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In the late twenties, the first immigrants came to central Alberta. They were economic refugees and opportunists who were seeking adventure and a better future. Many started working for other farmers. Soon many owned their own quarters, cleared their own land, and built their own homes as they established themselves in their new homeland.

Yet for them – leaving their former homes and villages, never meant leaving their faith. In this new place they sought to worship. It began in their homes and as they met others who also made the same journey, they joined together to form a new community who shared a vision for the Reformed faith and life.

The first worship services were held 80 years ago, in the home of the Bruinsma family who lived near Gull Lake by the present Camp Rehoboth. As the numbers grew, the congregation increasingly felt the need and desire to become an officially organized congregation. On October 26, 1935, the First Christian Reformed Church of Lacombe was born. In 1936 the first building was completed.

This small congregation raised money formed societies for Women, Youth, and Men to grow in their faith and life together. The vision of a reformed faith they learned from their fathers and mothers shaping their life in their new land gradually took shape. The world was about to change and with it the church continued to grow and change.

 

In 1941 a new building was completed because the old one was simply too small. During the war years, the congregation began the Christian School. The school became a part of the identity of the community. The reformed vision continued to shape their life.

After WWII, many more immigrants came and joined this young congregation. They were now too many too spread out for one congregation. Rocky Mountain, Red Deer, and Bethel congregations were formed. Congregational life took on a familiar pattern of the time: Worship services, young people’s gatherings, Sunday school, worship, support of Christian organizations, couples clubs and societies.

As the seventies came to a conclusion, growth was once again occurring. From southern BC and the Netherlands, new members came and began to share in the life of the church. With this growth came the challenges common in many parts of the CRC. From the women in office debates to worship wars the church experienced the ongoing debates of what the reformed vision looked like in the new time. A new building was built.

 

A concern for a youth led to the hiring of the Youth Pastor.  Youth Ministries and Mexicali became an ordinary part of church life. Many have gone on Mission trips that have encouraged us to walk in faith. Throughout the change – a vibrant faith led the congregation to live faithfully with God.

Today we take our heritage as a gift and look forward to walking together as a community of Christ. God is calling us to a future of making disciples of the nations and building a healthy faithful community in Christ.