Wilson, Lois Miriam

Lois Miriam Wilson, née Freeman, United Church minister (b at Winnipeg 8 Apr 1927). Ordained after 15 years as a homemaker, Wilson shared team ministries with her husband, Roy, successively in Thunder Bay, Hamilton and Kingston, Ontario. The success of Town Talk, a multimedia program for involving the citizens of Thunder Bay in the discussion of community concerns, first brought her to public notice.

Wilson was elected president of the Canadian Council of Churches in 1976 and moderator of the United Church of Canada in 1980, the first woman to hold either office. In 1983 she was elected one of the 7 presidents of the World Council of Churches. Also in 1983, she became codirector of the Ecumenical Forum of Canada. She has been instrumental in awakening in the United Church an increased concern for co-ordinated action to eliminate poverty and promote peace throughout the world.

In 1984 she became a Member of the Order of Canada, and in 1985 she received the Pearson Peace Prize and World Federalists Peace Award. The author of several books and the recipient of many honorary degrees, she has been chancellor of Lakehead University since 1991.