John Niddrie's father
was a strict Calvinist and the choral leader
for the local church-the young Niddrie, therefore, received an early grounding in
religion. His dedication to God, however, did not arrive until he was 18,
when he converted to Methodism and became a Sunday school teacher.
Shortly after his conversion, Niddrie delivered his first sermon, which was a notable success. Joyfully realizing that he
had found his calling, he diligently spent a year preparing for the examination
to become an accredited preacher-he passed with honours and went on to preach for the next four years.
Posted at Morley, Niddrie assisted the mission work of the McDougalls for
the next 20 years. He taught Sunday school and was a teacher at the Stoney school and
McDougall institute, both designed to teach Christianity and other
subjects to Aboriginal students. His work at these schools ended
when he decided to become a missionary himself and was posted to Oxford
House in northern Manitoba.