by David Demian
Dear Global Family,
I received some very sad news this morning – one of my spiritual fathers, David Mainse, went to be with the Lord at the age of 81.
David Mainse was a true father, not only to me, but to the whole nation of Canada. As a visionary, he saw the potential of television in its early days and began, at the age of 26, his first TV broadcast in a small TV station in rural Ontario. By 1977, he was broadcasting daily across the country. In 1981, he started a broadcasting school and in 1992 he opened the Crossroads Centre, a state of the art TV facility. All were a testimony to his passion to see excellence in the ministry to which God had called him.
I met David Mainse when he attended the very first gathering in Whistler, in 1995, and brought TV cameras to film some of what was happening. At that time, I was virtually unknown in Canada, other than as one who traveled with Pastor Bob Birch, another of my spiritual fathers. So, imagine my surprise, when David Mainse told me that God had asked him to serve me and the vision God had given me for Canada in any way that he could. That statement tells you more about the heart of David Mainse than almost anything else I could share. He was a humble, obedient servant of the Lord, who always sought for ways to encourage and promote others with the gifts and resources God had given him to steward. The Watchmen family and I were among the many who benefitted from his kind and generous spirit.
It was at this same gathering that we discovered something very divine about our connection. David’s father had been a missionary to Egypt. When I asked him where, he named a tiny, little city that I knew only too well – it was the home town of my maternal grandfather. As we continued to talk, we were amazed to realize that my grandfather had served as an elder in the church that David Mainse’s father had founded! In a way that only God could orchestrate, David’s father had sowed into Egypt and my family’s destiny, and God then brought an Egyptian, influenced by his father’s ministry, to help David Mainse fulfill a passion of his life – to see the destiny of Canada redeemed.
When God spoke to me in 1997 about the root issue of anti-Semitism in the nation of Canada, and the need to call the church in Canada to repentance, David Mainse was one of the first leaders with whom I tested this revelation. I will never forget how he looked at me, with tears in his eyes, and said, “David, I believe you have put your finger on the root issue of this nation”. A few months later, he hosted a leadership gathering in Burlington, at the Crossroads Centre, so that I could share the vision with more leaders in Eastern Canada. He also made opportunities for me, more times that I can count, to be interviewed on 100 Huntley Street, to share the vision and call to gather in Winnipeg on the Canada Day weekend in 1999. He purchased 4 hours of live broadcast time on Global TV, on Canada Day, July 1st, so that thousands of believers across the nation, who could not come to Winnipeg, could still be part of the national repentance. He had such a heart to use TV to bring the body of Christ together.
The next year, when the Lord led us to bring the survivors of the St Louis to Canada, I was concerned about having TV cameras in the meeting, but David insisted on filming the dinner and doing interviews with the survivors. It is because of his foresight that we have a record to share with the generations of the amazing things the Lord did – during those days in Ottawa and of so many other key moments in our journey. Moments like the Journey of Hope in 2001, during which he aired two, live via satellite, 100 Huntley Street broadcasts back in Canada from the Mount Of Olives – one from the Jewish side and one from the Arab side. David insisted on doing both because he had a great love for both the Jewish and Arab people.
David also carried a passion for French Canada and had even studied French. He and the Crossroads family were key in many steps of our journey of reconciliation between the French and English, including Charlottetown, the La Danse Tour, and the “wedding” of the French and English in Quebec City in 2005. He traveled with us on the La Danse tour and arranged to have video reports sent to 100 Huntley Street, so that each day, viewers could follow along and take part of the tour.
David also deeply loved the First Peoples of Canada and was greatly admired and respected by them. His passion is clearly captured in The Gatekeepers video where he sat with First Nations leaders Kenny Blacksmith and Lynda Prince, and spoke about God’s rich destiny for all the First Peoples as spiritual gatekeepers of our land.
The last gathering that he attended was a global gathering in Israel in November 2014. Although he already had plans to lead a tour group from Canada to Israel with his wife Norma Jean, something he did so many times throughout his life, he changed those plans to arrive early and be with us in this seminal global gathering. His presence there was yet another display of his heart to always honour and bless others by lending his support, wise counsel and father’s heart to bless the body, nationally and globally.
On July 1st, 2017, on the occasion of Canada’s 150 Anniversary of Confederation, David and Norma Jean Mainse, as a spiritual parents in Canada, were the first to sign the Dominion Declaration. This was a declaration of Christ’s dominion over Canada, and the Church’s response to stand in unity under Christ’s headship.
As the church in this nation, we have lost an irreplaceable treasure – a true statesman and ambassador for Christ who was a model of integrity and faith throughout his life. David was so recognized, not only by believers, but by Prime Ministers and business and media leaders as well. But for Ruth and I, the loss is so much deeper. We have lost a father who loved us, believed in us, supported us, protected us, and prayed for us and under whose care we always felt safe. But even while our hearts are filled with grief, we cannot help but also rejoice knowing without a doubt that David is now enjoying the only reward he ever truly desired, to see his beloved Saviour Jesus, face-to-face and enter fully into His presence.
We ask that you would pray for the Mainse family, David’s wife of 59 years, Norma Jean, and his 4 children and 16 grandchildren in this time of grieving. If you would like to send your condolences, or find out more about his funeral or how to send a gift in his memory, his family has set up a website at https://www.davidmainse.com with more information.
Jesus, we thank you with all our hearts for the gift that David Mainse was to our Watchmen family and the whole body of Christ in Canada and beyond. We know Your heart is so full of joy that David has entered into his well-deserved rest with You and that this parting is only for a little while. One day we will see You as He sees you and in that we find comfort even as we grieve his passing.
With all my love,