BLAND, Salem Goldworth (1859-1950)

Born on August 26th 1859 in Lachute, Salem Goldworth Bland was the son of Henry Flesher Bland, Methodist minister, and of Emma Levell.

Bland completed his primary and secondary studies in Montréal, Dundas, Kingston and Belleville. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Arts from Morrin College, Quebec City, in 1877. He then took many courses as an independent student at McGill University. In 1884, Bland became an ordained minister in the Methodist Church.

After preaching stints in various locations throughout Quebec and Ontario, Bland was hired as a professor at Wesley College, a Methodist institution in Winnipeg. He worked there from 1903 to 1917. He then moved to Toronto and returned to preaching from 1919 onward. He wrote columns in many publications, notably a weekly column in the Toronto Star.

Bland was recognized as a leader of the Social Gospel movement that promoted a progressive and liberal version of religion. He was involved in many leftist religious and political groups in English Canada, including labour unions and agrarian reform movements. During the Great Depression, he participated in the foundation of the Fellowship for a Christian Social Order and of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation in Ontario, a progressive political party that later became the New Democratic Party (NDP).

In addition to his many published sermons and columns, Bland also authored two volumes: The New Christianity (1920) and James Henderson D.D. (1926).

He died in Toronto on February 7, 1950. He is buried at Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto.

– Patrick Donovan, June 2015

Salem Goldworth Bland


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  • ALLEN, Richard. The View From the Murney Tower: Salem Bland, the Late-Victorian Controversies, and the Search for a New Christianity, Volume 1. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008.
  • CORNISH, George. Cyclopedia of Methodism in Canada, vol ii. Toronto: Methodist Book and Publishing House, 1903. p.109.
  • “Find A Grave Index,” index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 11 March 2015), Salem Goldworth Bland, 1950; Burial, Toronto, Toronto Municipality, Ontario, Canada, Mount Pleasant Cemetery; citing record ID 115522726, Find a Grave,
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  • HARMON, Nolan B. The Encyclopedia of World Methodism, vol. 1. Nashville: United Methodist Publishing House, 1974. p.284.