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A Salute to Dr. Doug Harris

Dr. Craig Kraft / Tuesday, June 23, 2020

OC Salutes One of Our Nation’s Great Christian Leaders

Doug Harris is a familiar name among many Canadian Christians. 

Over a lifetime of ministry, Doug served as a pastor to several congregations within the Fellowship of Evangelical Baptists, as the President of Africa Inland Ministry Canada, as the President of Northwest Baptist Theological College and Seminary, and as part of our Outreach Canada Team.

Doug and his family have also been well known and loved for their musical ministry, both performing and leading in worship.   Doug formally retired from OC in 2012 but continued to serve as part of the pastoral team at South Delta Baptist Church to 2019.

Dr. Gerald Kraft (OC Founder) reflects,

Doug and I began working together when Northwest Baptist College was still in Vancouver, going through some very challenging times.  I was the chairman of the board, and Doug, the President of the college.  We enjoyed a partnership that saw the school restructured for future growth.  The old campus was sold, new affiliation agreements signed with Trinity Western University, and Doug led through the construction of a new campus.  This was possible because of Doug and his spiritual guidance and his ability to work in partnership with others.

After Doug retired from the college, I pursued him vigorously to join our OC team.  He graciously accepted, and that began another ten years of partnership.  Doug’s overwhelming calling was evangelism and felt that we at OC should have a national strategy to reach every household with the gospel.  He also saw the need to train pastors for assisting churches in transition.  Much energy was put into that ministry, with training taking place across Canada.  Doug was a team player; he always worked to bring others along and to help denominations work together towards common goals.

The one unfulfilled dream that Doug had was the building of a Messiah Center.  A place where great classical Christian music could be performed along with good Bible teaching.  This continues to be his dream, he said to me a week ago, “it looks like I am going to have to leave this to my children to do.”

Doug has had a profound impact on the vision and ministry of Outreach Canada.  He influenced the team as a mentor, ministry partner, board member, team member, and ministry supporter.  Doug’s signature advice to live by, “the agape principle,” has inspired our ministry and guided the formation of teams that genuinely exist to serve others.

While it is impossible to list all of Doug’s contributions to OC, it is important to note that he was the catalyst in the formation of The Outreach Learning Network and OC Transitional Leadership Ministries.

In addition to his many tangible investments at OC, Doug has also blessed our team with many invisible gifts.

  • His determination has taught us never to give up, and his boundless vision has encouraged us to think big.
  • Doug’s passion and enthusiasm for evangelism has reminded us to keep the main thing as the main thing.
  • Lastly, his humility has demonstrated that the greatest successes in life are the fruit of a life lived in absolute submission to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Murray Moerman, the founder of Church Planting Canada and the Global Church Planting Network states:

It has been impactful for me at a personal level the way I’ve seen Doug never fail, publicly, in casual or formal gatherings, to cherish his beloved Mary in courtesy, by word and deed. His example models the high biblical view of marriage, which is theirs as a reflection of the holy relation of God’s people as the Bride of Christ.” 

We grieved with Doug when the Lord chose to take his dear Mary home last year, but we celebrate the fact that we will all be reunited one day in the presence of our Savior Jesus Christ. 

The apostle Paul says in 1 Cor. 11:1, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.”  Doug Harris is a man worth imitating. He defines on a human level the meaning of grace and humility.  Rick Burdett ran the final lap of formal ministry with Doug at South Delta Baptist.  Rick reflects:

When Doug was capable of leading, he chose instead to become your cheerleader. He and Mary rejoiced in moving others forward, to the head of the line with their full undying support and love. When life was challenging, he took you out for dinner, spoke the truth in love, and became your advocate. This is like the Apostle Paul, and this is like Jesus. Doug Harris is a man worthy of imitation. He always points me to Jesus.

We give thanks today for the life, ministry, and legacy of Dr. Doug Harris, and we salute Doug as one of Canada’s great Christian Leaders. 


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