Much to celebrate
The Glad Tidings Mission in Coral Harbour celebrates a quarter of a century

Marty Brown
Northern News Services

CORAL HARBOUR (Dec 09/98) - It was almost like Christmas in Bethlehem all over again.

There was no room at the Inn in Coral Harbour last week when the Glad Tidings Mission celebrated its 25th anniversary. Ron Duffy, with the church, referred to the mission building as "the sardine can."

It sits 100 comfortably, he said, but over the past week, it was jammed.

Evangelist Bill Prankard and his wife Gwen from Ottawa where there. They've been interested in the North for years, in fact, the Prankard's helped the starving Inuit in Russia. Prankard just loves Inuit people and they love him, Duffy said.

The man behind the Toronto blessing, John Arnott, and his wife Carol, were also there. He's the man who has saved three million people in five years through the airport ministries.

People came from Repulse Bay, Arviat, Rankin Inlet, Yellowknife, Ottawa and Manitoba to rejoice in 25 years of the Lord's work.

Founder of the Glad Tiding Mission in the North, Kay Gordon, was unable to attend, but sent greetings.

"We've had our ups and downs over the past 25 years and the past weekend was definitely an up," said Duffy.

People danced, sang, shouted and laughed during the nightly services. Duffy said he really felt this is what God wanted "just to pull the plug."

"It was a very emotional week, mostly joyful. One lady tried to cry but I told her this is not a time to cry, but rejoice," he said.

Fourteen founding members of the Glad Tidings Mission were honoured over the week's celebration: Louie Bruce, Pasha Bruce, Kanayuk Bruce, Raymond Ningeocheak, Shavekok Ningeacheck, Tongola Sandy, Rosemary Sandy, Mani Thompson, Timothy Jar, Sheosiak Jar,

Annie Alogut, Peter Alogut, Matoo Matoo and Mary Matoo all received plaques for their hard work.

The church got its start when Ron and his wife Leonie were living in Cambridge Bay in 1971.

"We were getting religion but not religious," Ron said.

After the couple visited Leonie's home town of Coral, things started to happen.

"After you've met the Lord, everything else is boring and useless, a complete waste of time. So, we talked about the church when we were visiting Coral," said Ron.

"People soon started asking for home meetings. There wasn't any banging down of our doors or anything, but people were interested." Raymond Ningeocheak had a

healing recently in Ottawa. People were talking. It seemed the whole Keewatin was waiting for something to happen. And it did. Arviat and Rankin Inlet started churches at almost the same time as Coral Harbour.

And where will the Glad Tidings Mission in Coral Harbour be in another 25 years?

"We'll have another party. With any kind of vision we want to win the whole town. We're not trying to steal people but we just want to share the love of Jesus," Duffy said.