Sylvan Lake News Article, March 3, 2003 - Alliance Church dedicated in service Sunday by Steve Dills
The past was reviewed as another milestone was marked in the life of the Alliance Community Church in Sylvan Lake Sunday with the dedication ceremony for its new facility. Rev. Bob Wiebe, Southeast Regional Director of the Western Canadian District of the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada, spoke of moments in that history before leading the prayer of dedication during which he said the facility is not a shrine but a place to facilitate work you people are called to do. The facility was dedicated to the honour and glory of God so the work of Jesus Christ may go forward in this community. Speaking earlier he said the church is not facilities. The facility helps us do church. Church still remains with people. We celebrate the vision people had for this church but the real celebration is God has been faithful through these years. He explained the mandate and commission for the church is exactly the same today as it was 2000 years ago. Noting history helps him face the future better, he said God's past performance is every indication of his future performance. Wiebe highlighted a number of significant events in the local group's evolution. Among those were May 15, 1994 when it became an officially organized church, in 1995 when the old lumber yard was purchased and transformed, February 1, 1998 when Kevin and Wendy Haugan arrived and today (Feb. 29) when the dedication is celebrated. The past is history for you to recount as you recount the goodness, gratefulness and faithfulness of God. God directed you in the past. The same God will direct you in the future. The service, Sunday afternoon, began with founding Pastor Dick Leever recounting some of the history. When the church was planted 11 years ago, he said he got a call in Florida and began his work. He arrived on a cold winter day in October with snow too deep to get in, almost. Seventeen people showed interest during the first gathering. Later they rented the Community Centre for $14 a week where they held services for at least a year. I've never been in a ministry where I've seen God work so smoothly, he said. What I thought would be a tough job was just watching God do it. He recalled the day he walked into the lumber yard to inquire about future plans for the site and found it could be bought for $150,000. Board Chair John Toews talked about the last year, filled with excitement, anticipation and then as winter approached the question of when they'd be moving in. On February 15 the first service was held in the new facility. As we began, my heart burst with emotion, my eyes filled with tears. Tears of joy, amazement of what God had done for our church family. Rev. Peter Nash, representing Sylvan Lake Ministerial noted, the Lord is on the advance in this area. Increases are coming to every church. Mayor Bryan Lambertson remarked one of the disappointments of his term has been churches are growing at a slower rate than the growth of our community. As your church grows and moves ahead all Christians rejoice with you, he said. During the service certificates of appreciation were presented to Building Committee members Tim McIlravey, Craig Seifert, Marlis Hansen, Dale Campbell and Raylene McWade. A certificate will be presented to Dan Nielsen later since he wasn't able to attend the service. Certificates were also presented to prayer co-ordinator Colleen Wilde and to project manager/construction supervisor Martin Schmitke. After the presentation Schmitke remembered the progress made with lots of volunteers, especially in earlier stages. He reflected he made about 175 trips from his home in Innisfail to the building site during construction. I enjoyed it immensely, he said. This was project number nine, as far as churches go, for him. The building went very smoothly.
At the end of the dedication service held in the new building of Alliance Community Church, Sylvan Lake, the Elders Board, Building Committee and pastor staff gathered for a group picture. From left to right are John Toews, Craig Seifert, Pastor Kevin Haugan, Doug McVety, Einar Loven, Pastor John Haazen, Don Stewart, Marlis Hansen, Martin Schmitke, Kelly Dyer, Dale Campbell, Raylene McWade, Tim McIlravey