Next weekend CLA will be celebrating two significant milestones. First, at the Langley Campus, we are embracing our 85th anniversary. About 45 years of our history have been on this site, once known as the McLeod property. Prior to that there were in a number of sites, both purchased and rented. In 1937 two ladies came to Langley Prairie to begin a children’s ministry. From there they led street ministry, began a church, and held revival services. Back then it was simply known as the “Pentecostal” church, but the values looked like the ones we hold today. Children, the addicted, those broken by life and lost were a key focus. CLA has always been about transformation of lives.
For 85 years there has been a strong belief that the Holy Spirit could do in a moment what no one else could do. In that people have been set free from sin, addictions, and self-destructive behavior. Thousands have been baptized in water. Kids have been baptized in the Holy Spirit. Youth and young adults have been called into ministry. Worship is a lively expression of our freedom in Christ. Rivers of generosity have flowed from our people as both the nation and world have been touched by our love. We continue to value women in pastoral leadership. Families remain the bedrock of the multi-site church with monthly baby dedications. We also continue to stretch our faith in God by taking on church plants, new missional initiatives, and by staying committed to seeing the next generation come to faith in Christ.
When I think about our history, I often imagine the faith expressed in 1978 as Pastor Leroy Lebeck and a group of 400 people walked from our old church property on 56th Ave and 206 St to this present site. What a Sunday that must have been! There are some in our current congregation that remember that. I realize I am one link in a chain of history. Don Cantelon, his son Brent, and I have each had an opportunity to steward the original vision of Jenny Gaglardi & Loreen Drury along with the vision of using this property to it’s best potential. In 1987 Pastor Don and the CLA leadership were able build Sharon Village. This vision for affordable housing continues today with our new 100-unit complex breaking ground on our anniversary weekend.
The second milestone being celebrated is at our Maple Ridge Campus. They are celebrating 75 years of “Pentecostal” ministry in the Haney, Maple Ridge, and Pitt Meadows region. Maple Ridge became a campus of Christian Life Assembly in 2003. For over 50 years this important ministry thrived as a centre for discipleship and outreach. They also exhibited similar values of faith, generosity, kids, and the Spirit at work. Bill Mercer (who attends the Langley Campus) was a youth who came to faith in Maple Ridge and was called into missionary work. He and Linda spent their ministry life in Africa. This is one example of the rich heritage there. Over the past 20 years the campus has worked in harmony with Langley, Sooke and Recovery Church to bring transformation. I look forward to being with them next Saturday for their banquet.
I invite you to be involved in our celebration. There are still a few tickets left for our Friday night banquet in Langley. You will not want to miss Sunday, Oct 30. It will be historic. Besides a walk down memory lane we unveil new vision and know that our best days are ahead of us. There will be a pancake breakfast followed by our Annual General Meeting of members. Mark your calendar!