Canaan Phiri was born to an SDB Preacher. He went to church almost every Sabbath. However he made a personal decision to follow Jesus at his first Youth Camp in 1974 in response to a sermon by Pastor David Clement Pearson, then a missionary to Malawi. He was then baptized on 31st August 1974 by Pastor Absalom K Harawa. In 1979, he accepted the Lord’s calling to serve as a pastor and he started serving as an Associate Pastor for the Blantyre Churches.