With our unique history going back 150+ years, in which members of the black community founded and provided leadership in our church, each February we honour Black History Month.

A plaque in the Shady Creek Cemetery reads:  

Black Pioneers in British Columbia

In 1858, nearly 800 free Blacks left the oppressive racial conditions of San Francisco for a new life on Vancouver Island.  Governor James Douglas had invited them here as promising settlers.  Though still faced with intense discrimination, these pioneers enriched the political, religious and economic life of the colony.  For example, Mifflin Gibbs became a prominent politician; Charles and Nancy Alexander initiated the Shady Creek Methodist Church; John Deas established a salmon cannery; and the group formed one of the earliest colonial militia units, the Victoria Pioneer Rifle Corps.

Charles Alexander, one of the Black pioneers, initiated and assisted in the building of the original Shady Creek church in Saanich in the 1860’s.