The Broughton family (1920 - 1949)

Cliff Broughton had thought about the situation for the last few months, but there seemed to be no solution. His family just could not find a church home in which they were comfortable. He pondered about the problem during that night in the spring of 1933.

As he puzzled over the possibilities of finding a church that would meet the varied needs of his family, he recalled the changes that had happened in their family. He and his wife had moved to Saskatoon from Stoughton, Saskatchewan in 1920. They had tried farming for the first three years of their marriage. Things did not work out. They felt that a move to Saskatoon, a city of 25,000 held more potential for them and their son, Lance, now one year old.

Cliff found work as a labourer, then a guard at J. H. Early and Co. In 1924, he became a mechanic. Gradually they settled into the lifestyle of city dwellers.

They watched during the next few years, as the city grew in population. Expanded water and sewer facilities, increased medical and educational resources, and flourishing social and artistic life made the future of this prairie city very promising. The hunger for the truth of God's word could be monitored by the number of churches that sprang up.

In the summer of 1927, a city-wide crusade was held in the Arena, located on Spadina Crescent.

Mildred Broughton attended an evening meeting. She heard Dr. Price present a message that moved her. She recognized that she had been born with a sinful nature. She wanted to believe that God loved her enough to send His only Son to take her punishment for sin. In exchange, she could receive God's promised forgiveness and eternal life forever with Him. When she was invited to walk to the front of the arena, she did.

Five nights later, she walked to the front of the Arena for the fifth time. She desperately longed to have her sins forgiven and receive the promised peace the preacher talked about. She was embarrassed that she had walked forward so many times and left unchanged. As she knelt, she sobbed. A gentle-hearted woman noticed her distress and soon the whole story was out. Yes, she wanted to be saved from her sins. The question was how to receive forgiveness.

"But dear, God wants to save you more than you even want to be saved," the woman responded. As God guided, she opened her Bible and pointed Mildred to the scriptures that cleared up her questions. When the women rose from their knees, Mildred knew God had heard her prayer. Knowing the importance of sharing the good news of her new-found faith, her guide instructed Mildred to go home and tell someone of her decision.

She knew that the one she would have to talk to was her husband. Would he understand? "Cliff, I've been saved tonight."

"Mmm."

"Cliff, wake up. I've been saved tonight."

Mmm." He grunted and rolled over.

"Cliff, please wake up. I've been saved tonight."

A sleepy male voice responded from the blankets, "Oh, OK!"

From that night on, Cliff had seen a distinct difference in his wife. The change made him restless. He knew that God likely did not approve of his cigarette habit. Could he live without his cigarettes?

The inner turmoil continued for two weeks. His wife continued to be the peaceful, loving person she had become when she came home announcing that she had been saved. The battle inside him raged on. Desperately, Cliff went to the only place of solitude in his home, the bathroom

"Cliff, are you all right?" Mildred had noticed the long time in the bathroom.

"Yes."

When he didn't come from the bathroom after another long period of time, she asked again, "Are you sure you're all right, Cliff?"

"Yes."

When Cliff did emerge, Mildred wanted to know why his long stay. "I was giving my heart to the Lord," he informed her. He had dropped his cigarettes down the toilet. That was a symbol of his commitment to the One who had changed the life of his wife, and Who had won the battle of Kingship in his life.

Two weeks later, the Broughton's six-year-old daughter came to them with a request. "Could I go and be prayed for so that I can be healed?" Little Irene had been with her parents nightly at the revival meetings that Dr. Price was continuing to hold. She had seen children with distorted bones and bodies healed. After enduring a diet of mashed bananas and tomato juice for two years, she longed to eat like the rest of her family.

Mildred took Irene to a Saturday afternoon children's meeting and told her daughter that she could go forward for prayer for healing at the end of the meeting. As the orchestra played "The Great Physician Now is Near" mother and daughter walked to the front of the arena. A gentle lady met them. She asked Irene, "Do you know that you are a sinner? Have you done some naughty things?" Irene's head nodded. "Would you like Jesus to forgive you?" Again the blond head nodded. That afternoon, the little girl with the inflammation of the bowel invited Jesus to forgive her sins. Then the delegated workers asked the Great Physician to heal her.

Irene went home jubilantly and ate supper with the rest of the family. She knew she had been healed. The next morning she enjoyed the same breakfast as her family had. Suddenly the old symptoms returned, and the two meals that she had so thoroughly enjoyed, lay on the floor in front of her. Her little six-year-old heart was broken. "Mommy, I thought that I had been healed."

Her mother remembered the comment that the lady counsellor had made just after Irene had been prayed for the previous afternoon. "This sickness may return, not so much to test the child's faith, but to test yours." With this information in mind, the month-old Christian mother replied, "You are, dear Just trust Jesus." The pediatrician later confirmed the healing of the inflamed bowel. "It's just a miracle, Mrs. Broughton, just a miracle. I have no other explanation for it."

After Dr. Price concluded his campaign in Saskatoon, he left hundreds of converts behind. Many of these people began attending the services of the Apostolic church being held at Old Knox church. The Broughton family found themselves in this congregation.

At Old Knox, the Broughtons gradually became acquainted with the rest of the congregation. They learned the basics of the Christian life under the direction of the godly leadership of the church.

When Rev. Harry Turner became the pastor of Old Knox church, he brought with him the Alliance missionary vision.

The Broughtons developed a deep love for missions. Being in their mid-30s, they were not eligible to go to serve as missionaries, so they prayed, "Lord, we are too old to go to the mission field. If You will give us a large house, we will keep Your servants that come to Saskatoon." God gave them a large house at 419 - 8th Street East, and they began to fill their part of the bargain. As time went on, the news spread that the Broughton home was always open to Christians who were needing a bed for the night and breakfast the next day.

A young man came in from North Battleford to see the King and Queen. After spending some time looking for a place to stay, he decided to do some shopping while he thought through his situation. He mentioned his problem to a clerk in the men's department of the Eaton's store. The clerk responded, "Are you a Christian?" When Mr. Whallen indicated that he was, the clerk replied, "I'll tell you what to do. If you go to 419 - 8th Street East and tell them that you can't find a place to stay, they will take you in." In keeping their promise to the Lord, the Brougtons kept thousands - preachers, missionaries, evangelists, missionary candidates as well as many visiting Christians who had no bed for the night. No matter what time of night, the visitors would get the children's beds and the three boys and one girl would spend the rest of the night on the floor. If they required more beds, the parents joined their children on the floor.

Now, as Cliff Broughton continued to think over the last few years, he remembered the sense of loss he felt when he read the news in the Star-Phoenix of Rev. Turner's promotion. "Saskatoon Pastor accepts field work with Alliance." The fact that this man of God was well-known for his weekly radiocast Bible studies was usually a source of pleasure. Cliff Broughton felt no pleasure as he read that announcement January 25, 1930. The note that the Turner family would continue to reside in Saskatoon was a small comfort.

In the months that followed, the sense of loss was replaced by wonder at the way God was moving. Various individuals were suggesting that this might be the time to start an Alliance church in Saskatoon. When the Annual Missionary Convention started that April, a special invitation was made through the newspaper.


"SPECIAL NOTICE TO FRIENDS OF THE GOSPEL AND WIDE WORLD MISSIONS.

In response to a considerable number of requests, a meeting will be held in the PUBLIC LIBRARY AUDITORIUM Monday, April 14th at 8 p.m. for the purpose of considering the establishment of a Branch of the CHRISTIAN AND MISSIONARY ALLIANCE in Saskatoon. Rev. J. H. Woodward, Sup't for Western Canada of the C. and M. A. will have charge of the meeting. All interested friends are invited."


At that meeting 28 people voted to become members of the Alliance. Cliff and Mildred Broughton became charter members of the Saskatoon Branch of the Christian and Missionary Alliance.

Church services started in July 1930, in the vacant Wesley Church on Nineteenth Street and Avenue G. Various speakers filled the pulpit during the summer months.

In mid-October, they moved the services to the Auditorium in the basement of the Public Library. Attendance dwindled. By the middle of November 1930, the decision was made that services under the auspices of the Christian and Missionary Alliance could not continue.

Startled back to the present, Cliff Broughton continued his revue during that night in 1932. He had so wanted to see the Alliance work continue to Saskatoon. Now the city had been without the outstanding missions emphasis of the Alliance for two years. He still sensed the seed of faith deep within. But how could he, a quiet business man, convey his conviction to the leaders in the Christian and Missionary Alliance.

A letter arrived some time later at the office of the Western Canadian District Superintendent of the Christian and Missionary Alliance. The return address read, "419 - 8th Street, Saskatoon." The message read, "If you will send a man to start a work in Saskatoon, we will stand by him." Rev. Williams knew that an attempt to start a church in Saskatoon had failed while his predecessor, Rev. J. H. Woodward had held this office. Was it the Lord's timing to try again? He had heard from at least one other interested couple who wanted to see the Alliance church begun again.

With this request in mind, Rev. Williams attended an Alliance camp meeting in Denzil, Saskatchewan. He invited Mr. & Mrs. James Murray to start an Alliance church in Saskatoon.

The arrival of James Murray in Saskatoon to begin an Alliance church was an answer to Cliff's prayer. How delighted he and Mildred were with the beginning of services again.

When the Murrays left, Cliff Broughton kept his promise to support the one in charge of the Saskatoon Alliance Church. The large home on 8th Street became the location for the weekly prayer meetings during the first few months that the Gibsons pastored the church. The entire family of six attended every service held. The Broughton Family continued to keep that promise to support the Alliance church in Saskatoon until they moved away in 1948.

Cliff & Mildred Broughton & family


Historical Flashbacks were researched and written by Lorraine Willems. Contributors are noted on the related pages. Copyright 2003 and 2013 by copyright holders.