In the late 1860s, Douglas Russell came from Scotland to visit his relatives in the Clyde and Valens area of Ontario. He found sincere, devout people, observing the Sabbath and working their way to heaven, as they thought. Mr. Russell, a Christian and a gifted evangelist, spoke privately to them, telling them of their need of personal salvation. Realizing that he had found an open ear among these religious people, he announced meetings and began to preach publicly. God worked in mighty power and many souls were brought into the kingdom. Mr. Russell returned to Scotland, but within a year, he came back to visit the new converts and to teach them the truths of believers baptism and gathering unto the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Fifty believers were baptized in one day and an assembly was formed. On that first Lords Day, when the believers gathered to break bread for the first time, among those who formed the circle were McBains and Scotts. Mr. McBains grandmother was a Scott.
Mr. McBains own father was not saved until 1900, the year when Lorne was born. His mother was a Catholic and made sure that he and his brother never attended Sunday school or a gospel meeting. Through his saved father and grandparents he often heard the gospel and was awakened through his mothers death when he was 19 years old.
While working as an auditor in Toronto, the young Lorne was invited to the Massey Hall for the Easter conference of 1920. Sitting in the balcony, he witnessed that large company remembering the Lord and the thought was impressed on his heart, “These people are going to heaven and I am going to hell.” That afternoon, his uncle introduced him to Mr. John Moneypenny who spoke kindly to him, asking him his age and telling him that he was saved when he was nineteen. While John 5:24 was being quoted to him, he grasped the truth that Christ had died for his many sins so he could be forgiven. He said nothing to Mr. Moneypenny, but left Massey Hall to return to his rooming house. Alone, he dropped on his knees beside his bed and told God he was a guilty sinner, deserving to be in hell, but he now knew that Christ died for him and he was trusting the Lord Jesus to take him to heaven.
He invited his roommate to accompany him back to the conference for the evening gospel meeting. As he listened to the preaching of Christ and His finished work, he received precious assurance that he was saved and immediately began to confess Christ to his relatives and fellow workers.
The following weekend found him in the back seat at the Huntsville Gospel Hall. He was convinced that what he was seeing was from the Word of God and was soon baptized and received into the assembly at Central Hall in Toronto. He went on so well for God that in four years, the assembly commended him to the work of the Lord in whatever field the Lord exercised him. For 53 years he preached the gospel and was used of God in the salvation of many souls and the planting of assemblies. Mr. McBain was deeply exercised to help young men who were starting to work in the gospel. Many of us were greatly blessed by his example and excellent teaching.