The vision for Wolf Creek Community Church was cast all the way back in the last millennium, with the dream starting to be realized in 1999 when several members of the Bethel Congregation attended a conference on Church growth in Chicago. Bethel itself was a daughter of the 1st CRC in Lacombe (WoodyNook) so birthing a child of its own was a natural outcome. After several years of planning the baby steps had there culmination in August 2003 when approximately 40 people held an inaugural service in the Big Red Barn south of town. By October the Ecclesiastical Assembly of likeminded churches (Classis AB North) granted permission to “Organize” and on February 1, 2004 our 1st “official” service was held. Pastor Martin Contant of Regional Home Missions presided.
From the beginning the vision was and remains, “to reach out and enfold people for Jesus together becoming devoted disciples of Him”. From the beginning the decision was taken that Wolf Creek would be a team based ministry with a “permission giving” spirit; focused on outreach and the community. People with a passion to reach out are encouraged and supported in that initiative.
The first facility was a rented commercial space in downtown Lacombe, beside the Laundromat. Walls were painted, chairs purchased and church was on. In these humble beginnings the Alpha ministry was offered and enthusiastically received by a number of church and community members, church services were held every 2nd Sunday. Membership Classes were offered for those who desired a more formal joining of the church and on Easter Sunday April 11th 2004 we witnessed first baptisms, confirmations of faith, and a membership covenant signing. Pastor Evert Gritter from Red Deer officiated this wonderful day, a true celebration of Gods faithfulness.
The search continued for a full time pastor and for a larger permanent home. After a considerable process, we invited and welcomed Pastor Andy Geleynse and his family to the WCCC and Lacombe community.
With the blessing of new people joining our community the need for a larger facility became increasingly important. In early 2007 after having considering several other locations the church purchased the Lacombe RV building and lot east of town. On July 2007 we took possession and immediately began extensive renovations. Following a tremendous effort by many volunteers the first worship service was held December 16, 2007. We praise God for such a wonderful provision: Wolf Creek Community Church, located between Wolf Creek and Wolf Creek Drive and across from Wolf Creek Landing. Only God could have orchestrated this miracle.
In the first five years of ministry WCCC offered a variety of programs; Alpha, James Dobson’s Video Series, Bringing up Boys, Essentials of Discipline, MOPS and a vibrant Small Group Ministry. God had in a very short time abundantly blessed this young church.
After a short stay Pastor Andy and WCCC mutually agreed to part ways. Wolf Creek Church blessed the Geleynse’s on their way, and committed them to the work of God in the broader community. The Church engaged Henk-John Kuipers as a full-time Director of Ministries and invited Pastor Harry Valstar to preach and provide pastoral care to the church and surrounding community.
The following year was a time of reflection, but also one of looking forward. New initiatives were undertaken with good success: the Marriage Course, MOM’s Time, Sunday brunches and even dance classes filled the churches time; all with the view to invite friends and neighbors and build relationships. In time God restored a positive mood and the church regained its momentum. Between 150 and 180 people attend regularly on Sunday mornings and many others are involved in weekly activities and ministries. In addition to the existing programs Band of Brothers and Women of Worth now meet regularly and Small Groups continue to flourish. In addition to all this spiritual energy a waffles breakfast is served the first 3 Saturdays every month.
Sunday Worship is led by persons gifted in music and liturgy and the Words of God are spoken. Children’s programs run during the services and a vibrant youth program rounds out the efforts at WCCC. In its short history WCCC has delivered special Christmas Eve Services, put on family camps and family fun days. A new chapter began with the arrival Pastor Leon Johnston, who along with is wife Joy and their 4 children relocated from Agassiz B.C. in the summer of 2010. Pastor Leon adapted well to the sometimes unorthodox style of Wolf Creek but he brings the Word of God and the pastoral ministry of our Savior; not only to the church but the community as well. The building was once more straining under the growth of the church body so in early 2011 new offices, classrooms, storage space and a renovated children’s nursery and youth room were completed. The addition significantly increased the capacity for ministry, while retaining the all purpose nature of the building.
On reading this history one may be struck by the often used word “community.” Community was and is the vision and purpose of Wolf Creek Church, we intentionally seek out and welcome those for whom God and Jesus Christ may be unfamiliar, or for those whose life turns has distanced them from Him. All are welcomed to come to Wolf Creek and all will be enfolded as we seek to become disciples together. Above all we will experience, see and finally know that God is faithful.
While the main focus is on Lacombe and the surrounding communities Wolf Creek Church also has a heart and passion for ministry in other parts of the world. In cooperation with Youth for Christ, Youth with a Mission and EDU DEO mission teams travel to Vancouver, Los Angeles, Tijuana, the Dominican and Africa.