Hegge Iverson founded Burden Bearers in 1964, with the head office in Seattle and other affiliate offices throughout the state of Washington. With numerous gifts and abilities molded into his compassionate heart, Hegge's vision for Burden Bearers also included a Canadian chapter. And so it was with this purpose that Hegge met with two Lower Mainland pastors in the fall of 1973.
First Canadian Office:
During that winter a Board was formed and assisted by an advisory council, a constitution was written and Burden Bearers of Canada was born. It was registered as an autonomous, non-profit society under the B.C. Societies Act.
On May 1, 1974, the doors of the first Canadian counselling office were opened and the Lord blessed it. At the outset, it was evident that a ministry of this kind was needed, as all of the appointments were filled for the first day. In 1995, there were fourteen centres in Alberta and B.C. and on May 1, 1999 we celebrated twenty-five years of ministry serving the people of BC and Alberta!
Alberta Society established:
In September of 2001, the Central Board elected to form the counselling centres in Alberta and Northern B.C. into a separate society and on December 3, 2001, the Burden Bearers Counselling Society was formerly incorporated as a society under the Alberta Societies Act. In the following months Burden Bearers Counselling Society received Registered Charity status under the Income Tax Act, effective March 1, 2002.
Burden Bearers Society of Alberta began in 2001 with a vision to establish, facilitate and help maintain independent counselling offices in Alberta that
• subscribe to a historical Christian worldview;
• meet the criteria outlined with the Burden Bearers Society Constitution; and
• desire to provide counselling to individuals regardless of their ability to pay.
During its inception it was decided to operate the society with volunteers, avoiding the cost of staff. This has allowed the Society to require low dues from its member offices.