Audio 223a consists of the following recording:
Title: Carl Fosmark – “Oral History Interview”
This oral interview runs approximately forty-five minutes and is an informal discussion between Lynn Wilkinson (acting Trinity Western University archivist) and Carl Fosmark in 1983. Carl Fosmark was a member of an Evangelical Free Church committee that was responsible for forming, developing, and instituting what is presently Trinity Western University. The interview begins with an overview of Carl Fosmark’s life from childhood through to high-school. Fosmark was born in Litchville, North Dakota in 1900. When he was six his family moved to Alberta, Canada. It was in Alberta that his family became Christians through the work of an Evangelical Free Church preacher. Fosmark was sixteen at this time. Fosmark completed his high-school and seminary training in Minneapolis, taking his first church in Devil’s Lake, North Dakota in 1921. Visiting Lutheran friends in Oregon, Fosmark began to preach at their church. Through this, Fosmark met a couple who introduced him to their Evangelical Free Church in Canby, Oregon, where he became resident pastor. Soon after, in 1933, Fosmark accepted a call from an Evangelical Free Church in Brooklyn, New York, where he worked as a pastor and met his wife. After a term in New York, Fosmark returned to Alberta and became district superintendent for the Evangelical Free Church in western Canada, whereupon a committee was formed with the purpose of starting a Christian college [ca. 1958]. Fosmark speaks of the history of the Evangelical Free Church, the various debates in deciding the nature of the school, the opposition to it from many Free Church pastors, funding for the school and the eventual establishment of the school as Trinity Junior College. During this time period, Fosmark also describes his various job titles, travels, moves, and the various people with whom he became friends, namely, Cal Hanson, Ron Swanson, and Dave Enarson. [Abstract and transcript provided by Ian Walker, Public History student, 2001
Carl Fosmark was a charter member of the Enchant Church, became a pastor and later, with his wife Bertha, was to give leadership to the Free Church in Canada, becoming its first superintendent.
Fosmark felt strongly that the EFCA should establish a Christian college in Canada, as there were already several good Bible schools in the country.
Transcript of excerpt from approximately [20:10]: Carl Fosmark: … [20:10] while I was district superintendent - that’s when I was invited to join this, group here, this committee that was, had the responsibility of establishing this school.
Interviewer: - In Canada.
Carl Fosmark: In Canada, yes. Trinity Western, or, we called it Trinity Junior College for the first few years. … While I was on that committee, we were, one of the things that we had to decide was, what kind of school are we talking about, or should we be talking about? Well you know one of those sessions, one of those trips out here I was all steamed up over the fact that I was going to try to convince our committee that we should establish a college and not some Bible school. See, there were other Bible schools; one in – Caronport and one in Three Hills and, and so on, so and, and that which got me all steamed up was the fact that I had come home from our conference, I think in Winona Lake, and I stopped off at a certain service station in Saskatchewan right by that school, there, at Briercrest. And a young fellow getting his car greased … and I knew him, so talking to him, he says, “I, I hear that you folks are going to start a school in, in, Canada.” "Well," I said, “we’re talking about it.” And so he says, “Well I hope, I hope it will be a college, a Christian college.” [people talking in background]
And then he said that we had a young fellow here who took his four years of college, or his, no his high school--and then his four yea-, three years of Bible school and then he went off to Saskatoon to the new university there to continue his education and, he wasn’t there very many months before he lost his faith completely.
And so he says, that I could see the need of a Christian college and so – that’s how I came, when I came, I got all steamed up over this idea, we got to have a college, we, we, no need to fool around with anything else, and you know that’s just what, what happened.
I was glad that I at least could have that much to say on that committee…
Interviewer: Did you find that the rest of the committee was –?
Carl Fosmark: Oh yes, and then, and then after, when I told my story why then they, they could see, they could see that my, that that’s what we should do –
TRANSCRIPT COMMENTS & CORRECTIONS
Provided by Tim Dalzell October, 2018
p. 16 - New Norway is in Alberta, and the church is called Highland Park EFC
p. 17 - White Rock is located in British Columbia; Fosmark's son was named Palmer