 2017, NTM USA, NTM Canada and NTM New Zealand changed their names to Ethnos360, Ethnos Canada and Ethnos NZ respectively.
Why have we changed our name to Ethnos Canada? Because we’re positioning to reach a changing world.
Our founders had a vision for reaching the world: “By unflinching determination we hazard our lives and gamble all for Christ until we have reached the last tribe regardless of where that tribe might be.” (Brown Gold magazine, Issue 1, May 1943)
That’s a far-reaching vision. A vision that represents God’s heart for the world. A vision that’s worth our getting passionate about and working together to make it a reality.
That vision hasn’t changed, but the world has. We face new challenges, and we are learning to face them together — relying upon God to unite His people to overcome them for His glory.
Ethnos Canada is the name that anchors us to our foundations and points us to our vision.
We are thankful for how the Lord has provided for all of our needs over the years, and we are excited as we look ahead to see what the Lord will do in the years ahead.
Ethnos is the “nations” that Christ referred to when He commanded His followers to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19) and “…that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all the nations…” (Luke 24:47). It’s the word from which we get ethnic, and it means people groups.