Fonds - Arthur Gowland fonds

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Arthur Gowland fonds

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  • 1938-1992 (Creation)

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4.5 m of textual records 11 photographs: b&w 7 audio reels 6 audio discs: 33 1/3 rpm

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Biographical history

Rev. Dr. Arthur James Gowland (1913-1993) was a Presbyterian minister and Secretary of the Board of Evangelism and Social Action for The Presbyterian Church in Canada (PCC). He was born near Woodbridge, Ontario on 10 March 1913 to Thomas A. Gowland and Catherine C. Cameron. Gowland received his early education in Brampton, Ontario and later attended the University of Toronto where he obtained his B.A. in 1934 and his M.A. from Knox College in 1937. Gowland was ordained in the Prince Albert Presbytery on May 1, 1937. In 1971, Knox College conferred upon him the honorary Doctor of Divinity degree. Gowland took post-graduate studies at New College, Edinburgh, Scotland, where he concentrated on the theology of John Calvin, and also took classes at Claremont School of Theology, Claremont, California where he studied clinical pastoral counselling. Rev. Gowland served as minister at St. Andrew's, Tisdale, Saskatchewan (1937-1938); Knox Church, St. Mary's, Ontario (1940-1943); Knox Church, Calgary, Alberta (1940-1953); Dufferin Street Church (1950-1958) and Queen Street East (Assistant Minister 1971-1972) in Toronto; and Knox Church, Oshawa, Ontario (1973-1978). While serving at these churches, Gowland was also active in church courts, various ministerial associations, and community projects. In 1959, Rev. Gowland was appointed by The Presbyterian Church in Canada to serve as the first full-time Secretary of the Board of Evangelism and Social Action. Previous to this he had served as part-time secretary. As part of his duties, Rev. Gowland conducted training and workshops on evangelism and eldership, wrote manuals on evangelism and social action, and represented The Presbyterian Church in Canada on national and international councils. Gowland resigned from this position in 1971 in order to return to ministerial duties. After his retirement in 1979, Rev. Gowland lived in Mississauga, Ontario where he continued to be active in the work of the church. Rev. Gowland married Isabel Drummond in 1942. They had three daughters, Joan, Ruth, and Mary. Rev. Gowland passed away on April 5, 1993.

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Scope and content

Fonds consist of ministerial work, publications, reports, workshop materials, and personal papers which document Rev. Gowland's work as both a minister and secretary of the Board of Evangelism and Social Action. Board of Evangelism and Social Action materials contain reports, studies and workbooks issued by the Board relating to evangelism, social action, and the training of church elders. Rev. Gowland's lecture and conference notes for evangelism workshops are also included. Ministerial work includes sermon notes and outlines, resources for communicant's classes, sermon writing resources, and church histories and projects. The majority of sermons are from his time at Knox Church, Oshawa but there are also sermons that he delivered at his other charges. Personal papers consist of copies of Rev. Gowland's MA thesis and class notes from his time at Knox College and Claremont School of Theology as well as personal correspondence. Photographs consist of various General Assemblies, photographs of the resident students of Knox College in 1938 and 1939 and a photograph of the executive of the Board of Evangelism and Social Action in the 1960s. All textual records are grouped together. The photographs and sound recordings have been removed from the fonds and placed in the Graphics and Audio-Visual Records sections of the Archives.

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These records were held by the daughters of Rev. Dr. Gowland until donated to the Archives in Feb. 2007.


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Some material in this fonds may be protected by copyright (please ask the archivist on staff for clarification). A single copy of items in the fonds may be made for purposes of research and private study. Authorization must be obtained from the copyright holder if protected material is to be used for any other purpose. Protected material cannot be published without permission from the copyright holder.

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