On April 13th, PCA held their annual school assembly to commemorate Founder’s Week. We were all inspired and encouraged by the life of Dr. Oswald J. Smith, founder of Peoples Church and Dr. Paul B. Smith, the founder of Peoples Christian Academy. Several staff members and Oswald Smith’s niece presented biographies, videos, hymns, and stories about these men who dedicated their lives to serve the Lord.
The all school assembly began with a few words from Mr. Broomer. Mr. Westacott Shared a brief biography of Oswald Smith using three P’s – pets, passion and prayer. (Did you know, as a young boy, Oswald trained his pet crow to speak?) Ever since the day of his own salvation at 16, Oswald daily prayed for hours as to how he could better serve the Lord. His real passion was to become a missionary. We were encouraged by the fact that these two men were just ordinary people like ourselves, and like them we can aspire to serve the Lord as they did.
Both Oswald and Paul had a burning passion for sharing the gospel of Christ. Out of this Paul Smith felt led to establish Peoples Christian Academy in 1971, a school dedicated to teaching children from a Christ centered perspective. Peoples has grown over the past 45 years and has raised up numerous students who have given their lives to missions abroad. Also, at home the school is very active in supporting various mission outreach programs in Toronto and other parts of Canada.
Mrs. Sylvia Lafleur, a niece of Oswald Smith, also related some heart warming stories. She spoke of her uncle as one who was an evangelist, missionary, traveller, pastor, adventurer, author, fundraiser, and poet. The hymnal The Peoples Hymns is a lasting testimony of his love for the Lord. Here we still enjoy hundreds of Oswald’s poems and hymns written throughout his life. They continue to bless many today.
Fittingly, the assembly concluded with two of Oswald’s hymns. The auditorium resounded with energy and thankfulness as the students sang from their hearts, Joy in Serving Jesus. This was followed by a solo sung by Mrs. Andrews, The Glory of His Presence. Founders Week Assembly ended with everyone singing our school song, I Give My Promise to be True, to the Lord for all He has accomplished in our midst.